With advancements in medicine, people on average are living longer. This fact coupled with the Baby Boomer generation reaching retirement age means that there is a 70 percent chance you may end up in need of long-term care if you are over the age of 65.

In spite of this fact, 75% of Americans don’t have a long-term care insurance policy. Many simply cannot afford one. A contributing factor is that these policies are cheapest when you are younger, but most people don’t prioritize them until they are nearing retirement age. Often by that time, age and medical problems can make it difficult, if not impossible, to qualify. “You never need it until you need it, however when you need it you can’t get it,” says Greg Mallet, leader of Sledge Money related Gathering in Schererville, Indiana.

Without protection, the expenses of caring for a loved one can be immense. Costs vary depending upon where you live, but generally average at $90,00 per year for a semiprivate room in a skilled nursing home, around $4,000 a month in assisted living and almost the same for home health aides.

Different ways of funding your long-term care are available.

One option is to self-insure. If you have a high net worth, it is a good idea to have savings separate from your retirement savings. You can work it into your financial plan.

reverse mortgage is sometimes a good option. This allows senior citizens to utilize the equity from their homes to receive a cash settlement or monthly payment options. After the homeowner passes away or no longer is living in the home, the money is paid back to the bank. Usually through the sale of the home.

Long-term care insurance where you pay an up-front lump-sum premium and you get benefits for long-term care, if needed. You also get death benefits. These policies get more difficult to obtain the older you get.

Not all options are right for everyone, but each has its own benefits. However, it is important to consider these options when planning for your future to ensure you are safeguarded and also that your family is not overburdened.