Older boomers and younger members of the Silent Generation are over-confident about their ability to pay for long term care.

Researchers at the Lincoln Retirement Institute, an arm of Lincoln National Corp., Philadelphia, say 59% of boomers think others should prepare for the possibility of needing long term care by buying insurance, but only 35% expect to make LTC insurance part of their own preparations.

The researchers drew on a survey of about 1,000 U.S. residents ages 50 to 70, with household incomes of at least $75,000 or total household financial assets, excluding real estate, greater than $250,000.

About 54% of the participants said they would protect themselves from LTC costs by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and 39% said they would try to prepare for LTC costs by saving more money for retirement.

About 40% of those surveyed estimated that the average 65 year-old has a 60% chance of needing long term care for 3 months or more at some time, but only 30% of the participants said they themselves run the same risk of needing long term care.

About 49% of the participants said, incorrectly, that they could use Medicare or health insurance to pay for long term care.