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3 key statistics about long-term care

As you move toward retirement age and start getting your estate planning in order, you're likely thinking about the potential need for long-term care. Unfortunately, this isn't the type of care you receive with the hope of recovery; it generally means that the impact of aging has made it difficult for you to care of yourself indefinitely.

That can make planning tough. How long will you really need that level of care? How much is it going to cost? The answers are different for everyone.

To help you get started, though, here are three key facts you should know:

  • If you are a woman, you will likely need care significantly longer than a man, due to the fact that women tend to live longer. On average, men need this care for 2.2 years, while women need it for 3.7 years.
  • The odds that you will need long-term care and support are quite high. If you turned 65 years old recently, reports show that there is roughly a 70 percent chance care will be required.
  • It is true that nearly a third of those who are 65 years old right now may not need long-term care and related support at any time, but it's also true that 20 percent of people in that age group will need care for more than five years.

As you plan for your future, carefully consider all types of assistance you may need, even if you do not need anything right now. Understanding your options and planning in advance can help you so that you're ready for whatever the future brings.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "How Much Care Will You Need?," accessed March 30, 2018

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