If not adequately planned for, a long-term care event can blow up a client’s portfolio. But just how expensive is long-term care and what costs should you help clients anticipate?

The answers vary widely across the country, within each state and by the type of care needed, though the costs of all types of long-term care are rising steadily nationwide. In particular, the cost of care at nursing homes and assisted-living facilities is increasing faster than home-based care costs.

While home care costs have increased just 1% to 1.5% over the last five years, costs at facilities have gone up 2.5% to 4%, says Bob Bua, vice president of CareScout, a subsidiary of Genworth that conducted the firm’s annual Cost of Care survey.

Reviewing the regional data collected in Genworth's report, planners can access cost information for the specific situations of each client, Bua notes. "Financial planners need to know what their clients are exposed to," he says.

Following are the 10 most expensive states for care in a private room in a nursing home facility -- the most expensive of the types of care the study tracks. For each state you'll see the median annual cost for a private room in a nursing home, the annualized growth rate over five years, the most and least expensive metropolitan areas and, as a point of comparison, the median annual cost of care for a home health aide in that state. --Samantha Allen

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