Genworth Financial has published new research on American consumers’ ignorance about long-term care costs and financing options.
Being able to pay for care is adults’ greatest concern when it comes to aging, Genworth said, but just one-fifth of the participants in a recent survey the company sponsored told pollsters they had taken steps to prepare for long-term care expenses.
In addition, only half of those surveyed said they would take personal financial responsibility for their own care as they age.
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The others said they plan to let their children or other relatives, the government or a faith-based group worry about their care. Some said they had no idea who would provide their care.
“As these findings suggest, many people will not be prepared financially to handle the impact of growing older, which means the burden of caring for them will fall on their families, friends and communities,” David O’Leary, the president of Genworth’s U.S. life insurance division, said in a statement. “That’s why it’s so important for people to talk to their families about who will care for them, educate themselves about the cost of care and develop a plan for how they will pay for it.”
Genworth conducted the consumer survey from July through September. The participants were 1,200 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.
Genworth, a provider of long-term care insurance, and of annuities that can be used to pay for long-term care services, has promoted long-term care planning efforts over the years by sponsoring many long-term care surveys and studies. The company recently published a report on accelerating U.S. long-term care services costs. The report includes data on the states in which care is most expensive and least expensive.
Genworth timed the release of the new results to coincide with preparations for the upcoming Long-Term Care Awareness Month campaign. The campaign starts Nov. 1.
O’Leary said the inertia of the consumers who participated in the new Genworth survey may be explained in part by their failure to understand how much care costs and which costs are covered by various funding sources, including government programs.