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Mark Miller: Remaking Retirement

Fresh Approaches to Paying for Long-Term Care

Some call for a hybrid public-private solution to financing long-term care costs and insurers to create new products, writes contributor Mark Miller.

Long-term care is a wild card in the deck for any retirement plan. Half of all Americans develop a disability at age 65 or older that is serious enough to need long-term care, and one in six will spend at least $100,000 out of pocket for care, federal data shows.

The financial risk is real, but our current system of insuring that risk is a mess. Don't even call it a system--what we have is a patchwork of private insurance that hasn't penetrated the market widely, and an inadequate public social insurance safety net.