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June 19, 2021, 2:20 p.m. EDT

Young people should start planning for this depressing eventuality now

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Alessandra Malito

Long-term care might be an overlooked expenditure, but it is becoming increasingly important to incorporate in retirement planning — especially for younger generations. 

The number of Americans expected to need long-term care services, which include activities of daily living such as bathing and eating, is expected to double from 7 million today to 14 million in 2065, according to MedicareGuide.com , a website dedicated to Medicare resources. The site did an analysis of the Department of Health and Human Services research conducted by the Urban Institute, as well as used the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and AARP as resources for its report

Based on the analysis, more than half of Americans will require help with bathing, eating and other activities of daily living by the time they turn 90 years old. They and their family members will be responsible for the care and cost of these necessities. 

See: Long-term-care insurance cost: Everything you need to know 

These figures could be especially detrimental to millennials and younger generations. The number of Americans who will have at least two disabilities will increase between now and 2065, at which point millennials will be somewhere in their 70s or 80s. 

Neglecting to include long-term-care planning when figuring out how much to accumulate for retirement can be an expensive oversight. Healthcare alone is one of the highest expenditures for retirees, and that’s without long-term care costs included. A 65-year-old couple retiring in 2020 could expect to spend $295,000 on healthcare costs during their retirement, and that estimate will continue to rise, according to Fidelity Investments. Long-term care costs could be additional thousands (or tens or hundreds of thousands) of dollars more depending on needs and services provided. 

Many private insurance plans and Medicare do not offer coverage for long-term care needs. Long-term-care insurance is one way to mitigate these expenses, but it becomes costlier as one ages. Experts typically advise individuals to consider paying for long-term-care insurance in their 40s or 50s and while they are at their healthiest.

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