The Squared Away Blog, published by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, profiled a recent study from the Michigan Center for Retirement and Disability Research Center that found a 30 percent probability that when one spouse goes into a nursing home, the person who is still living in the home can face serious financial hardship and even poverty.
The researchers followed nearly 2,000 older couples over two decades through a survey that asks individuals to report if they or a spouse is in a long-term care facility and how much it costs.
The average for the couples experiencing a nursing home stay was nine months, which racked up about $20,000 in out-of-pocket costs, according to the Michigan study. Not surprisingly, stays lasting more than 100 days – and past the period when Medicare might pay the bills – doubled the couple’s previous levels of out-of-pocket spending on medical care and greatly heightened the risk of falling into poverty. Read the full blog post, which includes a link to the Michigan study.