96% of High Net Worth Advisors say Clients Want to Remain at Home

By Maggie Callahan

Fewer than a quarter of high-net-worth individuals have a firm plan for long-term care, but nearly all of them suggested a preference to age in place independently, a poll from Key Private Bank revealed last month.

Key Private Bank, the wealth management arm of bank-based financial services company KeyCorp, surveyed more than 150 of its advisors about their experiences meeting directly with wealthier clients. Advisors were asked about clients’ long-term care planning, clients’ preferences for long-term care, whether clients are expressing these desires to family members, and what strategies they are using are using “to coach individuals through the complexities of long-term care planning.”

Of the advisors, 58% said that less than a quarter of clients had a plan in place, but 96% said that remaining “completely independent” was their preference, with relocating to an assisted living facility being a close second. “Receiving help from family members or personal aids” was dramatically less appealing to clients.

Although nine out of 10 advisors concluded it was “somewhat” or “very” likely that clients who wish to stay in their homes would be able to, advisors said it is crucial that these preferences are shared with children and family members. Unfortunately, according to the poll, many of these wishes are left unexpressed. Survey results revealed that 55% of advisors said “some” clients are discussing long-term plans with children and other family members, whereas 22% said “hardly any” clients had these discussions with relatives.

Encouraging clients to take a proactive approach to care planning, Chad Stevens, vice president and senior financial planner at Key Private Bank, said in a statement that it is never to early to “start having these conversations.”

“With forecasting caregiving needs and addressing coordination of care named a top-three challenge by advisors, talking through long-term care desires early-on with family members will be crucial to setting expectations, delegating responsibilities and avoiding misunderstandings or surprises,” Stevens said.