The next financial crisis
As many of us are still recovering from the current financial meltdown and consumed with how to recoup the lost assets, there’s another financial crisis looming–caring for the elderly.
Howard Gleckman, a senior researcher at The Urban Institute, has written a fascinating book—Caring for our Parents, published by St. Martin’s Press–that shines a bright spotlight on long term care and the monetary consequences unfolding under the current long term care system. Gleckman reveals some staggering numbers:
- Nearly 70 percent of all 65-year-olds will need some long term care before they die.
- The costs to care for them is massive–more than $200 billion annually.
- Most paid long term care in the United States comes from Medicaid (further weighing it down).
- Less than 10 percent of assistance is paid by private long term care insurance.
- As the baby boomers retire, today’s long term care challenge will balloon into a full-blown social and financial crisis. Twenty million baby boomers will need LTC by mid-century. (The question then becomes: Who’s going to pay for it? How is it going to be financed?)
In short, the book is a wake-up call to the general public and the government, and an opportunity for advisors.