Close Close

Families Face 'Boomerang' Kid Planning Challenge: Nationwide

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

Some U.S. families may have an unexpected source of caregiving concern: able-bodied adult children who have not fully fledged.

Analysts at Nationwide’s Nationwide Retirement Institute have included a little information about that issue in a new long-term care planning (LTC) survey report.

The institute commissioned an online poll of 1,462 adults ages 50 and older, with investable assets of at least $50,000.

(Related: Travel Planning Beats Out Long-Term Care Planning: Nationwide)

The institute found that:

1. People are still so clueless about LTC planning that the percentage who say they have long-term care insurance is much higher than the actual figure. About 25% of the survey participants said they have LTCI coverage, even though the true penetration rate for stand-alone LTCI and life or annuity based hybrids is probably less than 15%.

2. In spite of all of the publicity about post-retirement health care costs and LTC costs, even people with financial advisors still aren’t having great conversations with their advisors about those topics.  Fewer than half of the survey participants with advisors expect to talk about those topics with their advisors. (See the data cards in the slideshow above. Wiggle your pointer over the first slide to make the control arrows show up.)

3. Families are complicated. About one in five older adults have or had parents living with them. About 10% are the parents or guardians of children under 18 who live at least half of the time in their households. And 41% have or have had adult children living with them.

Some of those adult children who are still in the home may simply be college students who are moving ahead through life at about the expected rate. Some may have known physical or developmental challenges.

But Kristi Rodriguez, vice president of Nationwide Financial’s thought leadership unit, said in an interview that she believes that a significant percentage of the adult children who are still in the home are able-bodied people who are out of college. Some may be choosing to live with their parents, but some may not be able to afford to live elsewhere.

For some parents, meeting the needs of adult children “is beyond disabled children,” Rodriguez said.

Those parents may eventually get care from able-bodied adult children who are still in the home, but they may also want to think about those children’s financial needs, Rodriguez said.

Worries about able-bodied adult children who have not fully fledged may have influenced answers to another question, about family caregivers. Many survey participants may end up getting care from family members, but 69% said they would want to get hands-on care from a family member only if they had a way to pay those family members for their time.

Rodriguez said one takeaway is that life insurance agents and other financial professionals should be encouraging clients to try out the kinds of health care and LTC cost estimators and planning tools that Nationwide has developed.

“This has to be a prominent part of the plan,” Rodriguez said.

Talking about long-term care and caregiving with older clients and their adult children “is a great opportunity to have a cross-generational conversation,” Rodriguez said.


Links to survey-related documents are available here.

— Read Clients May Jilt You Because of This: Nationwideon ThinkAdvisor.

— Connect with ThinkAdvisor Life/Health on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter.