What Kind of Boomer Are You?
The Boomers …
Baby boomers, or those born between 1946 and 1964, make up nearly 30% of the U.S. population. With this group reaching retirement age, new concerns are emerging when it comes to planning for retirement and long-term care. What kind of Baby Boomer are you?
Recently, 3,300 respondents participated in a landmark study, “Health and Retirement: Planning for the Great Unknown
,” conducted by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave. The study explores those who are on course for the future and others who may face challenges due to lack of personal preparation. Below are the four boomer “healthstyles.” Do any of these represent you or a loved one?
1. The Healthy and Proactive Baby Boomer (29%): These individuals take charge of their health care and related finances. They are the most actively engaged in healthy behaviors such as exercise and eating well, have the most positive attitude about their health, and also feel well-prepared for health care costs, retirement, and long-term care.
2. The Lucky but Lax Baby Boomer (10%): These individuals have been fortunate to be relatively healthy so far, but exhibit little interest in taking care of themselves or planning for future health and long-term care costs, leaving them vulnerable to future, unexpected health disruptions, and financial disasters.
3. Course-correcting and Motivated (29%): These individuals experienced a health “wake-up call,” such as an illness or diagnosis, and are now trying to improve their health by seeking out information and tools, as well as adopting healthier behaviors, and planning for the future.
4. The Challenged and Concerned Baby Boomer (32%): These individuals are struggling with health difficulties, yet many are not actively taking good care of their health or planning for the future. They are the most worried about the impact of illness on their finances, and feel overwhelmed and confused.
According to the research, seven in 10 people will require long-term care (LTC) in their later years, and a majority of the boomers described above figure they’ll be among the lucky 30% who won’t need assistance with the activities of daily living, such as walking, eating, toileting or bathing.
David Laster, CFA, head of Retirement Strategies at Merrill Lynch, sees great reluctance among consumers to deal with the prospect of getting older and more frail as they age. However, according to Laster, “Failing to plan may limit your future care choices and place a burden on your spouse or other loved ones.”
Below are other key findings from the Merrill Lynch study:
• More than half of retirees retired earlier than they expected, and the number one reason for their early retirement was a health problem.
• People cite Alzheimer’s as the scariest health condition of later life (54%), more than cancer, strokes, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis combined.
• People are more concerned about the financial impact of a spouse’s serious illness (66%) than they are about their own illness (62%).
• Those who are age 50+ anticipate they would help other family members facing health problems and health care costs. This may be one reason why people’s concerns about how to plan for health care costs include potential health problems of their children (50%), parents (32%) and siblings (29%).
Planning for Long-Term Care
The Merrill Lynch/Age Wave report encourages you to learn as much as you can about your options to address the threat of health care and long-term care expenses in retirement, and to take actions to address these threats.
Who Pays for Long-Term Care?
October 13, 2018 | pricejett
Sadly, most people needing long-term care — and their families — wind up shouldering these costs alone, since Medicare does not pay one penny for long-term care bills and the private long-term care insurance market is getting pricier and shrinking. In fact, the cost of long-term care insurance policies rose 8.6%, on average, compared with a year ago, in the latest American Association for Long Term Care Insurance
(AALTCI) Price Index. And, according to Forbes
, sales of new stand-alone long-term care insurance policies have plummeted by 75% from a decade ago, and 90% of the carriers that were selling long-term care insurance 10 years ago have withdrawn from the business.