According to a Nationwide Financial survey, only 10% of Boomers have discussed the topic with their children and only 6% with their parents. Less than half (45%) have discussed it with their spouses and only 23% with their financial advisors.
More than one-third (35%) said they find it difficult to discuss long-term care, with 33% noting that it is depressing.
“Though it’s difficult to start these conversations about seemingly somber topics, families and advisors need to put the difficult conversation in perspective by thinking about the future and how a conversation now can make a situation easier down the road,” John Carter, president of distribution and sales for Nationwide Financial, said in a statement.
Many Boomers are burying their heads in the sand, with 23% not planning at all for long-term-care expenses. Others are planning to cover the costs with their 401(k) or retirement savings (22%) or their personal savings (21%).
Many (64%) are under the mistaken belief that state laws cannot force children to pay their parents’ unpaid nursing home bills. Currently 29 states have laws that could make a patient’s children responsible for unpaid long-term-care bills, according to Nationwide Financial.
Most Boomers (78%) do not expect their children to support them in retirement, which is likely to mean smaller inheritances for their children. About half of the Boomers surveyed (48%) agreed that paying for long-term costs will take away from the money intended for their children as an inheritance, and 43% would rather use these funds to cover long-term care costs than pass money to their heirs.
The survey polled 813 Americans age 50 or older with at least $150,000 in income or investable assets. It was conducted online between Sept. 17, 2012 – Sept. 24, 2012.