Obviously We Downloaded Genworth's New App

By Emma Schmitz I did a highly Millennial thing and downloaded Genworth's new app related to their recently published Cost of Care survey. Before knowing the app even existed, I was excited to see Genworth's email announcing their Cost of Care Survey release. I used the term "excited" on purpose. You see, when I joined the family company a few years ago, I found Genworth's 2015 "Beyond Dollars" study fascinating--not because I'm some sort of long-term care nerd like my brother, but because: 1) this humongous long-term care insurance company is actually spending money on educating people with real statistics (despite that being a great marketing technique), and 2) they presented it in an aesthetically-pleasing, easy-to-understand way. I became a little bit obsessed with the whole topic and commenced long hours of reading, analyzing, and synthesizing (thanks, Literature/Writing degree), which I compiled into a previously-published post. Then I dropped the ball until Genworth had to go and do it again by creating an app for the 2017 study. My first reaction was like most people's to any new app: "What could this app even be, and what could it possibly do for me?" I was expecting another 20-page long study with some pleasant stock photos and different font sizes to spice up the look, which I was ready for, so the app switcheroo was a delightful surprise. The main point of the app is to show you what the median daily/monthly/annual cost of home and nursing care is, varied by region. For me, the closest location data is Reno, which shows a private, single bedroom in an assisted living facility to cost $3,500/month. Right now, I could find one bedroom in a home for $800 in this area. Fortunately, no one's helping me with bathing and dressing, but it gives an idea of just how much long-term care services cost an individual based on relative cost of living. Most importantly, an individual who almost always isn't earning an income. Under the app's menu, the "Key Findings" page notes 2017 national medians, cost changes, and annual growth rates. This page can also help you understand the differences among types of care (e.g., assisted living facility vs. nursing home care). Genworth describes how all the stats were collected under the "Methodology" page, and there's a "Long Term Care" page that defines what they really mean when they talk about long-term care. My favorite part of the app is an infographic summary of the initial 2015 Beyond Dollars study that got me into this concept in the first place. It breaks down what exactly happens to your money and activities of daily living during a long-term care event, from a caregiver's point of view. Now, I don't know how often I'll reopen this app, but what an easy way to pull up real costs varying by region to give a potential client an idea of what they need to prepare for? No more memorizing aging statistics* (as my brain recites: "70% of people age 65 and over will need long-term care services at some point in their lifetime"); this app is a great marketing and awareness tool for advisors and planners. *Maxwell's response to this is: "if you truly end up using this app, you do end up memorizing the stats more effortlessly since you're checking them regularly." Not a bad thing!