Are Americans Considering Everything in Retirement Planning?

June 14, 2013 ( - On average, Americans 50 years old or older plan to live more than 20 years in retirement.

However, according to a survey by Nationwide, those who are already retired plan to live significantly longer in retirement than those that are not. Nearly 20% of retirees expect to live more than 30 years in retirement.  

Half of Americans 50 and older have a financial plan for their retirement, but it is not formal nor detailed, while one in 10 do not have a plan at all. Regardless of whether they have a formal plan or not, the majority of their planning accounts for living expenses, unplanned health care costs, and travel. Only four in 10 account for long-term care costs.  

Men are more likely than women to plan their retirement for the following: everyday living expenses (88% of men vs. 81% of women), their spouses outliving them (66% vs. 32%), mortgage (40% vs. 30%), and paying off debt (37% vs. 27%).  

Other survey findings include: 


  • The majority of those surveyed do not have expectations of their children when they are in retirement; 
  • The majority are familiar with Medicaid, but less than one-third are familiar with Medicaid Planning. Those not retired are more likely to have only heard the name “Medicaid Planning”; and 
  • Three-quarters report that their financial advisers help them estimate both health care and long-term care expenses, but slightly less feel they answer all of their questions about this kind of care. 



Nationwide’s “Long Term Care (LTC) Study” was conducted online between September 17 and September 24, 2012. The respondents included 813 adults age 50 or older having $150,000 or more in annual household income/investable assets.