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TheStreet Open House

Children’s Inheritance First To Go When Paying For Long-Term Care Costs

Those expecting to leave loved ones an inheritance should not bank on it – especially if they are not planning for long-term care (LTC) costs in retirement. According to a Nationwide Financial survey, about half (48 percent) of those age 50 and over agree that paying for their LTC costs will take away from the money intended for their children as an inheritance, and 43 percent would rather use these funds to cover LTC costs than pass money to their heirs.

“A parent’s legacy to his or her children used to include leaving behind an inheritance,” said John Carter, president of distribution and sales for Nationwide Financial. “However, the escalating costs of health care and lack of proper planning have many Americans hoping just to break even and not be a burden to their children.”

The Harris Interactive poll released today that surveyed 813 Americans age 50 or older with at least $150,000 in income or investible assets revealed that only 21 percent say they have expectations that their children will help them in retirement – including providing physical care and financial support, and letting them live in their homes. Fortunately, nearly four in five (78 percent) Boomers say that they do not expect their children to support them in retirement.

Developing a Plan - Starting Difficult Discussions

While nearly half (45 percent) of respondents have discussed LTC costs with their spouse, only 10 percent have discussed it with their children and only six percent with their parents. Worse yet, less than a quarter (23 percent) of respondents say they have discussed LTC costs with their financial advisor. Respondents indicated that they find it difficult to discuss LTC (35 percent), most noting that the topic is depressing (33 percent).

“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,” said Carter.

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