3 in 4 seniors can't afford a nursing home in 2033, study projects

Researchers at NORC at the University of Chicago project more than 11 million middle-income seniors aged 75 and older may not be able to afford long-term care facilities in 2033.

"Without a comprehensive long-term care system in this country, for all but the lowest-income individuals, the costs of senior housing and caregiving support falls to seniors and their families," Caroline Pearson, senior vice president at NORC and the lead author, said in the release. "Sadly, most middle-income seniors may not have the financial resources to pay for the care they want and need."

Here are five report findings:

  1. The middle-income cohort of seniors will grow by 7.5 million, or 89 percent, from 2018 to 2033.
  2. In 2033, 72 percent of seniors are projected to have less than $65,000 in income and assets. Even if these seniors sold their homes, 6.1 million are projected to have insufficient resources to pay the annual costs of assisted living.
  3. Future seniors are less likely to be married or have children living nearby.
  4. More than half of middle-income seniors will have three or more chronic conditions, and 56 percent will have mobility limitations.
  5. One in 3 seniors will have cognitive impairments, with the percentage growing to 40 percent for seniors aged 85 and older.

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