Misconceptions About Long-Term Care Financing Persist Though Young Starting to Get It

Paying for Long-Term Care Northwestern Mutual recently announced the results of its Long-Term Caregiving Study. It was very enlightening. Misconceptions about Long-Term Care financing persist though young people are starting to get it. Younger people are actually starting to pay attention to the issues. The national consumer opinion poll was conducted October 7-9, 2013 and involved 2,028 U.S. adults. Here are some of the highlights.

  • Nearly one in five Americans have provided or are currently providing long-term care for someone.
  • Two in five Americans (41%) are either unsure of how they will handle long-term care or do not plan to address their potential long-term care needs. This rises to more than half (54%) of Americans ages 45 to 54. However, among the 18-34 year old group they are more likely to be saving for their long-term care needs.
  • Those who have experienced providing long-term care for someone are more likely to either be taking steps or making plans to address their own long-term care needs.

No surprise of the toll caregiving takes on people. Among caregivers ‰Û÷increased levels of stress‰Ûª (59%) and ‰Û÷physically demanding/draining‰Ûª (42%) were noted. Four in ten (42%) caregivers say they provide the ability for the patient to stay in their own home. Greater awareness of long-term care issues is seen among those 18 to 34 as they are more likely to have had disagreements on how care is provided for and how care is paid for and have had the patient move into their home. They have also experienced changes to their day-to-day budgets and/or have paid for long-term care expenses by dipping into their own retirement savings. 18 ‰ÛÒ 34 year olds who have not provided care are more likely to accurately anticipate that many changes would potentially take place if they needed to provide long-term care for someone, including learning basic nursing skills and spending less time with friends/family. Still, 43% of Americans believe that they will be covered by insurance (i.e., Medicaid/ Medicare, health, and/or disability insurance if they have a long-term care event. åÊFourteen percent are under the belief that since no one in their family has ever been in a nursing home or required long-term care, they are not likely to either. Ten percent said that long-term care is only something senior citizens need to think about and 5% noted that you only need long-term care if you are planning to go to a nursing home. Read my about.com article on long-term care financing. We still have much to learn but kudos to young people for starting to recognize the issues.