What You Need to Know
- Women tend to live longer than men and will need a plan for how to pay for long-term care services.
- Financial disadvantages, such as shorter careers and the gender pay gap, typically mean less savings.
- Talking with your female clients about their preferences and financial circumstances is vital.
Planning for care later in life is of utmost concern for many American women, and it’s a concern they should address sooner rather than later. With longer lives, higher rates of disability and chronic health problems, and lower average incomes than men, many women will need long-term care services and a solid plan to pay for them.
As a financial professional, it’s crucial to understand how to have conversations about long-term care coverage and planning with your female clients.
The Need for Long-Term Care
Women have a longer life expectancy than men, outliving them by about seven years on average. Since women live longer, they are more likely to need long-term care and pay more in long-term care expenses. Some eye-opening statistics drive home how much this reality might weigh on the minds of your clients:
- More than 70% of nursing home residents are women.
- Among people age 75 or older, women are 60% more likely than men to need help with one or more daily living activities, such as eating, bathing, dressing, or getting around inside the home.
- One in nine women age 75 or older, and one in five age 85 or older, needs assistance with daily activities.
- Almost two-thirds of Americans living with Alzheimer’s are women.
Older Women Struggle to Pay for Long-Term Care
Your female clients face unique challenges, and they may be at a financial disadvantage in retirement compared to men. For example, many women work fewer years because of child-rearing or caregiving, and they are more likely than men to have worked part time. They also face the gender pay gap — earning only 82% of what mean earn.
These challenges all add up to less earnings, which means women typically will have less savings to help cover long-term care expenses. And long-term care services can be costly. In 2020, the average annual cost of a private room in a nursing home was $105,852; for a shared room, almost $93,072. Plus, costs for home care average nearly $24 per hour.