The population of America is growing at its slowest rate ever. Population increased last year at only 0.72%. Yet 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day. We are becoming an older population.
You may have read about legislation in many states to raise the minimum wage. The great majority of Long Term Care (LTC) is done by minimum wage workers. Every year there are less and less of them while the elder population continues to expand. The costs of LTC services have been increasing by an average of 5% to 6% each year over the last 20 years. The past couple of years have been a bit less than that due to the economy, but that is changing.
What happens in any industry when there are not enough workers applying for the jobs available? Wages go up until workers apply for those jobs. Compound that with the legislation to raise minimum wages, less and less young people willing to work for minimum wages, and the explosion of elders in America and what do you see for the future of LTC service costs?
Yesterday the PEW Research Center released a survey about aging and retirement in 21 countries. Many countries expect to face an increase in public pension and medical expenditures costs as people age. Public pension shortfalls are already bankrupting many U.S. cities. Their research showed that many countries will have more people over 65 than under 15. In 13 of the 21 countries surveyed, respondents said the government had a key responsibility in caring for the elderly. Does the U.S. have the money for all our elders?
The burden here is increasingly falling on family members. Americans are quite unprepared for their later years and particularly for the potential need for LTC services and support. When you are 85 will you depend on your 60 year old children to bathe and dress you? Can they handle the burden of Alzheimer’s care when you must be watched every minute? With less workers and higher minimum wages costs will soar. Can you handle an extra bill of $40,000 to $90,000 each year in your retirement? If costs only increase by 5%, that number will double in 15 years, and quadruple in 30.
I have a way to predict the future costs, a free online calculator that you can move the numbers around any way you want to. It will tell you how much money you need to set aside today, so that it will grow to enough to fund your LTC in the future. You can access it here at www.RetirementChoices.net/rraabeLTC1.html
Check it out. Play with the numbers. If you decide it might be worthwhile investigating LTC insurance, and you did not wait too long so that health makes it unavailable, call me. Or call a local LTC insurance expert. Check to be sure this is not a sideline, an also has product for them, but rather someone who is knowledgeable in this field. Or check out my website at www.TheLongTermCareGuy.com