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Now You Can Add Long-Term Care to Death and Taxes

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Americans aren’t prepared for the costs of getting old it seems.

There is a wide disconnect between how many Americans will need long-term care versus what people actually think they’ll need. Today, 70% of Americans will need some type of long-term care, but only 46% believe they will need it, according to a new study by the Moll Law Group, a personal injury firm that surveyed 2,000 people to see how prepared Americans were for the realities of long-term care.

(Related: 15 Most Expensive States for Long-Term Care: 2017)

Another misconception is out-of-pocket cost of long-term care. The study found that the actual out-of-pocket cost of long-term care is more than $47,000, while many Americans believe it is almost half that, $25,350.

And $47,000 is the low-bar of yearly cost per stay: assisted living costs may be $45,000, but semi-private nursing home will be $85,775, while private nursing home is $97,455, according to the study, which was conducted by Digital Third Coast. The study was made up of 57.7% male and 42.3% female, while 56% were age 35 and younger, 33% were 36 to 55 years old, and 11% were 56 and older.

Most Americans — 64% — have nothing saved for long-term care. In addition, 67% aren’t able to contribute to a parent’s long-term care. The study found that Americans intend to save about $657 per month for long-term care.

Another discrepancy is the age that people believe they will be when they need any kind of long-term care. Most of study participants believe its 79 years old, while it’s actually  73 years old, according to the study. Women will need long-term care on average for 3.7 years, while men will need it for 2.2 years.

American also have concerns about putting relatives in long-term care, the study found. For example, 73% are concerned about physical/sexual mental abuse, 41% found the cost was more than expected, and 48% hadn’t expected to put loved ones in long-term care. Only 33% actually have had conversations with family about when care is necessary.

Quality of care, cost and proximity to family were the three top factors people look for in long-term care facilities.

(Related: 15 Most Expensive States for Long-Term Care: 2017)


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