Only 16% of retirees 'very confident' they can afford long-term care

Share this content:
Only 16% of retirees 'very confident' they can afford long-term care
Only 16% of retirees 'very confident' they can afford long-term care

Only 16% of current retirees are “very confident” that they will have enough money to pay for long-term care should they need it during their retirement, according to the results of a survey released Tuesday.

That percentage, said the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute and research firm Greenwald & Associates, is a decrease from last year's 20%, which they defined as “down significantly.” The firms polled 1,040 retirees between Jan. 3 and 16 for the annual Retirement Confidence Survey. Additional questions were asked of workers.

Thirty-four percent of retirees said they are “somewhat confident” that they will be able to afford long-term care in their retirement.

Twelve percent of retired poll participants said their long-term care expenses are “much higher than expected,” 14% said they are “somewhat higher than expected” and 23% said they are “about the same” as what they expected. Three percent said they were lower than expected, and 48% said the question did not apply to them or did not answer it.

Other findings:

  • Only 32% of retirees are “very confident” that they will be able to live comfortably throughout retirement. An additional 44% said they are “somewhat confident,” however.
  • 70% of retirees said they are very or somewhat confident about covering medical expenses this year, versus 77% in 2017.
  • 45% of retirees this year said they are very or somewhat confident that Social Security will continue to provide benefits equal to what retirees receive today, versus 51% last year.
  • 67% of retirees said that Social Security is a major source of income for them in retirement.
  • 46% of retirees this year said they are very or somewhat confident that Medicare will continue to provide benefits equal to what retirees receive today, versus 52% in 2017.

“Healthcare expenses in retirement appear to be playing a notable role in retirees' confidence,” Lisa Greenwald, executive vice president of Greenwald & Associates and co-author of the report, said in a statement. “Retirees are less confident in being able to afford medical expenses, and the share very confident in affording long-term care also declined.”

Half of retirees said they didn't even try to calculate health expenses before retirement, however, indicating an opportunity for education.

“Those that did the calculation are less likely to report health is costing them more than expected,” Greenwald said.

Sign up for newsletters

In Focus

May 16

$3 million milestone

Parkville, FL 

Oak Crest recently passed the $3 million mark in the amount of scholarship funds the community has awarded to employees over the past 22 years.