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EBRI: LTC Funding Bravado Persists

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Worker confidence in having enough money to pay for long-term care (LTC) expenses in retirement seems to be rising and falling along with the overall health of the economy.

The U.S. economy seemed a little stronger in 2011 than in 2010, and a little weaker earlier this year than around the same time last year. LTC confidence levels have been moving roughly in sync with overall economic confidence levels.

Analysts at the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), Washington, have published LTC funding confidence data in their latest annual retirement confidence survey report.

EBRI conducts the survey together with Mathew Greenwald & Associates Inc., Washington, and support from many organizations with an interest in aging, including more than a dozen life insurers, benefits consulting firms, and financial services companies that have life underwriting or sales operations.

For the latest survey, the survey team polled 1,262 U.S. adults over the telephone in January. The sample included 1,003 workers and 259 retirees. All participants were ages 25 and older.

Only 9% of the workers surveyed said they were very confident that they would have enough money to pay for LTC expenses in retirement. The percentage was unchanged from last year, and the level of firm LTC funding confidence is at the lowest level that it has been since 1998.

But 37% of the workers said they were still very or somewhat confident about having enough money to pay for LTC in retirement, down from 39% in 2011 but unchanged from 37% in 2010.

More than a third of the workers said they were confident about their ability to cover LTC costs even though only about 10% have LTC insurance and only 31% said they have more than $50,000 in total savings and investments.

The percentage with more than $50,000 in savings and investments was down from 33% in 2010 and 2011 and down from from 36% in 2009.


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