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America’s “Forgotten Middle” in Long Term Care Planning

The baby boomer generation is bringing to light some of the most common challenges with long-term care and future planning. Since it’s expected that many people passing their retirement age might have to continue to work for financial reasons and then also need some form of health support like a nursing home or assisted living, studies show that plenty of older adults have no plan at all. 

It’s not a problem of limited facilities: in response to the trends in long term care, plenty of facilities and organizations have been created to help the elderly with their daily lives. But the costs associated with these facilities are out of reach for a broad portion of the population.

According to a recent report in Health Affairs, by 2029 there might be as many as 14.4 million seniors with middle-income status. More than half of them will have some type of mobility limitation, and one out of every five will require some sort of high-level functional support. Even though these statistics show that it’s likely plenty of this population will need either assisted living or long-term care housing, about half of them won’t have the resources to pay for it.

The housing market targeting seniors has experienced major growth and changes in the past few decades, no doubt in response to the baby boomer generation requiring more older age support. In total, around two million senior tap into the residence options provided by senior living and a good majority have functional dependence issues, high chronic illness rates, and complex medical concerns.

Without tools like long-term care insurance, which is expensive, a market with its own challenge like spiking premiums, and is best purchased years or decades before the care is needed, plenty of seniors will be exposed to challenges in paying for the care they need. Between those who have substantial resources and/or long-term care and those who easily qualify for Medicaid, there are plenty of seniors in between who have no access to care without planning.

Talking to an estate planning lawyer gives you care options and helps you map out a path to qualify for Medicaid in the future should the need arise.



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