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American’s lack of financial planning for the future also extends to long-term care insurance. More than half of Americans will need long-term care during their lives. But only seven percent of seniors own private insurance that could help them pay for this type of care, says the Journal of Financial Planning.
Long-term care is simply the help people need when a serious illness, injury or disability makes them physically unable to care for themselves. It can be expensive, with the cost for a year’s nursing home stay averaging $44,000 and adult day care typically $50 a day.
Medicare and Medicaid don’t cover many types of long-term care. And most people can’t afford to pay for it out-of-pocket. Consequently, family members are often left with the burden of providing care. Nearly half of adults age 50 or older provide some care to a family member or loved one, according to AARP’s “The State of 50-Plus America, 2004”. And 31 percent of caregivers quit work to care for an older person with a severe impairment, forfeiting thousands of dollars annually in wages and health benefits.