Long-Term Care Options and How to Plan for the Costs

Think for a minute about all the things you did when you woke up this morning. You probably got out of bed, walked to the bathroom, cleaned yourself up, brushed your teeth, got dressed, made yourself some breakfast, and headed out the door to go to work. These activities of daily living are so routine, you likely did them without even thinking about it.

Now imagine that you couldn’t do these things on your own. It could be because you’ve had an accident, you’re recovering from an operation, or you have an illness that limits your mobility. Whatever the reason, you now need help from another person to do many or even most of your basic daily activities — and you’ll continue to need it for weeks, months, or even years.

This kind of help is called long-term care, and there’s a good chance you or a close loved one will need it at some point in your life. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), a person who turned 65 today has almost a 70% chance of needing some form of long-term care in the future.

Needing long-term care isn’t just a physical burden; it’s a financial one too. According to the 2020 Cost of Care Survey by Genworth Financial, professional long-term care can cost anywhere from $1,603 to $8,821 per month. Most employer-sponsored health insurance plans don’t cover these costs, and even Medicare provides only limited coverage.

If you don’t want to risk being bankrupted by long-term care costs in the future, you need to do some planning now. Even if you don’t think you’ll need long-term care for many years to come — or at all — it’s better to think about it ahead of time than to take a chance on having to deal with both a health crisis and a financial crisis at once.

Options for Long-Term Care

When many people hear “long-term care,” they immediately picture a nursing home. However, it’s possible to receive long-term care in a variety of settings, which differ widely in terms of both comfort and cost.

The main forms of long-term care are:

1. In-Home Care From Relatives

Dealing with a long-term injury or illness can be a lot less stressful in your own home with familiar things and people around you. Thus, one common type of long-term care is to have a relative or friend tend to your needs at home.

While unpaid in-home care is easiest on the person receiving care, it can be difficult for the caregiver, both emotionally and financially. A 2018 Genworth study found that more than half of family caregivers had high levels of stress, and roughly one-third said their careers had suffered on account of their caregiving duties.

2. Home Health Aides

If you want to receive care at home without putting a burden on your relatives, you can hire someone to help you. A home health aide doesn’t provide medical care but can help with such daily tasks as bathing, dressing, and eating. The 2020 Genworth survey found that the median cost of a home health aide in 2020 was $24 per hour, or $4,756 per month.

3. Homemaker Services

Some people don’t need help with bathing or dressing, but they still need someone to handle daily chores they can’t manage on their own, such as cooking, cleaning, and running errands. For this, you can hire a homemaker service, which costs a bit less than a home health aide. Genworth put the median cost of homemaker services for 2020 at $23.50 per hour, or $4,481 per month.

4. Adult Day Care

Some older people can still get up and about, but they can’t be on their own for long periods of time. An adult day care program is a place where adults can go during the day and spend time with others, with a caregiver there to keep an eye on them. Adult day care programs can offer structured activities, meals, transportation, and sometimes health services. They’re cheaper than most long-term care options, at around $74 per day or $1,603 per month, according to Genworth.

5. Assisted Living

Home health aides can help with daily activities, but they can’t provide actual medical care. People who need regular medical supervision are better off moving to an assisted living facility. This is a place where people can live on their own in private apartments and have access to both personal care and medical care on site. The median cost for an assisted living facility was $4,300 per month in 2020, according to Genworth.

6. Nursing Home

Nursing homes provide the highest level of supervision and care. These all-inclusive facilities offer room and board, personal care, supervision, activities, medication, rehabilitation, and full-time nursing care. This level of care comes with a high price tag, however. Genworth found that in 2020, a semi-private room in a nursing home cost $7,756 per month, and a private room cost $8,821 per month.


Government Programs

Most Americans can’t afford to pay for professional long-term care out of their own pockets. A 2020 survey by The Ascent found that over half of Americans have less than $5,000 in savings. Roughly one-third have less than $1,000 — not enough to pay for even a single month of long-term care.

Government programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, can help you meet some of the costs. However, these programs offer only limited aid. Each one has specific rules about who qualifies for benefits, what services it covers, how long you can receive aid, and how much you must pay for on your own. If you need long-term care, it’s certainly a good idea to look at these programs first to see what they cover, but it’s a mistake to rely on them to pick up the whole tab.

Medicare

In most cases, Medicare does not include any long-term care benefits. However, there are several specific exceptions:

  • Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Care. If you come out of the hospital after a stay of at least three days, Medicare provides partial coverage for up to 100 days’ worth of medically necessary care while you recover. To receive this coverage, you must enter a Medicare-certified SNF or nursing home within 30 days after you leave the hospital. Medicare covers all of your treatment there for the first 20 days of your stay. Beginning on day 21, you must pay a daily copayment, which is set at $185.50 in 2021. Medicare covers any cost beyond this copayment up through day 100. If you still need care after that, you’re on your own.
  • Rehabilitation. If you have a condition that requires ongoing medical care to help you recover, Medicare provides partial coverage for a stay in an inpatient rehabilitation facility. It covers the cost of treatments such as physical therapy, meals, drugs, nursing services, and a semi-private room. However, you must pay an out-of-pocket cost for this care that depends on the length of your stay. For the first 60 days, you pay a $1,364 deductible. This cost is waived if you’ve already paid for a hospital stay for the same condition. For days 61 through 90, you pay $341 per day. After day 90, you start using up your “lifetime reserve days.” You have only 60 of these days over your lifetime, and each one costs you $682. If you still need care after your 60 days are used up, you must pay the full cost. Also, any extra costs during your stay — such as a private room, private duty nursing, or a phone or television in your room — are your own responsibility.
  • Home Health Services. You can also use Medicare to pay for in-home care for a specific illness or injury. This includes part-time or intermittent skilled nursing care, physical or occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology. To qualify as part-time, your care must cover less than eight hours per day, or less than seven days per week, over a total of three weeks or less. If you are receiving this type of in-home care, Medicare also pays for additional, basic care from a home health aide. Medicare does not cover care from a home health aide if that’s the only care you need, and it does not cover homemaker services under any circumstances.
  • Hospice Care. People who are terminally ill sometimes choose to spend their last days in hospice care. Hospice treatment focuses on relieving the patient’s pain, rather than trying to cure them. Medicare covers hospice care for patients who are terminally ill, are not seeking a cure, and do not expect to live more than six months. Patients can receive this kind of care in their own homes, a hospital, or another inpatient care facility.

For more details about what Medicare covers, see the Medicare website.

Medicaid

Unlike Medicare, Medicaid covers all types of long-term care. This includes both in-home care — such as a visiting nurse or a home health aide — and care in facilities such as nursing homes. You can get home health aide services from Medicaid even if you don’t need skilled care as well, and you can get care in a facility even if you aren’t recovering from a hospital visit.

However, Medicaid has strict limits on eligibility. You can’t receive Medicaid benefits if your income is above a certain level, which varies from state to state. Also, in some states, you cannot qualify unless you have dependent children. You can find the limits for your state through your state’s Medicaid website.

Veterans’ Benefits

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) covers the full cost of long-term care for veterans who have disabilities resulting from their military service. It also covers costs for veterans who can’t afford to pay for their own care. Other veterans receive some coverage, but they must pay a copayment. According to the VA site, the current copayments for long-term care are:

  • $97 per day for inpatient care, such as nursing home care
  • $15 per day for outpatient care, such as home health care or adult day care
  • $5 per day for domiciliary care in a special facility for homeless veterans

The VA site has more information about the health benefits available to veterans and how to qualify for them.

OAA Programs

Some states have their own separate programs to help provide care for adults over age 60. These programs get funding from the federal government under the OIder Americans Act (OAA). The OAA supports a wide network of state, local, and tribal agencies called the Aging Network. It works with tens of thousands of service providers and volunteers to deliver various types of care, including:

  • Meal delivery
  • Transportation
  • Home health services
  • Home health aide and homemaker services
  • Adult day care
  • “Respite care,” which gives family caregivers some time off from taking care of an older relative
  • Help using other government benefits

You can find programs in your area through Eldercare.gov.


Products to Help You Pay for Long-Term Care

Government programs don’t cover everybody, and the coverage they offer isn’t always enough to pay for the full cost of long-term care. To make up the difference, some people carry long-term care insurance, which provides coverage for this specific type of care. Others rely on other financial products designed for senior citizens, such as annuities and reverse mortgages, to cover their costs.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance, or LTC insurance, works like other types of insurance. You pay a premium each month to the insurer, and if you ever need long-term care, it covers the cost. However, one big difference between this and most other types of insurance is that you have to qualify to buy a policy. If you’re already in poor health, there’s a chance you won’t be able to get a policy — and if you do, you’ll have to pay a steep price for it.

There are several ways to buy a long-term care insurance policy. The most common sources for policies are:

  • Insurance Specialists. You can buy LTC insurance through financial professionals such as insurance agents, brokers, and financial planners. To find insurance companies that offer LTC insurance, visit your state insurance department or do an Internet search for “long-term care insurance” plus the name of your state.
  • Employers. Although standard employer-sponsored health care plans don’t cover long-term care, many employers — including the federal government, many state governments, and some private companies — offer LTC insurance as an add-on that employees can purchase separately. To find out whether your employer offers this coverage, check with your pensions or benefits office.
  • Organizations. Some labor unions and other professional or trade organizations, such as the National Education Association, offer LTC insurance as a benefit to their workers. Membership organizations such as alumni associations or service clubs like the Lions and Elks can also take part in group plans.
  • State Partnerships. In some states, you can purchase LTC coverage through a State Partnership Program. These programs provide benefits partly through private long-term care insurers and partly through Medicaid. You can learn more details about these programs from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Although long-term care coverage can protect you from devastating long-term care costs, most Americans don’t carry it because of its high cost. According to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), the typical annual premium for an LTC policy ranges from $1,400 to $3,100. This annual cost varies based on factors such as age, health, gender, location, and amount of coverage.

Financial planner David Demming, speaking with Policygenius, says LTC insurance is most likely to be a good deal for people aged 50 to 55 with a net worth between $1 million and $3 million. That’s enough money to afford the premiums, but not enough to cover the full cost of long-term care. To get a clearer idea of what LTC policy pricing could be for you, check out online calculators like this one from Genworth.

Annuities

Some people choose to fund their long-term care through an annuity, a financial product that pays out a fixed sum every year over a specific period. There are three kinds of annuities you can use for this purpose:

  • Immediate Annuities. With an immediate annuity, you pay a one-time premium, and in exchange the company pays you a fixed monthly benefit. This benefit can last for a specific period of time or the rest of your life. One advantage of an immediate annuity is that anyone can buy one, regardless of health status. This makes it a good option for people who no longer qualify for LTC insurance due to poor health. However, the fixed monthly sum you get might not be enough to meet your long-term care costs, and inflation can eat into its value.
  • Deferred Annuities. You can buy a deferred annuity with either a one-time payment, like an immediate annuity, or a series of regular payments. The money you pay into the annuity earns interest and grows tax-free. It doesn’t start paying out a monthly benefit until a specific date, such as your 65th birthday.
  • Long-Term Care Annuities. A long-term care annuity is a deferred annuity with a long-term care rider. This type of annuity doesn’t pay out until you need the money for long-term care costs. To collect the monthly payment, you must be diagnosed with a medical condition that requires long-term care, such as Alzheimer’s disease. According to HHS, this type of annuity is usually available only to people age 85 or younger who meet certain health requirements. However, according to SmartAsset, it’s sometimes easier to get approved for a long-term care annuity than for LTC insurance.

Depending on your situation, an annuity can be a cheaper way to cover long-term care costs than LTC insurance. However, it typically requires a large up-front payment, which is even higher if you already have health issues. Also, annuities can have a complicated effect on your taxes — HHS recommends consulting a tax professional before you buy one.

Reverse Mortgages

Another way to pay for long-term care services is with a reverse mortgage through LendingTree. This is a special type of home equity loan available only to homeowners age 62 and up, which allows you to get cash out of your home without giving up your title to it.

The house remains your property until you die. At that time, it goes to the bank unless your heirs choose to pay off the amount you’ve borrowed and keep the house. Otherwise, the bank sells the house and keeps the amount you owed at the time of your death. Any cash beyond that balance goes to your heirs.

There are several ways to get cash from a reverse mortgage. You can get one large lump-sum payment, a regular monthly payment, or a line of credit you can draw on as needed. The second two options are most useful for paying long-term care expenses. As long as you spend the payments in the same month you receive them, the money is not taxable income and doesn’t affect any government benefits, such as Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid.


Long-Term Care Planning

Dealing with long-term care can be an emotional and financial burden, both for you and for your family. The best way to lighten that load is to plan ahead. By making your plans early, you’ll have plenty of time to do research, make decisions, and buy traditional long-term care insurance or any other products you need to cover the costs.

1. Research Your Options

Start by looking into the options for advanced care in your area. Check the phone book or do an online search to find out what choices you’re likely to have for assisted living and nursing homes, as well as home health aide and homemaking services. The Genworth Cost of Care Survey tool can help you estimate what these services cost now and what they’re likely to cost in the future. You can also check the costs for services in other areas to figure out whether relocating would save you money.

2. Talk to Your Family

Once you have some idea of available options, talk to your family members and get their input. Set aside a time when you can talk everything over in person without having to rush. Here are some points to discuss:

  • Your Lifestyle. Discuss the way you live now and how you expect to live in the future. For instance, if it’s important to you to stay at home and live independently, let your family know that. Tell them about your priorities, and find out what’s important to them, as well.
  • Your Care Options. Show your family the research you’ve done on care options in your area. Tell them how you’d prefer to receive care and whether you have a specific provider in mind. Also, find out how much of your care your loved ones are able and willing to take on themselves. If you have several relatives who could help you, talk about which specific responsibilities each of them could handle.
  • Your Finances. Once you’ve considered what kind of care you want, talk about what it’s likely to cost. Let your family know how much money you can set aside now toward your future care needs, and find out if any of them are willing to contribute.
  • Medical Care. Make sure your family knows your health history in detail so they can supply it to a doctor if they need to. Also, make sure they know how to contact all of your current medical providers.
  • Legal Issues. Decide who should be responsible for making medical decisions for you if you can’t make them yourself. Use this information to set up a durable power of attorney for the future. Also, talk to your loved ones about your wishes for end-of-life care. If you already have a living will, tell them what it says and where to find it; if you don’t have one, make plans to set one up.

3. Calculate the Cost

Now that you have some idea who will provide care for you when you need it, the next step is to figure out how much it will cost. Even if your family has offered to provide unpaid care for you when you need it, there could still be some cost involved. For instance, you could choose to hire a house cleaning service so your loved ones won’t be responsible for all the housekeeping chores in addition to your care.

If you’re planning to pay for professional long-term care services, think about how long you’re likely to need them. According to the HHS, people who require long-term care use it for an average of three years. This includes an average of two years of in-home care and one year in a long-term care facility. About one in five people need care for more than five years.

To figure out the total amount you’ll need for long-term care costs, multiply the cost by the expected length of care. For instance, suppose a home health aide costs $60,000 per year and assisted living costs $90,000 per year. If you expect to need two years of home health care and one year in assisted living, you must save up a total of $250,000.

If the total cost looks like more than you can possibly afford, look for ways to save on long-term care. This could include relying on family care, negotiating prices, getting help from government programs, or relocating to a cheaper area.

4. Make a Plan to Cover the Costs

Once you have an idea of how much money you’ll need for long-term care, you can start figuring out how to pay for it. If your income and assets are low enough, you can look to Medicaid for help when you need care. State government programs could also provide some help.

By contrast, if you have a lot of liquid assets — that is, cash, retirement savings, and other assets you can easily convert to cash — you might be able to pay for your care out of pocket. Financial planners interviewed by Policygenius say this is most practical for people with a net worth of at least $3 million.

If you’re somewhere in between those two extremes, you’ll need some other way to meet the costs of long-term care. That could mean buying long-term care insurance, investing in an annuity, or taking out a reverse mortgage. A financial planner can help you compare these options and decide which one is best for you.

5. Put Your Plan in Writing

After you’ve come up with a plan to meet your long-term care needs, the final step is to put it in writing. Having a written plan gives your family something to consult if there’s ever any confusion or uncertainty about your wishes.

If you’ve decided to make a living will or set up a durable power of attorney, these documents should be part of your written care plan. Consult a lawyer to help you set these up. Give a copy of the entire plan, including the legal documents, to any relatives it could affect.

Putting your plan in writing doesn’t mean it’s set in stone. If your health or financial situation changes in the future, your long-term plans might need to change too. Update your plan as needed, and make sure your relatives always have the latest version.


Final Word

If you’re young and healthy, you may feel like it’s too soon to start thinking about long-term care. Since you probably won’t need it for many years, you figure you can just wait and deal with it when the time comes.

However, there are several good reasons why now is exactly the right time to think about it. First of all, the future is unpredictable. Even young people can suffer injuries or develop illnesses that keep them off their feet for months.

Also, LTC insurance gets more expensive and harder to obtain as you age. If you decide to wait until you’re 65 before buying a policy, it could already be too late to qualify. And even if you can get one, you’ll pay a much steeper rate for it than you would if you’d bought it 10 years earlier. So it makes sense to start thinking about this type of insurance and decide whether it’s for you before you hit age 55.

Finally, if you put off thinking about long-term care until you actually need it, you’ll have to make a whole lot of important decisions in a hurry. You could end up making choices that aren’t best for you because you don’t have time to weigh the options. By avoiding procrastination and thinking it through now, you can ensure that when — or if — you finally need long-term care, it will be as easy as possible for you and your family.

Source: moneycrashers.com

27 Fun Jobs That Pay Well

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about your job?

For many people, a job is simply a necessity in order to cover the expenses of life, but it’s not enjoyable.

If your job is something that you dread each day, have you ever thought about making a change? There are a lot of fun jobs that pay well, offering a rewarding career rather than something that feels like it’s sucking the life out of you.

While we’re all different and no job will appeal to everyone, there are some good options out there regardless of your own interests and your own personality.

27 fun jobs that pay well

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Average salary of a Video Game Designer: $130,000

If you like video games, what job could be more fun than working as a video game designer? Not only will you be able to work on projects that you enjoy, but you’ll also get the satisfaction of creating games that others love.

Like other design-related jobs, this is a career that allows you to utilize your creativity. If you’re naturally creative, this is the type of job you should have in order to find the most satisfaction in your work.

Job Qualifications:

This is one career where your skills are likely to be more important than your education. Many video game jobs will require a degree of some kind, but it’s possible to start a great career with as little as an associate’s degree.

2. Ethical Hacker

Average salary of an Ethical Hacker: $119,289

An ethical hacker is hired by a company to test the security of a computer system, network, or website. The job involves attempting to hack the system and find weaknesses or vulnerabilities.

While there are certainly some unethical ways to make money as a hacker, this career path offers a lucrative option that will actually help companies instead of hurting them.

Job Qualifications:

Of course, you’ll need plenty of technical knowledge and hacking skills. You may need a degree or certification, although the qualifications will vary depending on the job. You’ll also need to be constantly learning to stay on top of new technology and techniques.

3. Pilot

Average salary of a pilot: $108,921

What could be more fun than flying a plane? Working as a pilot is not only enjoyable, but it’s also a very high-paying job.

Instead of sitting in an office, you can spend your working hours 30,000 feet above the ground. Naturally, this job will involve travel, although the specifics will depend on the routes that are assigned to you. Pilots also tend to work non-traditional hours, which may or may not be appealing to you.

Job Qualifications:

The requirements will vary depending on the job. Pilots for major airlines are typically required to have a college degree, as well as extensive training.

4. Wedding Photographer

Average salary of a Wedding Photographer: $104,417

Photography can be a very competitive industry, as it seems like everyone has at least one friend or family member that does photography as a side job. But wedding photography stands out from other types of photography because it’s much more suitable for professionals than hobbyists.

Wedding photographers do face some pressure in their line of work (you only get one chance to capture the moment) but it can be highly rewarding. The cost of a wedding photography package can easily total thousands of dollars.

Not only are wedding photographers paid well, but they also benefit from enjoyable work. You’ll get to use your creative or artistic side, work with a lot of different people, and provide clients with photos that they’ll cherish for years to come.

Job Qualifications:

Most wedding photographers are self-employed (although you could work for someone else as a second shooter) so there are no specific requirements in terms of education. The most important thing is that you’ll need a quality portfolio of photos in order to land clients. You may need to offer your services for very low prices in order to land your first clients and start to building your portfolio.

5. Software Engineer

Average salary of a Software Engineer: $99,729

If you enjoy working on your own and spending a lot of time at a desk, becoming a software engineer could be an excellent career choice.

Whether this job is fun or not will depend on your own personality and your interests, but for the right person, it’s a great job that is very rewarding.

Although you’ll be spending the majority of your time working on your own to code or develop software, you’ll also need to communicate and collaborate with teammates and colleagues.

Job Qualifications:

Most jobs for software engineers or software developers will require a bachelor’s degree in computer science or some other related field. Of course, aside from the degree, you’ll also need skills in the particular coding language being used for the software.

6. Veterinarian

Average salary of a Veterinarian: $96,624

If you’re an animal lover, a career as a veterinarian is likely to be both fun and rewarding. You’ll get to spend your time helping animals and pet owners, and you’ll probably work with a wide variety of types of animals.

Job Qualifications:

As you might expect, the requirements to become a veterinarian are pretty significant. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree plus completion of a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program.

If you’re interested in this type of job but you’re not able or willing to invest the time and money into the education, it’s possible that you would work another job in a vet’s office to get many of the same benefits, although you won’t be paid as well.

7. Physical Therapist

Average salary of a Physical Therapist: $89,349

Physical therapists help clients with rehabilitation or treatment of chronic issues. If you love working with people and you don’t want to sit at a desk all day, this could be a great career choice for you.

Job Qualifications:

You’ll need a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in order to work as a physical therapist.

8. Air Traffic Controller

Average salary of an Air Traffic Controller: $84,103

Air traffic controllers are responsible for organizing planes that are landing and taking off, in order to keep everyone safe.

Working as an air traffic controller can be an exciting job, but it does come with a lot of responsibility. You’ll need excellent attention to detail as people’s lives will be in your hands every day.

Job Qualifications:

You’ll need formal training in order to work as an air traffic controller, but there are a few different ways that you can get that training. You could get training through the Federal Aviation Administration, or gain experience in the military.

9. Art Director

Average salary of an Art Director: $78,781

If you enjoy using creativity in your work, becoming an art director could be a wise choice of career. Art directors are generally responsible for overseeing things like advertising, publication layout, photography, and more.

It’s similar to a design role, but you’ll be a manager and responsible for overseeing more than doing the actual design work yourself.

Job Qualifications:

Art director jobs are typically senior level and require a combination of a degree and several years of design experience. If you have the relevant experience, this could be a job that you pursue now. If you’re in the early stages of your career, this could be a long-term goal while you build your experience and resume as a designer.

10. Voice Actor

Average salary of a Voice Actor: $76,297

As a voice actor or voiceover artist, you’ll be reading a script and recording audio to be used in a variety of different ways. Your projects could involve things like creating audiobooks, recording sales videos, creating commercials, and much more.

With the amount of audio and video content being produced these days, working as a voice actor is a great job and these skills are in demand.

Job Qualifications:

Many voice actors work as freelancers, so there are no set requirements in terms of education or experience. If you have some skills, you may be able to start landing clients and building your portfolio. The clips in your portfolio will be the most important factor in your ability to land clients and make money as a voice actor.

11. Web Developer

Average salary of a web developer: $75,073

A job as a web developer is fairly similar to the opportunity that we’ve already discussed for software engineers. Instead of software, you’ll be coding websites or web-based apps.

Job Qualifications:

The qualifications will vary depending on the job. Some development positions will require a degree, however, your coding ability will be more important. You may be able to land a quality job even if you don’t have a degree by having a strong portfolio.

Working as a freelance web developer is also an option. You can either focus on growing your own business, or freelance for the purpose of gaining experience and proving your ability in order to help with landing a job.

12. Helicopter Pilot

Average salary of a Commercial Helicopter Pilot: $67,540

Flying an airplane isn’t the only option if you want to work as a pilot. Helicopters can be even more fun to fly than jets, and the income potential is pretty good.

Job Qualifications:

To work as a helicopter pilot, you’ll need training from an FAA-approved flight school, or you could get the necessary training in the military.

13. Virtual Assistant

Average salary of a Virtual Assistant: $67,115

A virtual assistant will perform administrative tasks remotely, from home or wherever you have an internet connection. The specific tasks can vary widely depending on what the client needs.

Most VAs will work for several different clients, so it’s possible to get a lot of variety in your work. One of the factors that makes this job so appealing is the flexibility. Not only can you work from home, but you can also set your own hours and work as much or as little as you want. This job is equally well suited for part-time and full-time work.

Job Qualifications:

The best way to make money as a VA is to freelance and find your own clients. There are VA jobs available, but they tend to be lower paying. If you want to earn a better income, you should freelance rather than working as an employee.

30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success is a popular course that teaches you everything you need to know in order to start making a great income as a VA.

14. Freelance Writer

Average salary of a Freelance Writer: $63,213

Continuing with another job that can be done from anywhere, working as a freelance writer offers a lot of perks. It’s a flexible job that can be done part-time or full-time, you can use your existing experience or expertise, or choose to focus on topics that interest you.

There is plenty of work available and skilled writers are able to make a great income.

Job Qualifications:

You don’t need any specific education or experience to work as a freelance writer, although writing skills are obviously important. There are entry-level gigs available for those who are just getting started, but you’ll need to build a portfolio and demonstrate your abilities to land the highest-paying jobs.

Check out the course 30 Days Or Less To Freelance Writing Success.

15. Cruise Director

Average salary of a Cruise Director: $63,185

For those who enjoy traveling and entertaining others, working as a cruise director could be a dream job. As a cruise director, you’ll be responsible for the entertainment and activities on a cruise ship.

You’ll manage a staff of workers and organize events to entertain cruise guests. It’s a job that involves a lot of interaction with people, and it can be a lot of fun.

Job Qualifications:

To work as a cruise director, you’ll typically need a bachelor’s degree as well as experience with event planning. You may be interested in gaining experience with other roles on the ship that would prepare you and help you to establish qualifications to be hired as a cruise director.

16. Web Designer

Average salary of a web designer: $60,202

Earlier, we talked about working as a web developer. While developers are responsible for the coding, web designers focus more on the visual aspects. Some web designers also do HTML and CSS coding, while others strictly work on the visual design.

Many web design jobs are remote, so this is another opportunity that can be done from anywhere, depending on the job.

Job Qualifications:

Some web design jobs may require a degree, but your work experience and design ability will be more important than education to most employers. It’s also possible to freelance or even start your own agency, so you don’t have to wait for someone to give you a job in order to become a web designer.

17. Landscape Architect

Average salary of a Landscape Architect: $59,868

Working as a landscape architect is another creative job. You’ll be designing outdoor spaces that people use and love, so it can be a very fun and rewarding job.

You could be designing for residential clients, outdoor spaces for businesses, parks, or other outdoor spaces.

Job Qualifications:

Typically, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture in order to qualify for a job. Obviously, your experience and portfolio will also play an important role in landing this type of job.

18. DJ

Average salary of a DJ: $58,267

As a disc jockey or DJ, you’ll get to work at fun events and provide entertainment to people. If you love music and being at weddings, parties, and other events, this could be the perfect job for you.

Fun jobs that pay well - DJ

Job Qualifications:

There are no official requirements to become a DJ and since many DJs are self-employed, anyone can start a business and go into this line of work.

19. Sommelier

Average salary of a Sommelier: $56,061

If you love wine, what job could be better than working as a sommelier? As the wine expert, your responsibilities may include things like creating a wine list for a restaurant or making wine recommendations to customers.

Job Qualifications:

There are some organizations that offer certification as a sommelier, although certification is not absolutely essential in order to work in this type of job. You’ll need extensive knowledge of wine and ideally some experience in the industry, which might involve working under another sommelier to gain that experience.

20. Librarian

Average salary of a Librarian: $55,395

While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you consider fun jobs, working as a librarian can be a great choice for the right person.

If you love books and enjoy working in a quiet environment, this could be the job for you.

Job Qualifications:

Most head librarian jobs will require a bachelor’s degree and possibly even a master’s degree. However, if you don’t already have the required education, there are other jobs at a library that don’t require a degree.

21. Magician

Average salary of a Magician: $54,071

If you love entertaining and delighting others, why not work as a magician? Performing magic or illusions can be a lot of fun while allowing you to use your skills.

Job Qualifications:

There are no formal requirements to become a magician and no education is needed. Instead, you’ll need the ability to perform tricks and to entertain.

Many magicians are self-employed, but you might be able to gain valuable experience by working as an assistant for another magician.

22. Social Media Manager

Average salary of a Social Media Manager: $50,088

If you already spend hours a day on social media, you should consider working as a social media manager. You would be responsible for managing the social presence of your employer or clients on sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and other social networks.

A growing number of businesses rely on advertising on social networks like Facebook. You can get paid to set up and manage ads for clients, and this work can be quite lucrative if you’re good at getting results for your clients.

Bobby Hoyt’s Facebook Side Hustle Course will teach you everything you need to know to start your own business managing Facebook ads for clients in your local area.

Job Qualifications:

If you’re looking for employment as a social media manager, you may need a degree. However, you could work as a freelancer or start your own agency regardless of your education. Ultimately, your ability to produce results is much more important (and valuable) than a degree.

23. Restaurant Critic

Average salary of a Restaurant Critic: $50,004

What could be better than getting paid to eat good food? You would be visiting different restaurants on a constant basis, trying the food, and writing your review.

Job Qualifications:

Most food critic jobs will require a degree in journalism or a similar field. However, if you have the desire to become a food critic but you don’t have the education, you could start your own food blog and work on building up your audience. You may get to the point of being able to do it full-time, or the blog may provide you with qualifications that help you to land a job.

24. Event Planner

Average salary of an Event Planner: $49,992

As an event planner, you would get to work with other people planning events like weddings, conferences, parties, and other types of events.

If you enjoy planning and being around people, this could be a great career choice for you.

Job Qualifications:

A bachelor’s degree in hospitality can help, but is not necessarily required. You could find employment as an event planner or start your own business.

25. Makeup Artist

Average salary of a Freelance Makeup Artist: $49,330

As a makeup artist, you may work at weddings or other events, with models, for theater and film products, etc. You could work as an employee or start your own business as a freelancer.

Job Qualifications:

While there aren’t formal requirements to become a makeup artist, licensing or certification can help. Becoming a licensed cosmetologist will help to demonstrate your expertise.

26. Personal Trainer

Average salary of a Personal Trainer: $48,853

If you’re into fitness and you love working with people, especially one-on-one, working as a personal trainer could be a great job for you. You’ll be responsible for developing a training program to meet the needs of the client, as well as providing instruction, encouragement, and motivation.

Job Qualifications:

You’ll need a high school degree and certification by an accredited program. You may be able to find a job as a personal trainer through a local gym, or you could start your own business and find clients on your own.

27. Graphic Designer

Average salary of a Graphic Design $48,283

If you’re artistic and you have some design skills, working as a graphic designer would be a natural choice. Graphic designers can work on a wide variety of projects like logo design, brochure design, advertising design, packaging design, and more.

Job Qualifications:

While your portfolio will be the most important factor in landing work, many graphic design jobs will also require a relevant degree. If you don’t have a degree and you want to start using your abilities right away, you could work as a freelance graphic designer.

There Are Plenty Of Fun Jobs That Pay Well

As you can see, there are plenty of jobs that provide excellent income potential while also allowing you to enjoy your work.

It really comes down to your own interests and skills, so find a job that would be a good option for you and take action. With these fun jobs that pay well being listed, you should have at least a few options to consider.

27 Fun Jobs That Pay Well

Source: biblemoneymatters.com

The Average Salary of a Physical Therapist

The Average Salary of a Physical Therapist – SmartAsset

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The average salary of a physical therapist is $84,020 per year.

If you’ve ever undergone physical therapy you know how important the work of physical therapists is. The job of a physical therapist is one that requires high levels of skill and training, as well as compassion and emotional intelligence. Let’s take a closer look at the profession and examine the average salary of a physical therapist. 

Find out now: How much should I save for retirement? 

The Average Salary of a Physical Therapist: The Basics

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary of a physical therapist is $84,020 per year, $40.40 per hour. That’s based on 2015 data. There were  210,900 physical therapists in the country as of 2014, but that number is expected to grow rapidly.

The job outlook for physical therapists (the percent by which the field will grow between 2014 and 2024) is 34%, according to BLS projections. That’s much faster than the average rate of growth for all professions (7%). It’s also faster than the job outlook for other in-demand medical professions. The job outlook for nurses is for 16% growth between 2014 and 2024. The job outlook for dentists is for 18% growth.

Check out our income tax calculator. 

Where Physical Therapists Earn the Most

National-level data on the average salary of a physical therapist obscures regional variation. So where do physical therapists make the most? According to BLS data, the top-paying state for physical therapists is Nevada, where physical therapists earn an annual mean wage of $121,980. Other high-paying states for physical therapists are Alaska ($100,560), Texas ($96,970), California ($95,300) and New Jersey ($95,150).

The top-paying metro area for physical therapists is Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV, where physical therapists earn an annual mean wage of $135,390. Other high-paying metro areas for physical therapists are Merced, CA ($130,220); Napa, CA ($125,970); Brownsville-Harlingen, TX ($124,700) and Laredo, TX ($119,310).

Related Article: The Best Jobs for Meeting a Mate

Becoming a Physical Therapist

To enter the physical therapy profession, physical therapists need a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. States also require physical therapists to be licensed to practice their profession.

Physical therapists who are committed to a particular specialty within the field can apply for board certification from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS). The ABPTS offers board-certification in nine physical therapy specialty areas: Cardiovascular and Pulmonary, Clinical Electrophysiology, Geriatrics, Neurology, Oncology, Orthopaedics, Pediatrics, Sports and Women’s Health.

Attaining the credentials necessary for a career in physical therapy is an expensive undertaking. Like other degrees, physical therapy degrees have increased in cost in recent years, leading to higher levels of student debt among physical therapists.

The American Physical Therapy Association lists the costs of a DPT degree. Public in-state tuition for physical therapy averages $14,427, but ranges from $3,387 to $45,340. Public out-of-state tuition averages $29,157, but ranges from $8,425 to $65,156. Finally, private tuition averages $31,716, but ranges from $19,500 to $94,020.

Bottom Line

If helping people heal, eliminate pain and improve their mobility appeals to you, becoming a physical therapist might be the right career move for you. The education and training required of physical therapists is rigorous, but the salaries that physical therapists earn are high and the job outlook is very strong. As the population of the U.S. ages, physical therapists will be in greater demand than ever. The recent opiate crisis is also likely to refocus attention on non-pharmaceutical methods of pain management such as physical therapy. In short, becoming a physical therapist is a solid career move.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages, ©iStock.com/kzenon, ©iStock.com/kali9

Amelia Josephson Amelia Josephson is a writer passionate about covering financial literacy topics. Her areas of expertise include retirement and home buying. Amelia’s work has appeared across the web, including on AOL, CBS News and The Simple Dollar. She holds degrees from Columbia and Oxford. Originally from Alaska, Amelia now calls Brooklyn home.
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