Survey Finds Many Americans Fail to Conduct Long-Term Care Planning

The results of a new long-term care planning survey were announced this week that shed light on both the perceptions and planning of Americans. As reported in Financial Advisor, the data suggests that a growing number of residents are aware of the need to conduct long-term care planning, but a majority admit that they still fail to plan as properly as they should. Specifically, the study found that eight out of ten Americans believe that it is vital to prepare ahead of time for the assistance they might need as they age. Yet, nearly half those respondents claimed that in their own case they remain unsure how they will provide for their long-term care when they reach their golden years.

Long-term care costs are high and rising. New York elder care in particular has often been noted as one of the most expensive in the country. Many local residents seem to understand the high costs. Almost two-thirds of survey respondents in the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company survey believe that long-term care costs will rise faster than their savings, and they expect costs to double in the next fourteen years. Yet, even though most community members acknowledge the cost issues, fewer than one out of three survey respondents were actually saving for their long-term care or had plans in place to ensure that they would have access to the resources they need to receive the care that they prefer. As one survey organizer summarized, “There is a clear disconnect between what Americans understand about long-term care needs and the steps they’ve taken to prepare.”

With many local residents struggling to deal with their daily short-term issues, our New York elder law attorneys understand how long-term care planning can seem like a luxury more than a necessity. Yet, it remains unwise to treat these affairs as something that can be handled down the road. Preparing for these potential costs now often results in immense financial savings later. As the survey data reveals, this is particularly true for women. Women were 25% more likely than men to have acted as a caregiver for another. Women continue to live longer than men–five years longer on average according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Unlike their male partners, there is less chance that they will have a spouse to care for them at home. Therefore woman have much to gain from ensuring that plans are in place so that they can maintain their lifestyle while retired. Yet only 24% of women are saving for their future needs as compared to 32% of men.

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