Why is long-term care planning needed?  Millennials taking care of their parents may think they are the only ones trudging across the city to check on their parents or moving across the country to live near family members who need them, so it might come as a surprise for Pennsylvania residents to hear that the AARP estimates that nearly 10 million millennials are acting as caregivers for an elderly loved one. It is estimated that more will soon step into this role.

Millennials are spending around 21 hours a week performing their caregiving duties and those who are spending out of their pocket are spending around $7,000 annually on home modifications, caregiving related transportation, and medical costs. This can strain an already tight budget, as these very same people are plagued by other economic factors such as student loans, stagnant wages and the rising cost of elder care. As a result, taking care of elders is harder for millennials than it ever has been for any other generation.

This is why experts advise millennials to talk to their loved ones early on about what they need and how to go about achieving it as they age. Starting off with their retirement and finances is a good place to start. Asking parents where they want to live, with which sibling and how they plan on financing their retirement serves as a starting point for more specific issues in the future.

As the cost of long-term care adds up, with Medicare often not covering home healthcare and the median cost of a nursing home aide more than $20 an hour, it is important to know how nursing home care will be financed. The sooner long-term care planning is started, the better it is for everyone involved.