Few things are certain in life, although the need for long-term care comes pretty close. Seven out of 10 Americans are likely to need long-term care at some point in their lives, according to government statistics.
Yet most Americans are unaware of those odds. In a recent survey of people age 45 to 64 by PlanBeyond, a website offering financial, health care, and legal advice for the end of life, two-thirds underestimated the likelihood that they would require long-term care. More worrisome, perhaps, was that 33 percent of those age 55 to 64 said they would rely on Medicare to pay for long-term care, even though Medicare generally does not cover those costs.
As a result, many people approaching retirement age are less likely to plan effectively for long-term care, and may wind up putting themselves at financial risk. People age 55 and over accounted for almost 1 in 4 medical bankruptcies in 2013, according to research by Nerdwallet.