While many people picture retirement as an opportunity to relax, retirees can face many challenges, including the potential need for long-term care. A 2022 report from the Department of Health and Human Services projects that over half (56%) of Americans turning 65 today will develop a disability serious enough to require long-term care and, for some, the costs of long-term care may impact their retirement savings.
Long-term care refers to a range of services and support designed to meet needs associated with Activities of Daily Living (ADL) like bathing, dressing or eating. Options for such care include in-home care, assisted living facilities and nursing homes.
“As the saying goes, ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’,” says Jared Nepa, senior vice president, head of Life and MoneyGuard distribution, Lincoln Financial Group. “Many people wait until they’re older to begin long-term care planning. As the need for long-term care and the associated costs continue to rise, there are advantages to starting to plan when you’re younger and healthier.”
Newly released data from VERSTA Research and Lincoln Financial Group (the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation and its affiliates) explores the attitudes of American consumers and financial professionals around long-term care. Based on the survey responses, Lincoln recommends asking yourself the following questions:
What are my personal experiences with long-term care?
Three out of five (60%) Americans surveyed have provided care or have a close contact who has. Four out of five (80%) of those unpaid caregivers admit they didn’t know how demanding caregiving would be and agree that long-term care insurance would have made their role easier.
Do I know the care costs for the area in which I plan to retire?
The cost of care can vary greatly across the United States and a long-term care event could have a significant financial impact. Just one-third of consumers (32%) see long-term care as one of the biggest risks to their retirement savings while half of financial professionals surveyed (50%) cite it as the top concern.
What role do I envision my family or friends playing when it comes to an extended care need?
The majority (80%) of Americans surveyed shared that even if they had a professional long-term caregiver, they would want a family member to help manage their care. If you have an expectation for caregiving support, have you discussed it with your loved ones and agreed on a plan?
Have I incorporated potential long-term care costs into my retirement planning
Only a third of survey respondents (36%) feel confident they will have the financial resources to pay for potential long-term care expenses. With a variety of funding solutions available to mitigate long-term care risks, a financial professional can help you develop a comprehensive plan. In fact, most financial professionals surveyed (94%) shared that their clients who have planned for long-term care expenses feel more confident about their financial future.
Taking stock of your situation, talking to your family and planning now can help ensure everyone is prepared for the emotional and financial decisions that may arise in the years ahead.
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