“No Spend Down”

“No Spend Down,” by Stephen D. Forman, LTCA Weekly Reader


“The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) always publishes high-quality research. In their latest study they find that retirees do a poor job of asset decumulation. Those with few assets (who enter retirement with median assets of $31,740) still have $24,000 eighteen years later, a parsimony which is ‘not irrational,’ according to the authors. But even when assets are plentiful upon retirement (a median of $857,450), eighteen years later this group still maintains a healthy bank account worth $763,900. In short, EBRI finds that retirees spend their income (what comes in, goes out), but rarely touch assets. That’s what the chart above illustrates. (This is not what ‘life cycle theory’ or traditional financial planning has presumed.)”

LTC Comment (from Stephen A. Moses, President, Center for Long-Term Care Reform):

So much for the idea that wide swaths of the American public are spending down into impoverishment for long-term care. As we’ve explained frequently and most recently here, Medicaid pays for most expensive LTC in the USA and for most Americans it’s easy to get after care is needed without spending down significantly.