Common perceptions about Millennials are far different than the reality. While some have merit, the reality is that many older millennials are raising a family, own a home, have disposable income, and are actively building long-term wealth.
2020 brought new challenges for this generation, including working from home and virtual school. As stressful as the year has been for Millennials, there is a massive struggle slowly creeping up in the shadows and will place a huge burden on the entire family – the long-term care of aging parents.
Gen Xer’s are dealing with their aging parents now. Many have found their parents were completely unprepared for elderly life, leaving the burden of decision-making and care to them. Last year, the New York Times published an article titled, “I Put My Own Life on Hold: The Pain and Joy of Caring for Parents”, detailing real struggles from adult children caring for their aging parents. Each story containing its own unique circumstances but with common underlying themes: money challenges, career struggles, and personal happiness sacrifices.
Gen Xers are now solely responsible for their elderly parents’ care, many who are living with diabetes, ALS, dementia, or Alzheimer’s. The once active adults are now the elderly struggling with activities of daily living. The responsibility of care has been overwhelming.
If Gen Xers could give one piece of advice to Millennials, the top of the list would include making sure your parents have properly prepared for long term care.
As we get older, so do our parents and other loved ones. Millennials, typically in the busiest part of their lives, probably fail to see parents will need future help because they are still highly active. But as we commonly refer to our kids growing up in the blink of an eye, so do aging parents growing old.
Average Annual Cost Assisted Living in Tennessee
According to the Genworth 2020 Cost of Care, the median cost in Tennessee for Assisted Living is over $48K per year. Expenses more than double for Nursing Home Care. And these staggering dollar figures are not covered by Medicare, leaving the expenses to be covered out-of-pocket if prior arrangements have not been made.
The costs are staggering especially compared to retirement savings of most parents. Tough questions must be asked.
Top Three Questions to Determine if Long Term Care Insurance is Needed for Aging Parents
- How long can my parents’ savings last?
- what should they do if it looks like they will outlive their savings?
- How will they receive care they need?
These critical questions should be addressed while parents are still relatively healthy. By the time parents need help, options may be limited. The most overlooked option to avoid insolvency is Long Term Care Insurance. Insurance may mitigate a large portion of the home health care, assisted living, or nursing home costs while protecting the assets of your parents.
When is the best time to buy Long Term Care Insurance?
There is no right answer; however, it is important to keep in mind that premiums are more affordable the younger a person is, but you also do not want to overly pay in premiums by taking out a policy way to early.
The best answer to the question is not when to purchase, but when to start the conversation. Millennials must start having the conversation with their parents today. When important decisions are mapped out early, you will reduce your stress and long-term care will be far greater.