Last year, ahead of Long Term Care Awareness Month in November, Genworth put out a survey asking for respondents’ thoughts on long-term care, financing, and anxiety around aging. Unsurprisingly, the greatest fear around long-term care was not having enough money to pay for it.
It’s a relatable concern. Long-term care costs can exceed $75,000 a year, or $6,250 per month. And, as the price of just about everything goes up over time, so, too, does long-term care, which is expected to rise as much as 5 percent annually.
According to Genworth’s findings, it seems that consumers have an innate understanding that long-term care is beyond expensive—even beyond the means of high earners or the most diligent savers. It’s a known burden or worry. But what’s missing is a deeper understanding of the alternatives. Genworth also found that:
- Two-thirds of adults expect the government to cover their long-term care costs.
- Nearly two-thirds of respondents didn’t understand what long-term care insurance covered.
These points back up several issues we run into time and time again. Consumers mistakenly believe that Medicare or Medicaid will pay for whatever they may need down the road. In reality, Medicare will only pay for certain types of medical care or treatment, and Medicaid is not available to everyone. Others assume a family member will care for them, which may be the case, but still passes the burden and expense of long-term care on to loved ones.
Misunderstandings also exist around what exactly long-term care insurance pays for. Some believe it only covers nursing homes—in effect, the most expensive and comprehensive type of long-term care. In reality, Long Term Care insurance covers adult day care, assisted living, and other forms of care, meaning the chances of your someday needing it are more likely.
Raising awareness now and every day
It’s our job at the Long Term Care Planning Group to not only dispel some of the myths surrounding long-term care insurance, but to raise awareness as well—now in November and throughout the year. Long Term Care insurance can protect your hard-earned assets, like your home, your income, and your retirement funds. It can help you plan for the kind of future you want, as well as for the unexpected. And it can better allow you to maintain strong relationships with family members, removing the financial burden from what can be a stressful situation.
In its survey, Genworth found that the majority of those questioned—four out of five—hadn’t taken any concrete actions toward financing potential long-term care expenses. Alarmingly, baby boomers were the least likely to think they’d need long-term care, and Gen X-ers were the least likely to have taken steps toward securing future financing. But there is a bright spot when it comes to growing awareness: millennials. Though they were the youngest group of adults surveyed, they were the most likely to have planned for future long-term care expenses.
If you need help figuring out an approach that works for you and your financial plan, The Long Term Care Planning Group can help. Contact us today at 678.814.5088 or online.