Many Americans agree they’ll probably need long term care at some point following retirement, but they are failing to provide for it, two new studies by Prudential Financial conclude.
Twenty percent expect they might need nursing home care in the first 10 years of retirement, and 40% think they may need it in the second decade, according to a survey of Americans aged 30-69 by Prudential, Newark, N.J.
In the other survey, 70% of near-retirees said fast-rising health care costs in the past 5 years have hurt their prospects for a comfortable retirement.
Among those who expected to need nursing home care in retirement, more than 90% worried that they could run out of retirement savings.
For those closest to retirement, their most important goals are to remain financially independent and not become a burden to loved ones. Of this group, 70% say it is “very important” to be able to afford medical care or nursing home care if needed.
Yet many of those who could need LTC don’t understand it too well, the study found. Even among those who are on the verge of retiring, just 20% claim to have a good understanding, and nearly 50% say they need help understanding coverage and options.
Asked to rank their most important financial goals, 70% of near-retirees cited affording any needed medical care after retirement, while 78% cited not becoming a financial burden to loved ones and 90%, not running out of money in retirement.
To Eric Holtzman, vice president of Prudential’s LTC insurance business, such conclusions point up the central problem for producers: Many potential clients think they will need LTC, but they aren’t seeing it as a retirement planning issue.