Aging Options

What Worries You? Survey Shows Common Age-Related Concerns

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Here at AgingOptions we’re always advising people to remember as they plan for retirement that feelings matter. In other words, it’s all well and good to make careful plans for your retirement future, but you need to take your emotions into account as well, because how you feel about retirement and what you worry about as you age will have a lot to do with how happy you’ll be.

We found this very recent article on a website called California Newswire. While the piece itself wasn’t particularly easy to digest, it contained some valuable information that confirms the importance of thinking ahead about the emotional side of retirement. The article refers to a comprehensive survey done last year by the federal Department of Health and Human Services in which more than 15,000 Americans between the ages of 40 and 70 were asked about their personal concerns regarding their own long-term care. Along with a list of what worries them, this same group was asked what actions they might personally be willing to take in order to alleviate those concerns.

Before we share the lists of “concerns” and “actions” with you, we can’t help noticing that the issues identified in this article relate directly to the message that AgingOptions has been promoting for the past decade. A big part of planning adequately for retirement involves asking the right questions, the kind that too many retirees and so-called retirement planners overlook. Our professional AgingOptions team has developed a comprehensive approach to addressing these critical retirement issues, which is why coming to a free LifePlanning Seminar is so important. More on that in a moment.

Here’s the list of seven main long-term care concerns from the California Newswire article – which of these worry you the most?

  • Losing independence
  • Being a burden on your family
  • Losing control and choice over long-term care you might need
  • Being unable to afford high-quality care
  • Using up savings or income to pay for nursing home care and related services
  • Becoming poor and having to rely on Medicaid
  • Being unable to depend on family and friends for care.

Interestingly, more than three-fourths of respondents to the DHHS survey listed at least five of these seven as areas of concern. It didn’t seem to matter how old respondents were or how much money they had. The two most frequently cited concerns were loss of independence and fear that family and friends would not be there to help provide long-term care in the future.

So if these are the chief concerns, then what actions are people willing to take to help remedy the problem and better provide for their care needs in the future, when they become more frail and less independent? Here’s the “Top Ten” list – which of these would you be willing to do?

  • Have family or friend move in
  • Move in with children, other family members or a friend
  • Rely on your spouse, other family member or a friend for care
  • Attend an adult day care facility
  • Hire an in-home aide or agency for care
  • Hire a live-in caregiver
  • Move into an assisted living facility
  • Move into a nursing home
  • Make modifications to your home
  • Use the value in your home (your equity) to pay for care.

The two actions more people seemed willing to take were modifying their homes to age in place (no surprise there) and having a family member or friend move in. But the opposite choice – moving in with someone else – was the preference of less than half the survey group. And with all the attention being paid these days to reverse mortgages, we were surprised that a similarly small percentage (fewer than half) expressed willingness to use some of their home equity to help pay for care. Here the respondent’s income did seem to make a difference, with wealthier respondents more willing to spend money on their care through choices like buying long-term care insurance or paying for care out of home equity.

The reason we share this with you, besides the fact that these concerns and choices are interesting, is that we hope articles like this along with the information you hear on our AgingOptions radio program and in our seminars will cause you to think of retirement planning in a brand new, more comprehensive way. You and your loved ones need to be asking yourselves some critical age-related questions – not hiding your head in the sand until choices become impossible! We have two specific recommendations for you.

First, contact us at AgingOptions and let us plan and conduct a family conference for you. Getting your loved ones together in a neutral setting and having a conversation guided by an expert professionally trained in the issues of aging is one of the most important steps you’ll ever take. A few hours invested today will pay dividends for generations to come.

Second, plan now to attend one of our free LifePlanning Seminars where we get many of these issues and fears out on the table. You’ll quickly discover that you are far from alone in the matters that preoccupy you concerning retirement. You’ll also discover a unique and comprehensive strategy called a LifePlan that will guide you into retirement with your finances, legal matters, housing choices, medical coverage and family dynamics all working together in  well-planned synergy.

For dates, times, locations and online registration, simply click here, or contact us during the week so we can assist you by phone.

(originally reported at

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