The percentage of pre-retirees who would like to have long-term care insurance (LTCI) may be 4 times as great as the percentage of retirees who have LTCI.
The Society of Actuaries (SOA), Schaumburg, Ill., uncovered that bit of information when it commissioned the Employee Benefit Research Institute, Washington, and Mathew Greenwald & Associates Inc., Washington, to conduct a survey of retirees and pre-retirees.
Survey workers polled 800 U.S. workers and 800 U.S. retirees ages 45 to 80 for the SOA in July 2011.
The SOA found that the results of the survey, like the results of similar surveys, reflects the effects of wishful thinking and delusions of coverage.
Researchers estimate that about 10% of U.S. residents over 65 suffer from some level of dementia, for example, and that about 70% of people over age 65 will need long-term care (LTC) at some point.
About 82% of the retirees and 79% of the pre-retirees said they plan to guard against health and LTC risk by living a healthy lifestyle.
The American Association for Long Term Care Insurance, Westlake Village, Calif., estimates that only about 10% of U.S. residents over age 65 have LTCI, and that the percentage is lower for pre-retirees.
When the SOA looked at the answers to its surveys, it found that 25% of the retirees and 19% of the pre-retirees claimed that they had already bought LTCI.
Although the survey participants may have exaggerated the extent to which they own LTCI, they also seem to have hinted that the potential maximum size of the market may be bigger than the current actual size: 36% of the retirees and 41% of the pre-retirees who admitted that they did not have LTCI said they plan to buy LTCI coverage.