U.S. residents are doing little to prepare for paying either for acute health care or for long term health care in retirement.[@@]

Researchers at Prudential Financial Inc., Newark, N.J., have gathered data supporting that conclusion from a recent survey of near-retirees and another survey of U.S. adults ages 30 to 69.

The survey of near-retirees found that 70% believe rising health care costs have hurt their prospects for having a comfortable retirement.

The survey of adults between the ages of 30 and 69, found that 20% think they might need nursing home care during the first 10 years of retirement, and that 40% think they might need long term care sometime during the second decade.

More than 90% of the survey participants who expect to need nursing home care in retirement fear that they could run out of retirement savings.

About 70% of the participants who were closest to retirement said it is “very important” to be able to afford medical care or nursing home care.

Researchers found, however, that only 20% of the survey participants who are on the verge of retiring claim to have a good understanding of LTC insurance, and about 50% said they need help understanding the product.

Asked to rank their most important financial goals, 70% of near retirees cited affording any needed medical care after retirement, and 78% cited not becoming a financial burden to loved ones. About 90% named not running out of money in retirement.