A minority of people over 50 years of age have discussed the implications of long-term health care costs with their children or their parents, and less than one-quarter have talked with their financial advisor about it, says a new survey by Nationwide Financial.
Apparently the topic is depressing and people would rather not talk about it, the survey concludes. A majority of those surveyed (78 percent) do not expect their children to support them during their older years.
The survey released Monday by Nationwide polled 813 Americans age 50 and older with at least $150,000 in income or investable assets. Of that number, only 10 percent have discussed long-term care with their children, 6 percent have talked about it with their parents and 23 percent have talked about it with their advisor. Only 45 percent have talked about it with their spouses.
It’s not exactly a happy topic, and 33 percent of respondents said they find it depressing. Nearly half (48 percent) are willing to admit that their long-term care costs will decrease their children’s inheritance.
“A parent’s legacy to his or her children used to include leaving behind an inheritance,” says John Carter, Nationwide’s president of distribution and sales. “However, the escalating costs of health care and lack of proper planning have many Americans hoping just to break even and not be a burden to their children.”
Although 24 percent of those surveyed say they have long-term care insurance, industry figures show only 11 percent of those over 55 years of age actually have such insurance. Twenty-three percent are not planning for long-term care costs at all, 22 percent say they will take it from 401(k) or retirement savings, and 21 percent say they will take it from personal savings.
Of those surveyed, 64 percent said they do not know that states can force children to pay long-term care costs for parents, when in fact 29 states have such laws. People living to age 65 have a 70 percent chance of needing some type of long-term care in their lifetime, and the average cost per year for a nursing home is projected to be $265,000 by 2030, Nationwide says.
Nationwide Financial has its Personalized Health Care Assessment program to help advisors estimate their clients’ health care expenses in retirement. Additional information can be found at www.nationwidefinancial.com/healthcare.