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One in four Minnesotans may not be ready for long-term care costs

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Twenty-seven percent of Minnesotans are unsure about how they would pay for long-term care expenses as they age, a recent survey found. But many of those surveyed are interested in financial products that could help them pay for that care. These are among the findings of an annual retirement and long-term care planning survey conducted by the Minnesota Board on Aging (MBA) and the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS).

Each year during the Minnesota State Fair, the MBA and DHS work together to administer the Own Your Future Survey to gauge State Fair attendees’ feelings about retirement and long-term care planning. The 2015 survey marked the ninth time the survey was conducted. Each of its more than 2,600 respondents were asked seven main questions and four demographic questions. Among the key findings, it found that:

  • Retirement attitudes differ by income levels.
    Wealthier respondents were more likely to think that retirement is a well-deserved reward for years of hard work than respondents with a lower income.
  • Age and income are the best predictors of an individual's biggest retirement concern.
    The main retirement concern for almost half (43.7%) of those under the age of 44 is running out of money, while only 25% of those over 65 had the same concern.
  • Many Minnesotans have experience as a family caregiver.
    Almost the same percentage of people reported serving as a caregiver now (15%) or in the past (18.8%) as did in past years, but the number continues to grow. The likelihood of serving in this role is greater for older individuals and females.
  • Minnesotans do not know how they would pay for long-term care or where they would go to purchase a product to pay for it.
    Nearly one-third (27.4%) of those surveyed did not know how they would pay for long-term care, indicating a continued need for long-term care planning and awareness.
  • A majority of Minnesotans would consider new products to finance their long-term care.
    More than 45 percent of respondents said they would consider paying for a Medicare home care benefit, while 35.5% would consider buying combined life and long-term care insurance.

The Own Your Future Survey is not intended to be a survey that meets all the criteria of a methodologically strict survey, but gives insight into the current thinking of Minnesotans on their retirement and long-term care. The sponsors use the results of the survey to determine how concerns and behavior are changing over time regarding the critical issues of retirement preparation and long-term care plans, and how these trends should influence public information and outreach efforts so they are more effective. More detailed information is available in a news release or in the full report available on the Own Your Future website.