As more and more federal employees reach retirement eligibility, the realities of age and illness are increasingly becoming pressing, immediate priorities. The potential need for long term care – indefinite assistance with activities of daily living such as eating, dressing, and bathing – is central to retirement considerations.
After surveying federal employees in a previous poll on their experiences with long term care, Government Business Council took a closer look at retirement planning with the following September 8 flash poll:
GBC received responses from 167 federal employees representing more than 35 civilian and defense agencies. According to the results, just 31% of the respondents have an established plan; most of those surveyed were unsure of how to prepare for the specifics of long term care. 29% stated that they were not factoring long term care into retirement at all.
These numbers are somewhat reflective of national statistics: one in four people age 45 and over are financially unprepared in the event of a sudden need for long term care services. With the generational turnover of the baby boomers leading to increasing demand for long term care, it is critical that federal employees begin seriously weighing their options for extended care services.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 27 million people are projected to be using some form of long term care by 2050. These services are often extensive (approximately 30% of older people receiving care require substantial assistance with three or more activities of daily living), and total spending for long term care is projected to climb from $219.9 billion in 2012 to $346 billion in 2040. The rising costs attached to the retirement wave are leaving many federal employees in a state of financial uncertainty, and it may be more essential than ever that they consider concrete plans for themselves and their loved ones. GBC will wrap up its series on federal long term care in its next post.