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Boomers in Denial About Long-Term Care

Results from a recent poll show that a lot of aging baby boomers are woefully unprepared for the potential costs associated with long-term care. According to the poll, 3 out of every 10 people, of ages 40 and older have done little to no planning when it comes to long-term care expenses.

Government data shows that 7 out of 10 Americans will likely need some kind of long-term care assistance after reaching the age of 65. The average length an elderly person requires assistance is three years.

Yet only about 25 percent of boomers believe that it’s very likely that they will need assistance during their senior years, or that they will not be able to care for themselves in the same way they can now. At the same time more than 50% of those surveyed said they have already provided care to a close relative or friend who requires assistance because of their age.

Another mistake boomers make about long-term care is how they will pay for it. About 37 percent of survey respondents said they believe that Medicare would cover the cost of nursing home or other elder care facility expenses. However, Medicare doesn’t cover most long-term care situations.

While people can use Medicaid to pay for nursing home expenses, you must be able to meet the stringent Medicaid eligibility criteria. These criteria effectively require you to have very little in the way of assets. Unless you’ve created a Medicaid plan that allows you to keep as much of your assets as possible while still applying for the program, relying on Medicaid will effectively force you to spend most of your money first.

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