We’re a nation in denial: most American underestimate their chances of needing long term care and few are making any attempt to get ready. A recent poll of adults age 40 and over conducted by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs made some surprising findings:
1. Two-thirds have done little to no planning. This is even more amazing when you consider that more than 50% of those polled admitted to caring for an impaired loved one or friend.
2. 30% prefer not to think about getting older. Perhaps it is not hard to understand why people are in denial when so many rather not even think about getting older.
3. Most people expect family to care for them if they should need long term care. The undeniable truth is that most family members are unable or unwilling to be a full-time caregiver.
4. Only 25% expect to need long term care in their later years. Government statistics show that nearly 70% will need long term care at some point after age 65 whether it’s from a loved one, home health aide, assisted living or nursing home.
5. Nearly 60% underestimate the cost of nursing home care. Most people are astonished to learn that nursing homes in Michigan cost on average more than $7600.00 per month.
6. 37% believe Medicare will pay for nursing home care. Medicare only covers up to a maximum of 100 days of skilled care in a nursing home – with a $148.00 per day co-pay after 20 days. Most long term care however is custodial care which is not covered by Medicare.
7. Only 27% are confident they will have the financial resources they need. As people get older, they tend to make more of an effort to plan for their future. Unfortunately, most people start too late to adequately prepare. Remember, the best planners always begin planning early.
In over twenty years of practicing law, I have never met anyone who regretted planning for their legal and financial needs. The best planners have the peace of mind knowing that they no matter what happens, they don’t have to worry. Be sure that your planning is sufficient – see an experienced elder law attorney today.