A recent Wall Street Journal MarketWatch article by Elizabeth O’Brien (August 30, 2012) describes a new study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (ERBI). The study finds that about a third of today’s households won’t be financially prepared to retire, even if they continue working until age 70.
ERBI’s findings are at odds with a prior study by the Center for Retiree Research at Boston College, which found that 86% of households would be able to retire if they worked until age 70.
According to ERBI’s Jack VanDerhei, the reason for the vast descrepency between both studies is “the Center for Retirement Research analysis didn’t factor in the prohibitively high costs of nursing home care, which typically isn’t fully covered by Medicare and is only covered by Medicaid in some cases. His own methodology included the probability of nursing home expenses and arrived at a less optimistic conclusion.”
Here’s an additional quote from the article: “Many workers don’t even have the luxury of delaying retirement. In EBRI’s 2012 Retirement Confidence Survey, 50% of current retirees reported they left the workforce earlier than planned—because of health concerns for themselves or their spouse, changes at their company or other reasons.”
The bottom line: take heed. Medicare does not pay for long-term care. Long-term care costs can be catastophically high. Medicaid-paid long-term care offers little choice and less dignity. Plan accordingly, now! Reasonably priced long-term care insurance is a sane, empowering, logical investment.