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Genworth Study Reveals Americans Would Rather Go to the Dentist Than Talk about Their Long Term Care Planning and Aging Needs


Americans' Negative Emotions Associated with Long Term Care Conversations Create Serious Barriers to Proper Planning

RICHMOND, Va., Nov. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- One out of every four adults would rather go to the dentist than talk about their long term care or aging needs. "While the data stating people would rather sit in a dentist chair than talk about long term care might seem amusing, the severity of the issue is very real," said Tom McInerney, President and Chief Executive Officer at Genworth.    

More than 60 percent have a negative emotion associated with discussing their long term care needs, according to a Genworth study released today during a New York City panel event "Examining the Effects of Financial Planning on the Way We Age," part of Genworth's efforts to bring awareness to the social issue of long term care during November's Long Term Care Awareness month.

"Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, statistics show that many of us will need to deal with a long term care event either for ourselves or for a loved one, and having the necessary information to make informed decisions is critical," continued McInerney. "Genworth's goal with all of the research and resources we distribute is to get people to start talking and take action around their future care needs."

Barriers to Planning

The notion of creating a plan around long term care can often seem like an impossible goal for families who are juggling the stresses of everyday life and allowing barriers to get in their way.

"Individuals in our society often don't like facing the many emotional challenges that aging brings to a family but the stage of frailty is a new prominent stage in our life cycle that needs to be discussed and embraced," said Dr. Barbara Nusbaum, New York-based psychologist and money coach. "Long term care events are very real and we know a majority of families will be impacted by an event but when these realities are embraced it creates an opportunity for resilient planning, knowing the reality and the emotions tied to it so we can plan well and live better during this difficult time."

Knowing that 70 percent of adults after the age of 65 will need long term care1 motivates the majority (57 percent) of adults to take action for their own long term care needs. Broken down by gender, the data shows that females (64 percent) are significantly more motivated than males (40 percent).

Critical Conversations

While talking about future care is the first step in creating a plan, Genworth's study found that less than 30 percent of adults have had a conversation about planning for their long term care or aging needs. If an unexpected long term care event were to happen tomorrow to a spouse or loved one, approximately 20 percent of adults wouldn't be able or willing to provide assistance.

Looking at the data by gender, females are less likely to have had a conversation with family or loved ones about planning for their long term care or aging needs. Emotionally, males are more likely to feel peaceful/calm (40 percent) when discussing this topic as compared to females who are more likely to feel anxiety/fear (31 percent) or confusion/overwhelmed (19 percent).  Regardless of these feelings, it's critical for families to communicate their long term care wishes.

During Long Term Care Awareness Month, Genworth aims to drive conversations around the issues many face in starting a conversation and planning for care needs. Dr. Nusbaum shares tips on how to become a resilient planner and overcome the mental blocks many face when starting to plan:

  1. Embrace the New Reality. Older-age is a true life-stage and a long one. Just like childhood, adolescence and adulthood, it has three sub-stages (young-old, old and old-old). With medical advances, we are living longer. Knowing it is part of a life-cycle and allows us to embrace it and cope with it sooner.
  2. Create Learning Conversations with Family. A learning conversation is one where we learn about each other's points of view on the topic. Not a conversation with a correct solution, or with pre-conceived notions about what others are thinking. The idea is to build a plan together by listening to others' ideas and feelings. Not my idea or yours -- but ours -- what is best for our family.
  3. It's a Process. Remember, there is no right answer or point of view. Gathering perspectives for the plan that is right for you and your family will grow from these conversations but multiple conversations must occur over time. Start with your own thoughts, ideas and feelings then move onto conversations and share your long term care plan with others.

For additional resources about the reality of long term care and the importance of planning to help families start a conversation for the future, please visit: The help get the conversation started about Long Term Care visit: Genworth Let's Talk

Genworth can be found online through its social media platforms. Find them on Facebook at:  Genworth on Facebook and Twitter at Genworth on Twitter. Watch Genworth informational videos and commercials at: Genworth on YouTube.  To contact a Genworth Representative, please visit: Contact Genworth or call 1-888-GENWORTH (1-888-436-9678).

1 2014 Medicare & You, National Medicare Handbook, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Sept. 2013.

About Genworth's 2014 Online Consumer Survey
The omnibus consumer study was conducted in collaboration with an independent third party research firm, J&K Solutions, LLC. The data from this omnibus study was collected from an online survey over the course of 3 days in October 2014. A demographically representative sample of 1,203 adults ages 18 and older across the United States were surveyed providing a highly stable and reliable data source. The sample follows the framework of the U.S. Census data for age, ethnicity, gender, region and income. This allows for estimates of the stated population within +/- 3% with 95% confidence, unless otherwise noted.  

About Genworth Financial
Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE: GNW) is a leading Fortune 500 insurance holding company committed to helping families become more financially secure, self-reliant and prepared for the future. Genworth has leadership positions in long term care insurance and mortgage insurance and competitive offerings in life insurance and fixed annuities that assist consumers in solving their insurance, retirement and home ownership needs.

Genworth operates through three divisions: U.S. Life Insurance, which includes life insurance, long term care insurance and fixed annuities; Global Mortgage Insurance, containing U.S. Mortgage Insurance and International Mortgage Insurance segments; and the Corporate and Other division, which includes the International Protection and Runoff segments. Products and services are offered through financial intermediaries, advisors, independent distributors and sales specialists. Genworth, headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, traces its roots back to 1871 and became a public company in 2004. 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 From time to time, Genworth's publicly traded subsidiaries, Genworth MI Canada Inc. and Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia Limited, separately release financial and other information about their operations. This information can be found at and

SOURCE Genworth Financial, Inc.

Tom Topinka, Genworth, 804-662-2444,; Jessica McGinn, Prosek Partners, 212-279-3115 ext. 256,

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