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4
Wishes to Remain Independent
Costs of Care

The cost of hiring a professional to provide in-home care three times per week for one year is roughly $18,000, while the cost of staying in a nursing home for one year is $68,000 [source: U.S. Administration on Aging]. Long-term care costs depend on the frequency and type of care, as well as a person's geographic location, which affects the demand for health services.

The same boomers who sought to revolutionize society earlier in life are redefining retirement altogether, with one-third of current boomer retirees still working in some way [source: Merrill Lynch]. Even if baby boomers exit the workforce financially sound, they are often "reinventing themselves" with new jobs, volunteer work and hobbies [source: Valeo].

Baby boomers also want to remain independent in their own homes, which will increase the demand for in-home long-term care [source: Carbo]. Staying put might require hiring a professional caregiver (skilled care) or relying on family members (non-skilled care) to assist with daily activities such as cooking and bathing. Boomers are exploring technology that assists with long-term care as they look after their own aging parents. Already, they're using assisted-living cameras and special, prefabricated-and-portable backyard shelters, dubbed "granny pods," to help monitor people who need long-term care [source: NPR Staff].

According to one survey, baby boomers are less prepared for long-term health care because they gamble on government programs and their families caring for them [source: Merrill Lynch]. Read more about how this affects their willingness to buy insurance on the following page.

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