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How millennials view the issues related to long-term care

Estate planning is usually not top of mind for the millennial generation, because serious, end-of-life issues seem such a long way off.

However, there is one area of planning that concerns them, and it has to do with healthcare needs later in life.

Citing lack of preparation

In a study research firm J&K Solutions conducted for Genworth Financial, 27 percent of millennials believe that their parents are doing a poor job of discussing, or preparing for, long-term care, and they are afraid that the responsibility for their parents’ care will fall to them. Only 40 percent of respondents in the 60-and-over age group expressed long-term care concerns. 

Costly care

One of the major problems is the cost associated with either home care or facility care, such as a nursing home or an assisted living facility. As an example, in 2015, the median price of a private room in a nursing home was $91,250, an increase of 4.17 percent from 2014. Annual assisted living care was $43,200 on average, an increase of 2.86 percent over the same time period. The cost of long-term care insurance has also risen considerably: Currently, a 55-year-old might expect to pay $2,000 a year for a policy that would initially produce $164,000 in benefits.

No government assistance

An estate planning attorney who assists both millennials and baby boomers will tell you that Medicare does not cover most long-term care bills. This is a cost you must plan to deal with on your own because you cannot count on the government to help, either now or in the future.

Better planning

Although millennials already feel the pressure of possibly having to provide long-term care for their parents, 56 percent of those surveyed think they will do better for themselves. If they develop a plan for tackling the issue sooner than later, they might just do that. Venturing into the world of estate planning and learning about such tools as living wills, healthcare directives and trusts might be a good way to start.

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