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New Genworth Study Reveals Americans in State of Financial Planning Inertia and Are Unprepared for Long Term Care, Impact to Women Far Greater

During November, Long Term Care Awareness Month, Genworth Urges Consumers to Create a 'Reality Check-List' for Their Financial Futures

RICHMOND, Va., Nov. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- According to the "2011 Financial Reality Check Study" conducted by Genworth, 75 percent of Americans have never had a conversation about long term care with their loved ones. However, 70% would not know what to do if a family member were to require immediate long term care assistance; an alarming statistic considering that 6 out of 10 people will need long term care sometime during their lifetimes.(1) The data also suggests consumers are suffering from overall financial planning inertia; however, the lack of education about long term care (LTC) planning can have significant consequences.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/52561-genworth-long-term-care-awareness-month

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20111101/MM95543 )

Women - Long Term Care Double Whammy

Women may be impacted twice by long term care, typically as the primary caregivers during an event and then as recipients themselves. When asked which family member would be most likely to provide care if professional care could not be afforded:

  • Almost 40% felt it would be a female providing care
  • Of those who indicated it would be themselves, 60% were female.

Interestingly, women don't prioritize this issue for themselves when it comes to their own long term care and are significantly more likely to not have purchased long term care insurance on their own compared to males. In fact, less than one third (31%) of women included in the study have purchased long term care insurance in the past 6-10 years, while 69% of men have purchased the protection during the same timeframe.

"It's unfortunate, but not surprising that women would think of themselves last when it comes to long term care planning," said Olympic Gold Medalist Wendy Boglioli, National Long Term Care Spokesperson, Genworth. "Women should feel empowered to create a winning strategy for themselves, family or loved ones. Of the people who said they would quit their jobs/reduce their income, 60% were women. A noble act, but without ensuring there is an adequate plan in place for their own care, women are putting themselves in serious danger. It's imperative for women to redefine balance in their lives and have a clear plan in place for their long term care."

Family Confusion

The lack of a conversation or a plan can create some confusion if a long term care event should occur, as people assume family members, primarily females, will handle care needs. The Financial Reality Check Study reveals that in these economic times, 58% of respondents would not be willing to "quit their job, work less or devote a majority of their time" to become the primary caregiver to someone in need of long term care. Yet in the next five years, 43% anticipate being in a situation where they may need to help care for a friend or family member.

"Genworth's ongoing goal, but particularly during Long Term Care Awareness Month, is to encourage consumers to not only initiate a conversation about long term care planning with their families, but to give them the tools they need to create a plan for their future care and overall financial well-being," said Buck Stinson, President of Long Term Care, Genworth.

Financial Reality Check-List:

Although 89% of respondents said they took time to focus on their financial strategy at least once a year, Americans are not taking the steps to implement a plan for their financial futures. During LTC Awareness Month, Genworth is challenging consumers to include a discussion about long term care planning in their overall financial planning discussions. A "reality check-list" of things to do include:

  • Have the conversation with loved ones to establish the baseline of your plan for a long term care event
  • Research options and the Cost of Care in your area
  • Meet with a financial professional annually to create and review a holistic retirement portfolio that includes a plan for long term care
  • Write down your long term care wishes and instructions for loved ones in the event of a long term care event (Would you like to stay at home? Who is in charge of making the arrangements? Does your family know where to find important documents if necessary?)

About the Study

The 2011 Financial Reality Check Study is a national study conducted by Genworth and was fielded online from August 17-21, 2011. In total, 1,073 interviews were conducted with adults ages 25 years and older, with incomes of $50,000 and above, with all other demographics being a representative sample of the United States. The study holds a 95% confidence with 3% margin of error.

A complete copy of the study findings is available online.

For additional documents and related video content please visit our multimedia news release.

(1)National Care Planning Council, http://tinyurl.com/3ze7bxa

Let's Talk

Genworth believes that families benefit from being proactive about long term care planning. Genworth's "Let's Talk" campaign was developed to help families initiate conversations about long term care preferences, options, and strategies. The campaign's website, caringtalk.com, offers tips and advice on how to break the ice with family members, guidance from experts, helpful 'Do's and Don'ts,' and advice from people who have taken the important first step of discussing long term care with their own families.

About Genworth Financial

Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE: GNW) is a leading Fortune 500 insurance holding company that is dedicated to helping people secure their financial lives, families and futures. Genworth has leadership positions in offerings that assist consumers in protecting themselves, investing for the future and planning for retirement -- including life insurance, long term care insurance, financial protection coverages, and independent advisor-based wealth management -- and mortgage insurance that helps consumers achieve homeownership while assisting lenders in managing their risk and capital.

Genworth has approximately 6,500 employees and operates through three segments: Retirement and Protection, U.S. Mortgage Insurance and International. Its products and services are offered through financial intermediaries, advisors, independent distributors and sales specialists. Genworth Financial, Inc., 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. From time to time, Genworth Financial, Inc. releases important information via postings on its corporate website. Accordingly, investors and other interested parties are encouraged to enroll to receive automatic email alerts and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds regarding new postings. Enrollment information is found under the "Investors" section of genworth.com

128395 10/25/11

SOURCE Genworth Financial