Thanks to many advances in medicine and technology, many of us are living longer and often healthier lives. This blessing also means it’s more important than ever to think about the future.
For some, this means preparing to live in assisted living communities, where seniors can get help with everyday activities, as well as memory care and long-term care if the need arises.
A new poll shows that affluent adults over the age of 50 are doing precisely that – preparing for future assisted living.
Twenty-Eight Percent Already Considering Assisted Living
A new Harris Poll for the Nationwide Retirement Institute (NRI) found that 28% of affluent adults over the age of 50 say they believe they are likely to receive long-term care at an assisted living community in the future. This survey of more than 1,000 respondents gives unique insights into the plans of adult households with annual incomes of $150,000 or more.
The results showed that assisted living communities ranked higher in both care preference and senior living expectations than traditional nursing homes, adult day cares, and even a family member’s home.
While a majority of those surveyed agreed they’d prefer to stay in their own home if possible, assisted living care was a preferred first choice by 15% of people. Of all respondents, assisted living ranked second out of all the options.
Most Retirees Anticipate Needing Long-Term Care
NRI’s survey highlighted the wisdom of these affluent seniors’ preparation citing the likelihood that, at some point, they will need long-term care. The detailed report noted that there is a 70% probability that a person aged 65 today will need some form of long-term care during retirement.
Most of those surveyed (77%) would prefer that long-term care take place at their own home, with most saying they would not want to end up in a traditional nursing home, due to fears of detachment from family and community, and an anticipation of the loss of independence.
However, many affluent 50+ respondents also reported that they don’t want to become a burden to their family. About half worried that long-term care costs could affect plans to leave an inheritance for their children, and 65% said they would only want to rely on long-term care from a family member if they could pay them.
Respondents Are Unsure About Long-Term Care Costs
Respondents of the Harris Poll survey understand that the cost for long-term care is only expected to go up, but 73% are wary of how much this care may cost by the time they need it. Fifty-nine percent of affluent adults expect to pay for unexpected expenses in retirement with disposable income.
Older adults estimated that nursing home care costs would increase substantially by 2030, though two-thirds were unsure what annual costs they could expect to pay for their preferred type of long-term care. Others were unsure of what if any coverage would be available through their insurance and weren’t sure how to discuss care options and costs with their financial planner.
Many of these financial uncertainties can be resolved by learning more about common ways to finance assisted living, consulting with an assisted living community in your area, and a financial planner specializing in retirement and estate planning.
Assisted Living Care Judged a Good Option
Short of being able to continue in their own homes, most survey respondents judged assisted living care as the next-best option for themselves and their families. Assisted living costs are expected to remain more affordable than semi-private and private nursing home costs, and 38% of survey-takers cited affordability as a factor in their decision.