Younger U.S. consumers may be even more conscious of the possibility that they could become caregivers for adult relatives than older consumers are.
Kari Ullman of J&K Solutions, presented that finding today at a press conference on long-term care (LTC) planning organized by Genworth Financial Inc. (NYSE:GNW).
Ullman summarized the results of a recent online survey of 1,228 adults ages 18 and older sponsored by Genworth. She classified participants ages 18 to 39 as Millennials, or members of the generation born after Generation X.
Participants were asked, “Do you feel the primary burden of providing long-term care for your parents or grandparents will fall to you and others in your generation?”
Only 42 percent of the participants who were age 60 or older said they thought they might become primary caregivers.
Sixty percent of the participants who were 40 to 60 years old said they might be primary caregivers.
Sixty-nine percent of the participants under the age of 40 said they might be primary caregivers.
Millennials said that they were not sure how to prepare for LTC costs, for themselves or for their parents, Ullman said.
Tom McInerney, the chief executive officer of Genworth, said failures to plan for LTC costs may saddle millennials with big, unexpected tax bills in coming decades.
“The millennials are really going to have to pay for these entitlement programs,” McInerney said.
Dr. Edward Schneider, a professor of gerontology at the University of Southern California, showed off an age simulation suit. The suit can give millennials and others a sense of the kinds of problems with vision, hearing and movement that people may have as they get older, he said.
In most cases, “people think they’re immortal to the age of 40,” Schneider said.
Getting an AARP card may give consumers a clue when they reach age 50, but doing everything possible to promote intergenerational understanding is important, Schneider said.
See also: A 4-step investment plan for millennials