Women Losing Sleep Over Retirement Savings Fear

Women Losing Sleep Over Retirement Savings Fear

When it comes to retirement savings, living too long can be a blessing or a curse for some of us. For women, who tend to outlive men and spend years caring for family members, it’s a chief cause of anxiety. Those were the findings of a current survey by the Nationwide Retirement Institute. In February, the institute performed an online poll of 1,007 adults over age 50 with household income of at least $150,000 and 522 adults over age 50 who are or have been caregivers. Of the participants, 71 percent of women stated that they were worried about having enough money to pay for long-term care expenditures. That worry was especially keen among caregivers: 3 out of 4 stated they were concerned about keeping up with long-term care costs. Women feel the strain of long-term care keenly, as they tend to be the ones looking after their elderly and infirm parents and spouses.

“Sons want to care for mom and dad and be helpful, but they feel comfortable identifying an expert to navigate that,” said Joanna Gordon Martin, founder and CEO of Theia Senior Solutions. “Daughters feel that it’s their responsibility to provide care, even if they don’t understand the complexity of the landscape,” she noted. Here’s what women need to know about planning for long-term care. It’s no secret that paying for long-term care is a costly attempt. In 2017, the annual national median cost of bringing in a home health aide was $49,192, according to data from Genworth. A year’s worth of care in a semiprivate room at a nursing home is even more: $85,775 was the annual national median cost, according to Genworth. Recruiting family members to help out with these needs adds on a different kind of cost. Seven out of 10 of the participants in Nationwide’s study stated they would like the option of relying on a family member if they needed long-term care. Without the appropriate planning in place, things can quickly become overwhelming and may potentially endanger the caregiver’s career.

“It’s a slippery slope,” stated Martin. “It begins with ‘I’ll go to one or two appointments’ and then it eventually becomes ‘I’ll fly down to Florida.'” Indeed, on average, caregivers in Nationwide’s study said they spend 56 hours a week caring for loved ones. Despite the fact that survey participants had a clear idea of how they wanted to be cared for, few people were talking to their family members about it. About half of the individuals in the Nationwide study said they were speaking with their spouses about the cost of long-term care. Only 10 percent said they spoke with their kids about it. “People want a family member to care for them, but they aren’t taking the steps to have the conversation,” said Holly Snyder, vice president of Nationwide’s life insurance business.

A Tad Bit More on Retirement

• According to the 2017 Retirement Confidence Survey of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 39% of respondents are not confident that they and their spouse will have enough money to live comfortably throughout their retirement. That’s up from 35% last year.
• According to the same survey, about 24% of workers said they had less than $1,000 saved for retirement. A whopping 55% had less than $50,000. Clearly, gobs of Americans face severe retirement savings shortfalls.
• According to a recent Edward Jones survey, about 60% of Americans of varying ages are worried about healthcare expenses in retirement. That may surprising, but it’s also quite reasonable. Read on for a statistic that might come as a shock.

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