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"Let's Talk" Helps Families Deal with Potential Long-Term Care Needs; Economic uncertainty and increased longevity add urgency

RICHMOND, Va., June 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- As people prepare to live longer in retirement than past generations, and the economy crushes more nest eggs, planning for long term care has never been more critical. However, many people avoid bringing up the topic with their parents and other aging family members, primarily because of a reluctance to accept what may be inevitable, misconceptions about the costs of long term care and who will cover those costs or uncertainty about what to say and when to say it.

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To help families plan and have the right conversations at the right time, Genworth Financial has created the "Let's Talk" national campaign, designed to provide families with the right resources, education and motivation to have productive conversations and successfully plan for long term care needs. The centerpiece of the campaign is an interactive Web site ( , featuring downloadable long term care information including ways to break the ice with family members, guidance from experts, helpful do's and don'ts and advice from people who have already been down this path.

"With costs on the rise, planning for long-term care is a necessity for nearly every family," said Colleen Goldhammer, senior vice president of Long Term Care insurance at Genworth. "There's nothing golden about silence on this issue; these family discussions take time. Understandably, many people are reluctant to have a frank conversation about the future. However, the right planning is crucial for two reasons: it helps create a secure future for our loved ones, and it helps families avoid the financial, legal and emotional strain that results when a crisis erupts and there's no plan in place."

"This program empowers the important caregiver - and those who may soon find themselves in that role," she added.

Experts predict the nation's future long term care needs will rise dramatically. Over the next few decades, the number of people 65 and older will likely double; centenarians - people age 100 and above - are expected to increase by 700 percent.(1) At least 70 percent of people over age 65 will require some type of long-term care services, and more than 40 percent will need care in a nursing home.(2)

Meanwhile, long term care costs, such as nursing home care costs, continue to rise. The average median cost of one year in a private nursing home is now $74,200.(3)

While the need for long term care is increasing, studies show that most people are unprepared to either provide it or receive it. For example, 67 percent of people who planned to have someone help with their care haven't asked anyone; one in five caregivers said they are "not at all prepared" to help.(4)

Genworth's "Let's Talk" campaign expert, Virginia Morris, an award-winning journalist and author of the best-selling book, How to Care for Aging Parents, is an authority on helping families through the caregiving process. Morris says the message is clear: "Plan ahead. If we could simply get people to think about all this sooner, we could ease the strains enormously. People not only want practical tips, but also simple reassurance and guidance through the process."

"This is not an area that should be left to chance," said Goldhammer. "Families must face reality and understand that their financial, emotional and physical well-being will be vastly improved if they are prepared for the long-term care needs of their loved ones. The goal of the 'Let's Talk' campaign is to help families communicate openly, plan for the future and ensure that every member of the family is cared for and protected."

1 Senior Journal

2 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

3 Genworth Financial 2009 Cost of Care Survey conducted by CareScout

4 CareScout

About Long Term Care Insurance from Genworth Financial

Genworth Life Insurance Company and Genworth Life Insurance Company of New York are Genworth Financial companies whose Long Term Care Insurance Division helped pioneer the development of long term care insurance in 1974 and has been an industry leader ever since. Genworth's Long Term Care Insurance Division serves the long term care needs of more than 1 million policyholders and has paid more than $4.8 billion in long term care insurance claims through 12/31/08. Long term care insurance underwritten by Genworth Life Insurance Company and In New York, Genworth Life Insurance Company of New York, Administrative Offices: Richmond, Virginia.

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 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, which traces its roots back to 1871, became a public company in 2004 and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. For more information, visit From time to time Genworth 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

SOURCE Genworth Financial, Inc.
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