Seniors Nervous They Can Afford Long Term Care

84 percent of seniors and current retirees are not very confident they will have enough money to pay for long-term care should they need it, according to a survey released yesterday.

That percentage, said the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute is an increase from last year’s 80%.  The firms polled 1,040 retirees between Jan. 3 and 16 for the annual Retirement Confidence Survey. Additional questions were asked of workers.

Twelve percent of retired poll participants said their long-term care expenses are “much higher than expected,” 14% said they are “somewhat higher than expected” and 23% said they are “about the same” as what they expected. Three percent said they were lower than expected, and 48% said the question did not apply to them or did not answer it.

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Seniors: More Survey Findings

Other findings:

  • Only 32% of retirees are “very confident” that they will be able to live comfortably throughout retirement. An additional 44% said they are “somewhat confident,” however.
  • 70% of retirees said they are very or somewhat confident about covering medical expenses this year, versus 77% in 2017.
  • 45% of retirees this year said they are very or somewhat confident that Social Security will continue to provide benefits equal to what retirees receive today, versus 51% last year.
  • 67% of retirees said that Social Security is a major source of income for them in retirement.
  • 46% of retirees this year said they are very or somewhat confident that Medicare will continue to provide benefits equal to what retirees receive today, versus 52% in 2017.

Conclusion

Healthcare expenses in retirement is affecting seniors and retirees’ confidence. They are less confident in being able to afford medical expenses, and are nervous about their health and future prospects.

Half of retirees said they didn’t even try to calculate health expenses before retirement, however, indicating an opportunity for education.

Those that actually did the calculation are less likely to report health costs are more than expected.

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