A new study from Northwestern Mutual shows a disconnect between those that believe there is a need for long-term care and those actually planning for their own future long-term care.
Three-quarters of Americans believe that as people live longer, the need for long-term care planning is greater, according to Northwestern Mutual’s 2014 Long-Term Care Study released on Wednesday.
“Our study confirms that long-term care can have significant financial and lifestyle implications,” said Steve Sperka, vice president of long-term care at Northwestern Mutual, in a statement. “As the need continues to grow — the U.S. government estimates that 70% of Americans who reach the age of 65 will require some form of LTC — a disciplined approach to planning for your own longevity needs as well as those of loved ones should be a priority, not an option.”
However, the percentage of people addressing long-term care needs within their retirement plans is drastically lower. About one in four (26%) of those surveyed say family members have addressed long-term care needs within their retirement plans.
Others are relying on other methods for their long-term care — savings, friends or family, retirement communities or long-term care insurance, according to the study.
Of the 61% of Americans that said they have an idea of how they will address their long-term care needs, slightly fewer than 1 in 4 have long-term care insurance or are considering it.
Most are relying on savings and friends or family. According to the study, about one in three consumers (35%) is saving for her own future long-term care needs, while 19% said they “anticipate my friends/family will take care of me.”
But there are still about two in five consumers that have not taken steps to plan, of which 12% said they “do not plan to address long-term care needs.”
“The good news is that people do have long-term care options, and the first step is a candid conversation with a partner, parent or relative,” Sperka said in a statement.