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Wealthy Also Fear Retirement Health Costs

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Even wealthy people worry that they may not have enough money to pay for health care in retirement, an insurer reports.

Researchers at the Phoenix Companies Inc., Hartford, say 55% of the 1,900 high-net-worth U.S. adults they surveyed describe themselves as being “very concerned” about post-retirement health care costs.

Each participant had a net worth of $1 million or more, excluding the value of the primary residence.

For 17% of the participants, the cost of long term care is the biggest single concern, and 44% fear LTC costs could wipe out their wealth, according to Walter Zultowski, a senior vice president at Phoenix.

Only 4% of the participants said protecting against LTC costs is their single most important financial goal, but 85% said protecting against LTC costs is one of their financial objectives, Zultowski says.

Among those citing LTC cost preparation as a financial goal, 29% said they already have achieved that objective, 34% said they still are working on that objective, and 22% said they plan to work on it.

Only 23% of the participants said they now own individual LTC insurance policies.

The LTC policy ownership rate is about 20% for participants under age 55, 24% for participants ages 55 to 64, and 29% for participants ages 65 and over.

About 8% of the participants said they plan to buy LTC policies within the next 3 years.