Singles need more money when ill, elderly

Oct. 18, 2012 at 3:48 PM
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NEW YORK, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Singles, especially those without children, will need to budget more money for healthcare in old age than those who are married, U.S. researchers say.

The MetLife Mature Market Institute's monthly Market Trends report said the 2010 Census revealed married couples are 48 percent of U.S. households. Those with children age 18 and younger comprised just 20 percent of households and those with two children were 8 percent.

From a planning perspective it is harder to control costs when injured, sick or elderly if patients cannot convalesce at home because there are no family members to help them, the report said.

People who live alone now rank as the second largest household type, right behind married couples with no children age 18 and younger. People who live alone account for 28 percent of households.

Regarding long-term care, many elderly would prefer to be cared for at home rather than spend their retirement savings on a stay at a nursing home or rehabilitation facility, the report said.

But 45 percent of U.S. householders age 65 or older live alone, making home healthcare delivery to them considerably more expensive and something they need to accommodate.

"There are no easy solutions to helping the many millions of single individuals plan for their retirement and manage their short- or long-term healthcare expenses," the report said.

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