Findings revealed women have a better understanding than men about the resources and options available to individuals facing a long-term care event; however, they’re significantly less likely to take action to protect themselves from the risks.
“There are two reasons long-term care should be top-of-mind for women: traditionally they're the caregivers in their families, and they face greater longevity,” said Mike Condrey, managing partner of the Carolina Condrey Group located in Raleigh. “The best way they can translate their concerns into actions is by talking to an experienced financial representative who can help determine a course of action.”
The findings come from a two-part study by Northwestern Mutual and were released in conjunction with November’s Long-Term Care Awareness Month. They indicate:
• 73 percent of women are aware of at least one of the long-term care options available to them
• 4 in 5 women (80 percent) are sure of what they would need assistance with/don’t think they would need assistance in the case of a long-term care event
• 4 in 5 women (79 percent) were able to estimate how long – on average – they might need long term care
Long-term care refers to services that individuals who are chronically ill or suffering from a disabling condition or cognitive impairment rely upon. In 2011, the average daily cost of a nursing home in Raleigh, North Carolina was $216/day, the monthly cost for assisted living was $3,164, and the hourly average for a home healthcare nurse was $18/hour.
In Charlotte, North Carolina, the average daily cost of a nursing home was $228/day, the monthly cost for assisting living was $4,241, and the hourly average for a home healthcare nurse was $19/hour.2 Raleigh was slightly below state averages, while Charlotte was slightly above.
Women aren't taking action
In contrast to their recognition of the risks, 30 percent of U.S. female adults said they're not sure how they plan to address their potential long-term care needs, while 57 percent of women reported they're likely to need help meeting financial expenses.
Furthermore, only 37 percent of women said they're saving for their future needs, and are significantly less likely to own long-term care insurance than their male counterparts (9 percent vs. 15 percent).
Additional Resources for Long-Term Planning
Northwestern Mutual has a range of resources to help individuals think about and plan for their long-term care needs:
• Use the Lifespan Calculator to consider how long you may need your money to last.
• Visit the Long-Term Care Cost Calculator to better understand the potential cost of long-term care services.
• Learn more about the long-term care costs and options available to you.