Most people hope that, when they die, they will be able to leave some financial assets to their loved ones. However, a recent analysis indicates that there are quite a few older Americans who end up not being in a financial position to do this at the time of their death. Specifically, the analysis indicates that dying without any assets is not an uncommon thing among individuals 85 years of age or older.
The Employee Benefits Research Institute did the analysis. The analysis reviewed data that covered the time period from 2010 to 2012 that came from the University of Michigan's Health and Retirement Study.
The analysis concluded that around one out of every eight Americans who are 85 or older die without any assets. The analysis found that dying without assets was particularly common among individuals in this age group who die single, with the rate of dying without assets within that particular group being around one in six.
There are many things that could potentially lead to an elderly individual not having any assets left by the time they die. One is going into retirement without much in the way of retirement savings. Another is facing major medical and care expenses during one's elderly years.
When it comes to that second point, it is worth noting that there are things that individuals may be able to do in their estate planning to try to reduce the likelihood that future medical and care expenses will leave them without any assets to leave to their loved ones upon death. For example, using long-term-care planning strategies within one's estate planning can sometimes help with this. Attorneys can advise individuals on how long-term-care planning can be done within their estate planning.
Source: CNBC, "Among oldest Americans, 1 in 5 dies broke," John W. Schoen, April 29, 2015