It’s not too early to talk to Millennials about long-term care
Young adults in their 20s and 30s (Millennials) are aware of the rising cost of long-term care. Now is the time to start conversations with them about how to meet the challenge, and here's why they will be receptive to your ideas.
Understanding the need to plan
Millennials are a planning-focused generation, and it’s already clear they will become an excellent market for long-term care (LTC) strategies in the future. Why? Two reasons.
First, they are already aware of the LTC challenge and its costs. Second, many have watched their parents or grandparents fail to plan for LTC, and they are personally feeling pressure to fill financial and caregiver gaps. For them, it’s personal!
According to a recent survey:
- 69 percent of Millennials agreed that the burden of providing LTC for parents or grandparents will fall on them. This percentage was slightly higher than for middle-aged or older people.
- 56 percent of Millennials believe they personally will plan for LTC better than previous generations, mainly because they are more aware of the challenge.1
Millennials have learned about personal finances, in part, by observing mistakes and shortcomings of older generations. They want to do better in their own planning, especially in areas such as: 1) managing personal finances; 2) avoiding too much debt; 3) saving more for retirement; and 4) planning for health care and LTC at older ages.
You can increase their knowledge about different ways to address LTC needs, and also let them know there is no better time to start than now.
How to talk to millennials about LTC
- Begin conversations by connecting to Millennials’ experience with parents and grandparents. Focus on both the financial and caregiver pressures LTC has put on their own families, or the families of close friends.
- Reinforce the rising cost of LTC. Today’s U.S. median annual costs are $48,612 for an assisted living facility and $102,200 for a private nursing home arrangement. These costs have been increasing, respectively, by 1.28 percent and 1.82 percent per year.2
- Explain why it is never too soon for young adults to begin making LTC plans for themselves. 1) 70 percent of Americans who reach age 65 will need some long-term care, for an average period of three years:3 2) costs are more affordable when coverage starts at younger ages; and: 3) poor health is less likely to be an LTC underwriting obstacle at younger ages.
- Focus on LTC as a planning concept, not a product. Millennials don’t like financial sales pressure. They prefer education and options, so let them know about different ways to cover LTC costs. For example, they can purchase LTC riders offered with permanent life insurance products, which advance part of the policy death benefit to pay for LTC. This option would only be viable if the client also has a need for life insurance coverage. Also, please remember clients must qualify for both the life insurance and the long-term care rider. They may qualify for the insurance but not the rider. Some corporate “cafeteria” benefit plans offer an LTC coverage option. Contributing more money to retirement plans such as IRAs and 401(k)s also can be part of the strategy.
The key to next-generation relationships
No LTC decisions must be made right away. However, Millennials must feel that you are interested in a continuous, holistic planning process and are willing to provide the education and options to help them succeed. Planning for LTC hits an emotional nerve in many Millennials and gives you the opportunity to discuss a variety of choices.
With your help along the way, their knowledge and confidence to tackle the LTC challenge will continue to grow.
1 Aging Across Generations, Genworth Financial, Inc. April 2015.
2 Genworth Cost of Care Study 2019.
3 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at www.LongTermCare.gov
Long-term care riders generally have an additional cost to them and have restrictions and limitations. Be sure to review the product specifications for details.
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