Americans who have previously provided long term care for a loved one are less worried about future financial security than those who have not, according to Genworth Financial’s 2012 State of Planning Survey.
The study found that of the 900 adults ages 45-54 surveyed, 23% of Americans who have provided care for a loved one in the past year worry about money for retirement as opposed to the 38% that also cited money concerns but did not provide long term care.
Among the 58% of Americans who have no plans for long term care, Genworth found that 60% of this group belongs to women. Surprisingly enough, the survey notes the majority of women who comprise this number, considering women tend to have the most exposure to long term care as caregivers.
Even though women are more experienced in providing long term care, they (18%) were also found to be twice as likely than men (9%) to cite not having found the right time to discuss long term care options with loved ones.
“We’ve all heard the stories of women outliving their spouses and being left with a financial situation that’s less than ideal because the weren’t an active part of the planning process,” said National Spokesperson for Genworth, Olympic gold medalist Wendy Boglioli. “My hope is that our ongoing efforts to educate and elevate awareness around long term care will eventually close the planning gap.”
Possible solutions the survey suggests under the guidance of New York-based psychologist Dr. Barbara Nusbaum focus on communication as a pivotal tool in overcoming the unplanned trend for many seniors.
Because women face unique challenges in long term care planning in the sense that they are impacted twice, as caregivers and then as recipients, Genworth notes that it is important for them to lay the groundwork and initiate conversations with loved ones in order to be more physically and mentally prepared for the future.
Written by Jason Oliva