Probabilities

So What About Those Numbers?

Probabilities are fun in the abstract, but not when it comes down to you or me.  Having said that, statistics are certainly useful in quantifying a risk.  But having said that, the risks associated with guessing wrong on the need for long-term care are pretty significant.  Pick a number:

31%—individuals who will not need long-term care, period.

29%—those among us who will need care for 2 years or less.

20%—individuals who will need care for 2 to 5 years.

20%—those will need care for 5 or more years.

The point isn’t to suggest that you or I will fall within a particular group.  The numbers simply provide one perspective on the experience of a large population reaching a common retirement age, 65. 

3 years—the same research source also noted that “[a]bout two-thirds of those over 65 will need some long-term care in their lives, and they will require assistance for an average of 3 years.”  The Role of Private Insurance in Financing Long-Term Care, September 2007, Number 7-13, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.