Long-term care planning (LTCP) reduces older adults’ risk of financial instability as they
age. The risk of needing long-term care (LTC) increases with age, and there is no
universal government program. The study assesses what factors are associated with
LTCP, focusing on the factors closely associated with LTC use and sociodemographic
variables. Using data from the 2016 wave of the Health and Retirement Study, a series of
logistic regression models were fitted looking at LTCP. LTCP was a composite of two
variables: planning via the purchase of LTC insurance or planning by living in a
retirement community. The two variables were combined, and a respondent who
completed one, or both, types of planning were considered LTC planners.
Sociodemographic factors, including age, gender, education level, relationship status, and
household size, were significantly associated with LTCP. A participant’s belief that a
relative or friend would help with future care also increased the odds of LTCP. Those
who were female and had higher levels of education were more likely to plan.
Sociodemographic variables were found to play a more significant role than health status
and functional health, suggesting that focusing on demographics will be more effective in
understanding who plans for LTC.