Home Care Affordability Hits 5-Year Low for Boomers

Home care may be the cheapest care setting for aging Americans, but most baby boomers still aren’t confident they’ll be able to afford it in retirement, according to a recent survey by the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), a nonprofit association.

Only 19% of all boomers in the fifth annual survey reported being “extremely” or “very confident” this year that they will have enough money to pay for long-term care, such as home health care or nursing home care, should they need it during retirement. 

In comparison, 23% of boomers last year and 26% of boomers in 2013 reported the same level of confidence. Additionally, the share of those extremely or very confident in 2012 and 2011 represented 24% and 23%, respectively, of the boomer population. 

Broken out into groups of retired and working boomers, the IRI survey shows little difference in the cohort’s confidence levels: 18% of retired boomers reported the highest level of confidence in being able to afford long-term care in retirement, while 20% of working boomers felt the same way. 

Previous research shows the national median hourly rate for a home health aide is $20, translating to roughly $45,760 annually. While home care costs are rising slower than facility-based care options, the price tag has baby boomers rethinking their retirement preparedness despite their preferences to age in place.

“For an increasing number of boomers, especially those that have not taken steps to plan effectively, retirement reality is not aligning with retirement expectations,” the IRI report states. 

To access the survey findings, click here

Written by Emily Study