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U.S. Government Finds 40% of People Currently Receiving Long Term Care are 18-64; Numbers Continue to Rise
RICHMOND, Va., Jan 23, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Tips for long term care planning for every age

Did you know that nearly everyone will be touched by a long term care situation, either their own or with a close family member? Research from the U.S. government has found that the number of people who will need long term care in their lifetime is rapidly increasing. In 2008, the government found that about 9 million Americans over the age of 65 would need long term care services. By 2020, that number will increase to 12 million. While most people who need long term care are age 65 or older, a person can need long term care services at any age! Forty percent of people currently receiving long term care are adults 18 to 64 years old.*

If you're unprepared, long term care can have drastic effects on you and your family - physically, mentally and financially.

Whether you've just started saving or have been building your nest egg for years, right now you may feel that your financial future is a bit uncertain. With 401(k), savings and investment portfolios worth significantly less today than just months ago, it's important to safeguard as much for your retirement as possible. The average cost of one year in a private nursing home room ($76,460) is 59% more than the median household income in the United States ($48,201).** This statistic makes it clear why being prepared for a long term care event should be as much of a part of your financial plan as your retirement is.

"Particularly in today's economy, people should educate themselves about the many choices and opportunities they have for themselves and their families to meet the challenges of living a long life - and ensuring the best quality of life that they can," said Genworth spokesperson Wendy Boglioli. "Issues of economics and health care go hand-in-hand, starting at a personal level and on up to a national level for our new President and his advisors. We owe it to ourselves to play an active role in planning our financial futures."

As President Obama and the Congress begin to shape a new healthcare platform, consumers will begin to see a sharp distinction between what might be covered under health care proposals and the spectrum of care covered by a long term care insurance policy.

"Even those Americans who once thought they could self-insure for long term care may not be able to now, considering the recent downturn of our financial markets," Boglioli said. "This certainly points to the wisdom of educating yourself about all the options and making the decision that's best for you and your family."

Following are the steps to take throughout the decades of your life to be prepared:

TAKING CHARGE AT ANY AGE

Here are the top four things you can do to take charge of your health and finances. These are great guidelines that build on each other as you age.

20s - Commit to physical and financial health. A healthy relationship with your body AND your money starts now.

30s - Maintain your medical records and know what's written in them. Check for red flags and mistakes and ensure you see that they are appropriately addressed.

40s - Review your current insurance policies and investments. Start researching what options are available to you in case of a long term care event and who may provide them. Make sure you have planning documents such as a living will and medical power of attorney. Discuss your wishes with your family should a long term care event occur.

50s and beyond - Put your long term care plan in writing. You can rely on your family, the limited funds of the government, yourself or long term care insurance to pay for the care you may need in the future. Only you - with some careful financial planning - will know what the best option is for you.

About Long Term Care Insurance from Genworth Financial

Genworth Financial's Long Term Care Insurance business helped pioneer the development of long term care insurance in 1974 and has been an industry leader ever since. Long term care insurance is underwritten by Genworth Life Insurance Company, and in New York, by Genworth Life Insurance Company of New York, Administrative Offices: Richmond, Virginia. For more information, visit genworth.com/longtermcare.

About Genworth Financial

Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE: GNW) is a leading Fortune 500 global financial security company. Genworth has more than $100 billion in assets and employs approximately 6,000 people with a presence in more than 25 countries. Its products and services help meet the investment, protection, retirement and lifestyle needs of more than 15 million customers. Genworth operates through four segments: Retirement & Protection, US Mortgage Insurance, International and Investments. Its products and services are offered through financial intermediaries, advisors, independent distributors and sales specialists. Genworth Financial, which traces its roots back to 1871, became a public company in 2004 and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. For more information, visit Genworth.com.

* National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information, www.longtermcare.gov.

** Genworth Financial's, 2008 Cost of Care Study conducted by Care Scout.

SOURCE Genworth Financial

http://genworth.com