Financial advisers are getting a counterintuitive request from clients worried about their long-term care needs: Make me poor.

Called "Medicaid planning," the goal is for the client to give away their money to their kids in order to qualify for government assistance. It is not a new strategy, but with the cost of healthcare rising, retirement benefits shrinking and people living longer, it is increasingly on the table.

A survey released Thursday by the insurer Nationwide Financial found that half of 500 financial advisers polled in July had a client considering this strategy. Most said these clients view it as a way of preserving their children's inheritance.