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As Americans Hold Out False Hopes, Genworth Campaign Pushes Education to Drive Important Planning Decisions

Fourth Annual Long Term Care Awareness Week(TM) Brings Special Focus

to the Retirement Income Gaps Created by Faint Understanding of LTC

RICHMOND, Va., Nov. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Genworth Financial (NYSE: GNW) kicked off its Fourth Annual Long Term Care Awareness Week(TM) today while eyeing more troubling results from its most recent company- sponsored research. In a survey of 750 Americans, 63 percent of respondents believed the average annual expenses related to long term care -- roughly $65,000 nationally for a nursing home stay -- will actually remain flat or decrease in the next 20 years, this, based on their poor understanding of the current associated expenses.

The primary focus of this year's campaign is to have people look at Long Term Care financing as part of an overall financial strategy, rather than as a single issue. By doing so, Genworth hopes to help individuals and couples protect their retirement dreams through more enlightened and adequate planning.

"Most couples believe their retirement dreams are within easy reach, but fail to consider long term care expenses and plan accordingly," said Pam Schutz, president and CEO of Genworth's Retirement Income & Investments business. Buck Stinson, president of the company's Long Term Care division agreed, saying, "The importance of planning for the potential consequences of long term care -- both financial and emotional -- cannot be underestimated."

According to a recent study conducted on behalf of Genworth Financial, the most important retirement goal of most consumers (90 percent) is to live a comfortable life. As part of that goal, 54 percent say they would prefer to remain in the home where they currently reside.

However, more than a quarter (26 percent) of respondents say they rarely discuss retirement plans with their partner, and more than half (55 percent) only review their retirement plans once a year, or even less frequently. Only eight percent say their primary financial goal is not to outlive their retirement funds.

"Without the right planning, unexpected healthcare costs can quickly erode a lifetime of savings and undermine a family's retirement dreams," said Stinson. "Long Term Care Awareness Week(TM) is designed to encourage dialogue and action regarding long term care planning and help Americans realize that they have choices about how they live as they age."

Genworth Financial Provides Tools to Mend the Retirement Gap

Families often have a difficult time opening the lines of communication. But while the thought of losing a spouse, or unexpected or chronic illnesses can be frightening, experts say planning doesn't need to be. Preparing for possible long term care can be an empowering experience that also protects retirement dreams if consumers get the education they need.

Following are simple steps that can be taken immediately to help realize and protect their retirement dreams:

  • Ask your spouse what they want to accomplish in their later years. What are their wishes? How can you help them with the needs they will face later in life?

  • Determine whether you and your spouse are financially prepared. For example, what financial resources are available? Do you have a plan to ensure your retirement savings will last? Do you both understand what Medicare covers? Is long term care insurance appropriate and affordable?

  • Discuss the basics of long term care. "Hoping" for a dream retirement is not enough. It is important to have an open discussion in regards to long term care to make sure you and your spouse are on the same page in regard to understanding what forms of assistance and medical services are available.

  • Identify what type of care they want, should they need long term care. For example, if extended care is needed, would they prefer to live with a family member? How do they feel about bringing community resources into the home?

  • Understand your family's limits as caregivers. Are there family members who have the time and ability to become a caregiver? What special needs might exist that a family member could or could not provide?

  • Finally, create a flexible plan of action. Include the names and contact information of your doctors. Create a list of home healthcare agencies and community services in the area. Visit nursing homes and assisted care facilities and ask questions. Revisit and revise this plan annually according to your changing needs.

The needs of aging Americans are changing, with older adults living productive and fulfilling lives well into their retirement years. In fact, only nine percent of respondents to the Genworth survey envision living in a retirement community.

"Americans are living more active and healthy lifestyles, which makes long term care planning even more important," said Stinson. "Long term care planning is about ensuring that you and your partner have the resources needed to maintain your lifestyle. It is one of the most caring things you can do for your spouse."

For more information about long term care planning, please visit http://www.genworth.com, or for education about long term care, visit http://www.financiallearning.com.

CONTACT: Thomas Topinka of Genworth Financial, +1-804-662-2444, or Thomas.topinka@genworth.com; or Danielle Arceneaux of Peppercom Strategic Communications, +1-212-931-6122, or darceneaux@peppercom.com, for Genworth Financial.

SOURCE Genworth Financial

CONTACT: Thomas Topinka of Genworth Financial, +1-804-662-2444, or
Thomas.topinka@genworth.com; or Danielle Arceneaux of Peppercom Strategic
Communications, +1-212-931-6122, or darceneaux@peppercom.com, for
Genworth Financial.
Web site: http://www.genworth.com
http://www.financiallearning.com
(GNW)