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the amount a 57-year-old needed to set aside to cover average lifetime out-of-pocket spending on nursing home care was $7,344

Medicare covers "rehabilitation," which is why reimbursed nursing home stays tend to be fairly short. Those are the patients that nursing homes welcome. Patients frequently check out before Medicare coverage ends, whether they are really ready to live on their own or not.

Most long-term patients are on Medicaid, which doesn't cover the expenses for first-rate care. Those patients may have very low "out of pocket" expenses also, but that is not the whole story. You have to impoverish yourself to qualify for Medicaid coverage.

So fine, put away only $7000 to cover nursing home care, if you are pretty sure that you will only need a couple of weeks of rehabilitation covered by Medicare. I have no idea how you would know that by age 57, but ok.
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