RADNOR, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nearly half of Americans surveyed (47%) are adult caregivers, or expect to take on a caregiving role in the next three years1 — but only 16% of Americans say they are very familiar with the features and benefits of solutions that can help cover the cost of long-term care, according to new research from Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC).1 Additionally, fewer than one in five Americans have begun to plan for their own long-term care and just one in 10 have a plan for how to pay.2
“November is Long-Term Care Awareness Month, and it’s a great time for families to start an open and realistic discussion about long-term care and their wishes, before that care is needed,” said Heather Deichler, senior vice president and head of MoneyGuard Business Management, Lincoln Financial. “These conversations can be challenging — it’s difficult to talk about money, illness and death, so many of us tend to simply avoid them. But it’s much worse to have a situation arise, and not have any idea what your loved one wanted.”
Lincoln is offering three tips to help Americans make the most of these critical conversations:
Get the facts about long-term care
A recent study conducted by Lincoln Financial found that less than 25% of those surveyed understood the features and benefits of long-term care planning products.1
- Anyone could need long-term care support. People tend to downplay their personal risk, often assuming others face a greater risk of needing care. Only 33% of those surveyed think they will need care for themselves, while 40% believe their spouse will, and 50% assume their parent will.2 However, 70% of adults who survive to age 65 develop severe long-term care needs during their lifetime.3
- A spouse is not long-term care insurance. More than half of Americans surveyed (52%) say having a spouse is their long-term care insurance.2 Unfortunately, even if a spouse agrees to be a caregiver, this assumption does not account for situations where a spouse is incapable of providing the level of care needed or needs care of their own.
- Don’t underestimate the cost of care. Americans also far underestimate the potential cost of long-term care, believing their savings will cover their needs. Most of those surveyed, though, guessed that a private room in a nursing home costs less than half the realistic estimate.2 Lincoln provides access to a cost of care map to learn the costs of Skilled Nursing Homes, Home Health Aides and Assisted Living Facilities in your area and across the country at www.whatcarecosts.com/lincoln. Enter sponsor code: Lincoln.
Know and share what is important as you plan for the future
The large majority of those surveyed (94%) want their loved ones to know their preferences for long-term care.2 Consider the following variables as you plan for a conversation:
- Care: Let your loved ones know your preferences. Would you like to stay in your home, live with family or move into a care facility?
- Caregiving: While caregiving is very noble, long-term care can involve some of the most intimate aspects of daily living, and many feel they’re incapable of providing the care a loved one would need. Share your expectations with your loved ones and encourage them to share their thoughts with you.
- Health-related decisions: Designate who has authority to discuss medications and treatment and inform your physicians.
- Finances: Let your loved ones know how you will cover the costs of care. Also establish who will have the authority to manage your finances, such as paying the household bills.
- Legal matters: Make sure you and your loved ones have a living will, a current will, a durable power of attorney and a power of attorney for healthcare.
Talk to a financial professional
Financial professionals can play a vital role in a conversation about long-term care, and nearly all feel it is important for families to talk about their preferences before care is needed. The majority of financial professionals surveyed (96%) shared that their clients who have planned for long-term care expenses feel more confident about their financial future.2
“Financial professionals have an opportunity to assist in these critical conversations with their clients to help them think realistically about their needs,” said Bill Nash, senior vice president and head of MoneyGuard distribution. “I watched my own parents face numerous challenges providing care for my grandparents, at a point before long-term care insurance was well-known. Seeing first-hand how having a plan for caregiving would have benefited my family, I strongly believe in the value of these conversations both within families and with financial professionals.”
With the national focus on long-term care this month, Lincoln encourages all Americans to use the suggestions above to start their long-term care planning today so that more people can feel confident about their tomorrow.
About Lincoln Financial Group
Lincoln Financial Group provides advice and solutions that help people take charge of their financial lives with confidence and optimism. Today, approximately 16 million customers trust our retirement, insurance and wealth protection expertise to help address their lifestyle, savings and income goals, and guard against long-term care expenses. Headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania, Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) and its affiliates. The company had $270 billion in end-of-period account values as of September 30, 2022. Lincoln Financial Group is a committed corporate citizen included on major sustainability indices including the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America and FTSE4Good and ranks among Newsweek’s Most Responsible Companies. Dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion, we are included on transparency benchmarking tools such as the Corporate Equality Index, the Disability Equality Index and the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index. Committed to providing our employees with flexible work arrangements, we were named to FlexJobs’ list of the Top 100 Companies to Watch for Remote Jobs in 2022. With a long and rich legacy of acting ethically, telling the truth and speaking up for what is right, Lincoln was recognized as one of Ethisphere’s 2022 World’s Most Ethical Companies®. We create opportunities for early career talent through our intern development program, which ranks among WayUp and Yello’s annual list of Top 100 Internship Programs. Learn more at: www.LincolnFinancial.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Sign up for email alerts at http://newsroom.lfg.com.
The individuals quoted above are spokespeople for Lincoln Financial Group.
About Cost of Care
LTCG conducts this annual cost of care study to better inform long term care recipients, their families, insurers and agents who represent them as they plan for future care needs or evaluate the right policy to purchase. The 2021 LTCG Cost of Care Study examines the range of charges made and the average cost of long-term care services provided in the home, in an assisted living facility, in a nursing home and in an adult day care center. Regional, state, and national averages are included. LTCG’s annual Cost of Care Study documents changing costs of care across all regions of the country and provider types.
1 A Special Report from Lincoln Financial Group’s Consumer Insights Research featuring: CivicScience, Caregiving, July 2021, Lincoln Financial, Consumer Sentiment Tracker, May 2021 and Long Term Care Insurance Sentiment & Barriers to Purchase, October 2022.
2 VerstaResearch, “2020 LTC Marketing and Thought Leadership Research, Findings from Surveys of Advisors and Consumers,” August 2020. http://visit.lfg.com/MG-VRST-PPT001
3 What Is the Lifetime Risk of Needing and Receiving Long-Term Services and Supports?” ASPE, https://aspe.hhs.gov/reports/what-lifetime-risk-needing-receiving-long-term-services-supports. April 2019.