Nearly 4 in 10 Americans Have Not Talked about Long-Term Care

With Long Care Awareness Month currently under way, it is interesting to note that a large number of Americans have never talked about long term care. According to a recent survey, nearly 4 in 10 Americans age 65 and over–37 percent–say they haven’t had conversations with anyone about preparing for their possible need of long-term care (LTC).

The survey, conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of OneAmerica, asked 2,006 adults age 18 and over1 whether they’d had conversations with a family member, spouse or partner, friend, health care professional, financial planner, insurance agent, attorney, clergy member, accountant or someone else about preparing for their possible need of LTC.

62 percent of Americans say they have had these conversations, with adults age 65 and older more likely than younger adults (18-64) to have talked to their spouse/partner (38% vs. 27%) and/or a financial planner (17% vs. 7%). Interestingly, 65 percent of adults ages 18-34 say they have had conversations about their possible LTC needs.

Many Americans turning 65 today – 70 percent – can expect to have an LTC need at some point in their lifetimes, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services2. For about 20 percent of Americans, LTC will be needed for longer than 5 years, due to conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, Parkinson’s disease, and other chronic conditions.

Planning ahead for the possibility of LTC can ensure assets are best positioned for any need that arises and can reduce the burden on family members and loved ones when the time comes.

Americans with annual household incomes of $100K or more are more likely to say they’ve had conversations about LTC than those in lower income households, with 70 percent of those in $100k or higher households saying they’ve talked with someone compared with only 56% of those whose annual household income is less than $75K.

Still, only 15 percent of those with annual household incomes of $100K or more say they’ve had such conversations with a financial planner, and 10 percent with an insurance agent.

For individuals and financial professionals, it’s important to start those conversations, said Tracey Edgar, vice president of sales, Care Solutions, at OneAmerica.

“Regardless of income, it’s important to have conversations about the possibility of long-term care,” said Edgar. “Asset-based LTC protection is a solution that may be more within reach than people realize, especially if they’re nearing retirement and have assets to reposition. And everyone can benefit from understanding each other’s wishes and expectations for care.”

For more information and scenarios about how long-term care protection can help protect assets, download ‘Planning for Every Possibility’ at

*Not available on all products. May vary by state.

These products include retirement plan products and recordkeeping services, individual life insurance

  1. This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of OneAmerica from September 13-17, 2018 among 2,006 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
  2. 2 ‘How Much Care Will You Need?’ U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Accessed at on Sept. 26, 2018.