Poll: Two in Five U.S. Adults Do Not Think They Will Have Enough Money to Finance Potential Long-Term Care Needs As They Age

ROCHESTER, N.Y. —A new Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive Personal Finance Poll finds that only 26 percent of U.S. adults think they have or will have saved enough money to finance their own potential long-term care needs as they age.

Fully 41 percent do not think they will have enough money to cover their expenses as they age, and 33 percent are not sure. Adding to the financial strain, many adults may have to finance some of the costs associated with their parents' potential long-term care needs, with more than a quarter of adults whose parents are still living saying that they and/or their siblings will be sharing these cost with their parents and 14 percent saying that these costs will fall primarily on them and/or their siblings.

These are some of the results of the online survey of 2,918 U.S. adults conducted Jan. 10-12.

Other interesting findings from the survey include:

  • Of concern, substantial numbers of those closest to retirement age (56 percent of adults ages 45-54 and 39 percent of adults older than 55) do not think they will have enough money to finance their own potential long-term care needs as they age.
  • As expected, those with higher incomes are more likely to say that they will have enough money to finance their own potential long-term care needs. However, even at the highest household income level measured ($75,000 or more annually), only two in five (40 percent) say they will have enough money to do so.
  • When asked about steps they have taken to prepare for their own aging, less than half (48 percent) of adults say they have taken any steps to prepare. Almost a third (31 percent) say they have created a will, while smaller numbers say they have set aside funds to be used for a retirement community/assisted living community/nursing home (11 percent), talked to their children about plans for their elderly care (9 percent) and/or purchased long-term care insurance (9 percent).
  • While 3 percent of all adults have at least one of their parents living with them in their household, 41 percent of those whose parents are still living have taken other steps in preparation for their parents getting older.

To view the entire survey, visit www.harrisinteractive.com/news/newsletters_wsjfinance.asp.

This article originally appeared in the February 2006 issue of HME Business.

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