This is the reality when it comes to long term care planning:
Statistics have shown that men and women face different challenges as they grow older. Because of various considerations that we will get into in this article, men and women need to strategize differently when it comes to their future finances and care plans.
Why is that the case? Well, let’s get to know the aspects that make it so.
As we have highlighted before, couples should always tackle retirement woes together. However, they must be aware of how they can prepare for both needs effectively.
Bear in mind that women often have the short end of the stick when it comes to the future. Despite the various leaps and bounds the country has made when it comes to gender equality, aging women still find themselves dealing with certain issues that relate to their gender.
Studies show that:
1 in 5 caregivers experiences financial problems and high levels of physical strain.
2 in 5 caregivers experience emotional stress.
3 in 5 working caregivers experience at least one impact in their situation.
As we all know caregiving was perceived as a woman’s job for years.
This could mean that, without comprehensive long term care plan, women may find themselves stressed and struggling to find the funds the care for the health conditions they have developed because of caregiving.
On a more positive note, however, an AARP survey shows that millennial caregivers are equally likely to be male or female.
Did you know that women typically need 3.7 years while men only need 2.8 years?
Moreover, women live longer than men, which is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, longer life spans mean more time to pursue passions and spend time with loved ones. On the other hand, this could mean more sick years. And because women typically outlive men by six years, they would have to face their care needs without a partner.
Consequently, this also means more expensive long term care costs. Studies point out that more than 70% of nursing home residents and the average age of admission is 80. This means elderly ladies having to fund nursing home services average annual costs of $82,125 for a semi-private room.
Bear in mind that the issues that women have when it comes to long term care do not negate the challenges that men face. However, there is not much focus on the struggles they go through. This may be because of the reluctance that many men seem to have when it comes to talking about their struggles.
In fact, many male caregivers do not even see themselves as caregivers. This makes receiving help and support harder.
Baby boomers seem to have a general misconception about which programs cover long term care and which do not. In a recent poll by AP-NORC, 4 in 10 survey respondents mistakenly think that Medicare will pay for their long term care expenses as they grow older. On top of that, self-funding long term care seems to be too big of a risk for many older Americans.
It seems that many are second guessing themselves when it comes to finding the right coverage. Some may even end up delaying planning for care.
Without a good plan for long term care, men would have to look to other means to pay for their care needs. Often, this may be their retirement savings or even their family members and loved ones. Yes, the care that they need may not be as substantial, but remember that these are still substantial costs.
Moreover, there is still the possibility of developing conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, which needs decades of care.
As natural providers, men may find it difficult to rely on loved ones to provide the care that they need. Emotionally and mentally, it can be devastating to watch your loved ones take on the burden of care.
Despite the differences, remember that long term care planning is necessary no matter what. Baby boomers need to keep in mind that health conditions and care requirements can strike anyone at any given time.
Without a comprehensive plan in place, they might find themselves draining their retirement savings and assets to pay for thousands of dollars of care expenses.
Continue to the LTC planning essentials guide to get started now.