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Americans aren’t readying themselves for the costs of getting old!

It may be one of the biggest disconnects in the USA: the gap between how many Americans will need long-term care versus what people actually think they’ll need. Roughly 70% of Americans will need some type of long-term care. However, just 46% think they’ll need it, according to a new study that surveyed 2,000 people, to see how prepared Americans were for the realities of long-term care.

Another misconception is the 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.  However, many Americans think it’s about half that, $25,350.

In addition, $47,000 is the low end of the scale for the yearly cost per stay. While some assisted living costs may be $45,000, semi-private nursing homes are closer to $85,000. Private nursing home care is $97,455, according to the study, which was conducted by Digital Third Coast. The study was made up of 57.7% males and 42.3% of females, while 56% were age 35 and younger, 33% were 36 to 55 years old and 11% were 56 and older.

Can you believe that 64% have nothing saved for long-term care, and 67% can’t 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 issue between reality and perception is the age that people think they’ll be when they need any sort of long-term care. Most study participants say it’s 79 years old. However, it’s actually 73 years old, according to the study. Women will require long-term care on average for 3.7 years, and men will need it for about 2.2 years.

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

Quality of care, cost and the facility’s proximity to the family were the top factors people sought in long-term care facilities.

Reference: Think Advisor (August 6, 2018) “Now You Can Add Long-Term Care to Death and Taxes”

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