Many older U.S. consumers would rather not finance a long term care (LTC) plan at all, but others would prefer to have LTC arrangements squared away before they reach age 65.

The Wellesley, Mass.-based arm of Sun Life Financial Inc. (TSX:SLF) came up with data supporting that idea recently when it commissioned a survey of 1,015 U.S. residents ages 50 and older, including 401 with at least $500,000 in investable assets.

Sun Life found that only about half of the survey participants said they worry about LTC costs, but they also found that only 16% of the participants feel they are financially prepared to pay for long term care.

Participants also were asked about when they think consumers should have LTC financing arranged.

About 33% of the participants with more than $500,000 in investable assets said they already have made LTC financing arrangements.

When Sun Life looked at the 269 high-asset participants with no LTC arrangements, it found that 46% of those participants said they do not think they should ever long term care financed.

The pollsters found 145 high-asset participants who have not yet made LTC financing arrangements but eventually want to do so.

About 58% of those participants said they think they should have their LTC plans financed by age 65 or later – but 42% said they would like to have LTC plans financed by age 64, and 7.6% said they really think they should have had their LTC plans financed before they turned age 50.

- Allison Bell

Other LTC insurance coverage from National Underwriter Life & Health: