2017-11-10 / On Second Thought

ASK US AT THE STAR

I am encouraging my parents to move to South Carolina in retirement to be near family. Do you have any guidance to share?
Compiled by Warren Hughes

South Carolina is routinely suggested as a great place to retire for many reasons with its desirable coastal and mountain regions, not to mention the capital city of Columbia with its central attractive amenities.

Now comes word from the August 17, 2017, issue of Forbes magazine that South Carolina is one of the top states to grow old when it comes to cost, good news for an aging population.

According to the report, South Carolina has lower assisted living prices than many others and ranks third in the nation for lower overall elder care costs. Older adults in South Carolina pay around $36,000 for assisted living and $42,000 for home health aide costs annually.

Compared to other areas, however, it may have fewer overall choices in long-term care settings and providers, when compared to other areas, the report also notes.

The analysis in Forbes was provided by author Deb Hipp, writing for “Next Avenue,” public media’s national journalism service for America’s booming 50+ population. Her article was based on a study initially released by Caring.com, an online resource for family caregivers. It skips the usual “ best places” focus on early retirement recreation and cultural activities. Instead, it takes a longer view of aging, examining state-by-state costs and quality of senior living communities, nursing homes and in-home care.

The top state to grow old is Utah, says the report, based on cost, health care, and quality of life.

The other top best states, based on the chosen factors, were No. 2 Iowa; No. 3 South Carolina, as noted; No. 4 Washington; No. 5 Nebraska; No. 6 Arizona; No. 7 California; No. 8 Idaho; No. 9 Colorado; and No. 10 Oregon.

The five worst states to grow old, according to the study’s criteria, were Wyoming, North Dakota, New York, Indiana, and West Virginia.

The report aims to prompt people who are planning to retire or thinking about old age to look beyond immediate retirement, says Tim Sullivan, vice president of Caring.com.

“ We want them to think about the long term and how their needs may change as they age into their 70s or 80s,” says Sullivan. “It’s important to evaluate whether they’re going to be able to meet those needs as they age.”

Caring.com used its own consumer reviews of care facilities and in-home care providers in addition to data from Genworth’s 2016 Cost of Care Survey, which compares long-term care costs across the U.S.

The report also gleaned information from the Long-Term Services and Supports State Scorecard, which ranks state long-term services and support for older adults; the Gallup- Healthways Well-Being Index; and the U.S. Census 2015 American Community Survey.

The study covers 13 categories, including assisted living, nursing homes, home health aides, and well-being and support for family caregivers. It serves as a reminder not only to people planning for retirement but also anyone who has an aging loved one, according to Sullivan.

“If the quality and cost of assisted living communities and in-home care services of your region aren’t on your radar or aren’t part of your planning for retirement, they really should be,” he says.

We want to add to the community’s storehouse of knowledge, whether it is a neighborhood matter, a larger issue or a simple curiosity. We’ll do the footwork for you. Submit your questions to mimim@thecolumbiastar.com or pams@thecolumbiastar.com.

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