Associated Press: Retirement planning should include long-term care costs

By Alexandra Olson

Many Americans have a blind spot when it comes to retirement planning: long-term care costs. Even though the majority of Americans will at some point need long-term care, few are planning for it. Many underestimate the costs and mistakenly believe health insurance can help cover it.

"This is not like being struck by lightning. It is something we will all face in our lives," said Bruce Chernof, president and CEO of the SCAN Foundation, which researches care for older adults. "If we don't need it ourselves, it is likely that our spouses, our significant other or our parents will. One way or another, it will touch the lives of every single American."

The U.S. government estimates that 70% of people aged 65 today will require some form of long-term care during their lives. Most of the time, that type of assistance is non-medical, including help with daily tasks such as bathing. The need can arise unexpectedly after a major illness or even suffering an injury from a fall.

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