Affording Health Care Tops Financial Worries

February 14, 2013 ( – While outliving one’s assets is a major concern, a survey finds investors' worry about affording health care is much greater.

“Being able to afford health care and the support I need in my old age” is investors’ biggest personal finance concern (26% highly worried), while “having enough money set aside for retirement” and “outliving my assets” tied for fifth at 14%, according to UBS Wealth Management’s first quarter Investor Watch.  

While one might expect older investors (age 60 and older) to be most concerned with long-term care issues, it is in fact younger investors (ages 25 to 49) who are more worried. One-third of younger investors are highly worried about being able to afford the health care and support they need in their old age, compared with 18% among the age 60 and older group. Younger investors are now more concerned about long-term care than retirement. While one-third are highly concerned about long-term care, one-fourth are highly concerned about “being able to retire when I want” and “having enough money set aside for retirement.”  

The survey also found long-term care issues are of greater importance and concern to women than men. Specifically, “being able to afford health care/support I need in my old age” (31% versus 23% of men) and “having someone to care for me in my old age” (24% versus 12%) are the two biggest personal finance concerns for women and represent the greatest gap in level of concern between women and men.  

Despite their concerns, the majority of investors (56%) feel “excellent” or “very good” about their current financial situation, up from 44% in September.  

The survey indicates investors perceive a number of factors as highly important in helping them achieve their goals. Nearly 7 in 10 investors (68%) view “receiving good advice to make smart financial decisions” as highly important, followed closely by “investing to grow my wealth” (63%), “planning my finances around meeting these objectives” (61%), “protecting myself against any surprises” (60%) and “saving money toward these goals” (56%).