Approximately 70 percent of people over age 65 will require some level of long-term care services during their lifetime, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The average duration of long-term care is three years.

The Genworth 2015 Annual Cost of Care Study confirms that long-term care expenses are increasing. While the cost of in-home health services is rising gradually (about 1.6 percent annually during the past five years), the annual cost of care in an assisted living facility or private nursing home is now $43,200 (a 2.5 percent increase) and $91,250 (up 4 percent), respectively.

In addition to its cost-of-care study, Genworth also sponsored “Aging Across Generations,” a complementary survey that examined how well Millennials, Baby Boomers and older generations understand long-term care, and how prepared they are to cover the cost. The findings indicate that the majority of Millennials (56%) believe they will do a better job planning for their long-term care needs than their elders. In contrast, Baby Boomers are aware of their potential need for long-term care, but seem “paralyzed” by the projected cost and, in general, are not taking proactive steps to adequately prepare.

The generational study also noted that Millennials and women are more likely to believe that the burden of caring for parents or grandparents will fall to them. As a result, Millennials are becoming outspoken advocates within their families, emphasizing the need for a plan—and an ongoing conversation—about long-term care needs.

myLifeSite agrees with the Genworth findings that planning today is key to avoiding a family crisis tomorrow. Talk to your loved ones about the cost of long-term care and research the financing options that are available. Is long-term care insurance a worthwhile investment for your unique situation? Remember, too, that planning for the cost of care is only one aspect of the planning process. Equally important to plan for is access to care; where will necessary care be received. Don’t wait until a health crisis occurs before researching the options. By creating and executing a plan, you will feel more in control of your future and be free to focus on a less stressful retirement.

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