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Affluent older Americans with financial advisors are a lot more likely to talk about long-term care (LTC) costs with someone than similar Americans without advisors.

Here’s how the numbers look for affluent older Americans with advisors, and spouses:

  • 50% have talked about LTC planning with their spouses.
  • 43% have talked about the topic with professional financial advisors.
  • 9% have talked about the topic with insurance agents.
  • 31% have not talked about the topic with anyone.

Here’s how the numbers look for affluent older Americans with without advisors:

  • 42% have talked about LTC planning with their spouses.
  • 3% have talked about the topic with professional financial advisors.
  • 5% have talked about the topic with insurance agents.
  • 48% have not talked about the topic with anyone.

The survey results show that, for participants without financial advisors, “no one” is the top LTC cost conversation partner.

(Related: Soaring Health Care Costs ‘Terrify’ Affluent Americans: Nationwide)

Analysts from the Harris Poll have presented those figures in a summary of results from a survey commissioned by and distributed by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. The survey was conducted in February.

Who Participated in the Nationwide LTC Survey?

The sample included 1,007 U.S. adults ages 50 and older with a household income of $150,000 or more, including 522 affluent adults who have provided, or still provide, long-term care for a friend or family member, without being paid for the care.

About half of  the participants said they had professional financial advisors.

Analysts did not indicate how many of the financial advisors might be licensed to sell insurance.

How Did Agents Do in the Nationwide LTC Conversation Partner Rankings?

The results show that insurance agents identified in the survey as insurance agents ranked high on the list of participants’ LTC cost conversation partners.

For all participants, agents ranked fourth, after spouses, financial advisors and the participants’ children. They ranked ahead of physicians, co-workers and other family members.

For the participants with advisors, agents ranked third as LTC cost conversation partners, after spouses and financial advisors.

What Are Affluent Older Adults Who Keep Quiet About LTC Costs Thinking About the Future?

About 17% of the participants with advisors who are not talking about LTC costs said they are already planning for those costs.

About 27% of the participants without advisors who are not talking about LTC costs said they are planning for those costs.

About 17% of the participants, including 13% of the participants without advisors and 21% of the participants with advisors, said they are not yet planning for LTC costs.

How Can Financial Professionals Break the Ice With Affluent Older Americans?

About 72% of the participants in the survey said they wish they understood Medicare better.

Only 32% understand LTC planning well enough to recognize that the Affordable Care Act provides no coverage for long-term care services.

What Might Surprise You the Most About the Results?

Even though all of the survey participants were in households with income of $150,000 or more, some of the participants said they had trouble making ends meet.

About 29% of the women in the sample said they would have trouble with $1,000 in unexpected expenses.

Only 36% said they were well-prepared to handle unexpected expenses over $5,000.

— Read Health Fog Gives You an Opening: Nationwide Execon ThinkAdvisor.

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