Women and Long-Term Care — The Growing Threat

According to a study released recently by Age Wave and Genworth Financial , we are not as fearful of dying as we are of becoming a burden to our families.  Almost two-thirds of people will require some type of long-term care, but most Americans still do not look seriously at one of the biggest risks facing us as we age; the potential need for long-term care services and the affects on our families and our finances from not being insured or at least prepared to deal with it.   Women are especially vulnerable.

According to the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP:

  • Two-thirds of caregivers are women and women make up 47 percent of the workforce in the United States.
  • Female caregivers may spend as much as 50% more time providing care than male caregivers.
  • Many working caregivers have to reduce their work schedule to part time or leave the workforce altogether to meet the needs of a family member or loved one who needs ongoing care due to a debilitating illness or injury.

As you read these facts from the Women-Owned Business Update compiled by the Center for Women’s Business Research, you begin to get a picture of the scope of this looming problem and the far-reaching implications of failing (as a generation and a society) to plan and prepare for long-term care needs:

The Overall Picture: 2008-2009

  • 10.1 million firms are owned by women (50% or more), employing more than 13 million people, and generating $1.9 trillion in sales as of 2008.
  • Three quarters of all women-owned businesses are majority owned by women (51% or more), for a total of 7.2 million firms, employing 7.3 million people, and generating $1.1 trillion in sales.
  • Women-owned firms (50% or more) account for 40% of all privately held firms

Businesses Owned by Women of Color
•    1.9 million firms are majority-owned (51% or more) by women of color in theU.S.
•    These firms employ 1.2 million people and generate $165 billion in revenues annually.

Million Dollar Businesses

  • One in five firms with revenue of $1 million or more is woman-owned.
  • 3% of all women-owned firms have revenues of $1 million or more compared with 6% of men-owned firms.

According to Jesse Slome,  executive director of American Association of Long Term Care Insurance, the vast majority of women who are age 50 or older, considerably underestimate the risk and have no plan in place to cover long-term care.  Financial protection aside, having long-term care insurance for yourself, your spouse, your parents, and in-laws, also increases and protects care options that will be available in the event of a debilitating illness or injury.   The time required to address the needs of a parent or loved one who can’t manage without assistance, can completely derail your life.

It’s time to move this task to the top of your “To Do” list.  For a free copy of “A Woman’s Guide to Long-Term Care Insurance Planning”, email lynn@apluslongevity.com.