What Level of Long-Term Services and Supports Do Retirees Need?


The brief’s key findings are:

  • Many retirees are concerned about the risk of requiring substantial long-term care as they age, but the likelihood is unclear.
  • This analysis, using two decades of data from the Health and Retirement Study, classifies the severity of care needs, accounting for both intensity and duration.
  • The results suggest about one-fifth of retirees will need no support at all and about one-quarter will have severe needs, with the rest facing low to moderate needs.
  • The demographic patterns are as expected: those who are married, better educated, white, or in better health have more manageable needs.
  • Subsequent briefs will explore the resources available to meet care needs and the types of people most at risk of facing unmet needs.

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