They don't know what they don't know

The message still isn't getting through, and boomers are in for trouble. A survey of over 1,000 adults between 40 and 70 found that while most understand what long-term care is and how much it costs, few are prepared for catastrophic expenses.

According to the MetLife Mature Market Institute, only 18 percent of respondents know rates are based on age, and two-thirds were unable to identify which programs or insurance policies pay for long-term care. Between 60 percent and 70 percent of people over 65 will require long-term care services at some point in their lives - something only 36 percent of survey respondents were aware of.

"Many middle-aged and older Americans fail to grasp long-term care's fundamental concepts, setting the stage for difficulties in the future," said Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute, which administered the survey. "Still others mistakenly believe they will be covered by resources that do not pay for such care. And, there is the common misconception that 'this won't happen to me.'"

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