Long-term Care Awareness Study Reveals Americans’ Lack of Preparedness Related to Financing Long-Term Care

Northwestern Mutual’s Long-Term Care Awareness Study suggests that many Americans have work to do in order to be financially prepared for the costs of their future long-term care. Northwestern Mutual surveyed a nationally representative sample of 2,500 adults (18 or older) on their understanding of how they will finance their long-term care needs. The survey suggests significant education is needed to ensure Americans are prepared to meet their long-term care financial needs.

Just over 40 percent of those surveyed indicated they were saving for their long-term care needs.  Over half of those surveyed anticipate needing assistance to meet financial expenses if they need long-term care; nearly two in 10 said they were “not at all sure” if they would need assistance meeting financial expenses. Since 21 percent are “not at all sure” what long-term care services/options would be available to them should they need them, it’s not particularly unexpected that their financial understanding may also be lacking

Gender and age proved to be differentiators in the respondents’ opinions on a variety of topics related to long-term care awareness. Younger Americans may need additional education regarding the degree to which they should be saving.  Those aged 18-34 consistently underestimated the costs of long-term care and believed that long-term care “was only something senior citizens need to think about.” The study noted that men are significantly more likely to be saving for future long-term care needs than women (47 vs. 37 percent) and women are significantly more likely to be unsure how they plan to address their long-term care needs.

The study is available at Northwestern Mutual’s website.

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