A majority of Americans believe that the government should be primarily responsible for paying for the long-term care needs of older adults in the future but that the responsibility mainly will fall to the older adults themselves or to their families, according to the results of a poll released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.
Fifty-five percent of the 2,524 people polled in December said that, 30 years from now, the government should be mostly responsible for paying for long-term care, whereas 28% said the older adults themselves should be responsible for assuming those costs, and 14% said that family members should pay.
When participants were asked who likely will be most responsible for long-term care expenses in the future, however, a majority of them said the responsibility primarily will be that of the older adults themselves (36%) or their families (35%). Twenty-eight percent said the government will be mostly responsible for paying for long-term care.
Survey-takers who were black, Hispanic, aged 50 to 64 or had an annual family income of less than $30,000 were more likely to say the government should be mostly responsible for paying for long-term care than were other respondents. Participants identifying as Republicans were evenly split over whether government (40%) or older adults themselves (40%) should be mostly responsible for paying for long-term care, but two-thirds of those identifying as Democrats said that the government should be primarily responsible for paying for it.
Poll participants who were white or had an annual family income of $75,000 or more were more likely than other participants to predict that older adults themselves will be mostly responsible for paying for long-term care in the future. The outlook did not vary significantly between Republicans and Democrats.
Most people surveyed also believe that, 30 years from now, those aged 65 or more years will be less financially prepared for retirement than their counterparts are today and believe that most Americans will work into their 70s to have enough resources to retire. Most respondents also rejected the idea of reducing Social Security benefits for future retirees.
See more information on the Pew Research Center’s website.