New Study Demonstrates Need for Adults Over 45 to Consider Long-Term Care Planning

Law Firm Newswire



Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) February 16, 2015 – A new national study has found that adults age 45 to 65 vastly underestimate the possibility that they will need professional long-term care after the age of 65.

The study, conducted by the peer-reviewed journal Health Affairs, showed that 60 percent of adults in this age range do not think they will need long term-care in the future. But, according to national statistics, more than 70 percent of those over 65 do use long-term care at some point.

Michael Gilfix, a Palo Alto estate planning attorney who assists clients in long-term care planning, says that this common misconception can throw families and estate plans into turmoil in the long run.

“The failure to consider the costs of long-term care can be devastating,” commented Gilfix. “It can drain retirement savings, deplete the finances of other family members, and rule out goals such as helping grandchildren pay for college.”

The cost of long-term care in the United States is already high. The Washington Post reports that the average annual cost of a private room in a nursing home is $95,000, while the average annual cost of assisted living facilities is $42,000.

But according to Gilfix, with advance planning, the high costs of long-term care need not exhaust a family’s savings. For some, long-term care insurance can provide part of the coverage needed later. For many Californians, good planning for Medi-Cal eligibility can mean that many family assets are protected while long-term care is covered.

“Many people in the age bracket of this survey have time to create a solid plan that helps pay for long-term care while protecting assets,” remarked Gilfix. “I hope that this survey will help more people understand the need for and the benefits of long-term care planning.”