Americans Not Clear on How to Fund Long Term Care

An estimated 78 million baby boomers are reaching retirement age, and the population threatens to significantly burden future generations by usurping health care entitlement funds, says a report from Volunteers of America.

Survey data gathered by Lake Research and American Viewpoint shows that 40% of respondents are worried retirement savings, but they are not clear on the true costs of long term care and there is a lack of excess income to put toward future goals.

The fact that Americans significantly underestimate the amount of savings needed to finance their future long term care needs, and that caregivers are sacrificing their own financial futures raises many concerns.  The report identifies four primary challenges faced by aging women and their caretakers: finances, desire for independence, workplace flexibility and lack of preparation.

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“We need to address this looming potential catastrophe,” said Volunteers of America National President Mike King. “This will be the largest senior population in U.S. history and will almost double the prior numbers of seniors.”

King continued, “As our report states, preparation must occur on more than just the personal level.  Local, state and federal governments must begin to make changes now to help current caregivers and future retirees so that the impending wave of 78 million baby boomers does not wipe out the finances of future generations.”

The survey found that respondents want to see a way for individuals to access Medicaid services without being forced to spend personal assets all the way down to poverty levels in order to qualify. “This could be done through an expansion of state public/private partnerships that shield a set amount of personal funds through the purchase of approved long-term care insurance policies,” said Volunteers of America.

The report also found that woman continue to serve as the primary hands-on caregiver for loved ones.  In addition, most women surveyed who are not currently caregivers expect they will be providing care at some time in the future.

Survey respondents also supported policies that would allow seniors to remain in their own homes for as long as possible and receive care in home- and community-based settings.

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View a copy of the report.

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  • These lofty goals will need a disciplined approach like fighting one war rather than three or four wars at once.  While a new and novel idea for liberal Democrats it seems like it might make a little sense (or cents).  Maybe admitting that Gitmo was the right idea and stop DOJ from wasting more money on their futile efforts.  As Senator Dirksen is alleged to have said:  “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.”

    All of these surveys and studies waste time, energy, forests, and intellect.  Government needs to go on a budget starvation diet.  Good luck with that one.

  • 2545,

    I think a significant segment of society will take the direction Angella describes but I do not believe it will substantially help the plight of the lower middle class and poor.  Our President is far too busy spending the future of the nation to be concerned about preparing the country for the financial ravages of an aging population.

    I am a senior and I have never seen a Presidential candidate with an anti-war platform take office to wage war the way this man has.  After this much time and the continuing existence of Gitmo, one has to ask if this man was disingenuous during the election.  Some of us are clearly thinking that way.

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