Most don't prep for LTC outlays

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Sixty-five percent of Americans say they believe that long-term care planning is an important cost-saving action. But only 44% of them have started taking any steps to prepare for unanticipated costs, according to a new consumer study from Lincoln Financial.

A common mistake, according to analysts, is thinking that investments and social programs such as Social Security and Medicare will cover long-term care and other unexpected expenses. The study reports that the average U.S. family's savings is $120,000. A year in a nursing home can easily cost $60,000 or more.

Mark Konen, president of Insurance & Retirement Solutions of Lincoln Financial Group, explained that consumers want flexible options.

“They want long-term care if it becomes necessary but also want to protect their assets if it does not,” Konen said.

The Lincoln study also showed that Americans who help oversee the care of an elderly loved one are more aware of the economic burden of aging than those who do not. Results were based on a survey of 1,000 people.