Long-term healthcare is expensive and although most Americans will need it, it’s surprising to know how unprepared employees really are.

Long-term healthcare is a tough topic to discuss because it forces people to confront their mortality, but new research from Moll Law Group underscores the importance of saving for the costs of long-term care, like a nursing home or assisted living.

More than 60 percent of Americans have nothing saved for long-term care. Why? Less than half of Americans think they’ll need it. Unfortunately, 70 percent of Americans will.

That means there are millions of people that are seriously unprepared for future healthcare expenses and some of them are your employees.

Housing costs for long-term care are astronomical. Average costs for assisted living are $45,000, semi-private nursing homes are $87,775, and private nursing homes are $97,455. These housing costs are a far stretch from the $25,000 in savings Americans thought would be enough to cover long-term care.  

This isn’t just a crisis for the future, it’s a concern many face presently. A new survey from Bankrate found that “For younger baby boomers (ages 54 to 63), money is the top concern keeping them up at night. Thirty-nine percent say financial worries occasionally keep them from falling asleep.” Younger baby boomers are wrestling with high costs for education, housing, and they have aging parents to worry about. All of these factors pull them further from their retirement goals and increase their financial stress.

The process and associated costs of aging don’t need to be unexpected, but often (at least for half of those surveyed by Moll Law Group) the decision to place a loved one in long-term care is unexpected. Although there’s no knowing if or when it will happen, by understanding the likelihood and estimated expenses families can make the right decision without as much financial strain

It’s time to stop avoiding the inevitable and start preparing for unfortunate events that are likely to happen later in life. Employers should encourage employees to contribute to their 401(k) program and offer an employee match. It’s worthwhile to re-approach healthcare and retirement plans to see where employers can better help employees tackle the incredible cost burdens they, or a close family member, will most likely encounter.