As baby boomers retire and Americans live longer, the nationfaces a crisis in its ability to finance the long-term medical and personalaid that many of us will require in old age.

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Social Security and Medicare aren’t enough. And many Americansdoubt they will have the money to pay for a lengthy stay in anursing facility or a home aide.

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A new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for PublicAffairs Research finds that 36 percent of Americans over 40 arevery confident that they will be able to fund their care into oldage. Another 36 percent are “somewhat” confident, and 24 percentare not confident.

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That represents an improvement from past years. In 2013, only 27percent said they were very confident about their future careprospects. But the tens of millions of Americans who are eitherunconfident or confused about the issue is still troubling.

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Roughly a third of respondents said they had not done anyplanning in regards to long-term care. Hopefullythose who said they are ignoring the topic are on the younger endof the spectrum.

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But it’s far from clear whether those who report planning forlong-term care have actually taken the necessary steps to ensurethe care they envision. Only 13 percent of adults said they werecertain that they had a long-term care insurance policy.

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Granted, it’s not necessarily because everybody’s a pessimist.Forty percent of the adults polled said they do not believe theywill ever need long-term care. And 40 percent mistakenly believethat Social Security and Medicarewill take care of the banal day-to-day care that millions of U.S.seniors require. The less money people have, the more likely theyare to buy into that myth.

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The great majority of Americans (77 percent) hope that whatevercare they receive can take place in their own home, rather than ata nursing home.

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