Rob Lowe was reduced to tears -- multiple times -- when his oldest son left for college last year.
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As it turns out, that feeling of loss hasn't necessarily dissipated.
"For a brief time your children belong to you, but soon they belong to the world. I am humbled to watch this process play out as my kids go out and make their own way," Lowe told ABC News. "It makes me proud and it breaks my heart."
It has also forced Lowe to recognize that time is fleeing. Planning for the future, he said, has become a priority.
"I’m a big believer in planning for any and all contingencies because you never know what may happen tomorrow," he said. "At least addressing the issues puts you more in the driver’s seat.
To that end, Lowe, 50, has teamed up with Genworth Financial, Inc. to promote the #LetsTalk tour, an initiative dedicated raising awareness of long-term care planning for aging family members. The campaign will launch June 27 in New York City.
"The timing couldn’t be more perfect, as long term care is the most overlooked health and retirement security issue facing Americans today," he said. "As a father, I know there’s a definite need to have these sometimes awkward family conversations and more importantly, having them now versus later.”
And while he's coping with his sons growing up, Lowe also has experience caring for aging family members. When his maternal grandmother, Mim, was diagnosed with breast cancer in the early '70s, the actor remembered feeling scared and helpless.
"When Mim's well-being hung in the balance, no one wants to have to ask, 'How are we going to pay for this?' Most people are surprised to learn that neither Medicare nor the Affordable Care Act covers long term care," he said. "Neither do the vast majority of health insurance policies. Only long term care insurance bridges this gap. That’s why I feel it’s so important to start the conversation now."
"Life is unpredictable and has very different plans for all of us," he continued. "There will be heroism and tragedy, each new day has the promise of both."