A survey by John Hancock early this year discovered that many people close to retirement are ill prepared for the possibility of needing long-term care. And that could lead to a life-changing event that they had never imaged.
It seems that while making sure they will be able to afford good care is important, they cannot bring themselves to the point of addressing the issue.
The odds of ever needing long-term care are high … 35% and 55% depending upon definitions for someone 65-years-old.
The average cost for a semi-private room in a nursing home: About $75,000 a year. And if it increases 4% a year, you’re looking at more than $164,000 a year in 20 years.
If you are turning age 65, you are entering the high-incidence years for needing long-term care. So it’s obvious that with this level of risk and cost, you should not ignore planning for it.
Here are a few key points the John Hancock survey found:
The majority of people know there is a significant likelihood they will need long-term care at some time in their lives. Only 6% believe this eventuality is not at all likely. And 52% agree that it is irresponsible not to plan for your own long-term care needs. Yet only 15% have a plan on how to pay for it.
The majority think long-term care insurance is the best way to handle the cost, although 89% don’t own a policy.
Less than a third felt they understood Medicaid. But more than half hope to qualify for the government program.
Three-quarters of the survey respondents expect that the benefits covered by Medicaid will be cut back within the next 10 years. Moreover, for most people it is important they receive good quality care in a nursing home, and three-quarters do not expect this level of care in a Medicaid-approved facility.
To sum it up, consumers know the risk of their health changing as they age is high. They don’t want to be a burden to loved ones, they want the best care possible, and they want to preserve what they’ve worked a life time to accumulate.
But … they aren’t taking action.