Presented by Leonard Berthelsen
It has been reported in many articles and news features that Americans are just not prepared for the issue of long term care in the later cycle of their life. Are you? Are your clients? By most accounts most of us fall into the unprepared category.
Baby boomers have heard for 10 + years that it is coming, and it could happen to them. Did they prepare? Well let’s look at some of the data that may surprise you. Most baby boomers have done a poor job of saving for their eventual retirement. (34% of surveyed baby boomers felt they had saved enough to comfortably retire). In another survey it was revealed that 57% of those reaching age 65 would continue to work in order to live their achieved lifestyle. Not by choice, but by necessity. The American Association for Long Term Care reports that although insurance for long term care services continues to be sold, only about 10% of older Americans have purchased the coverage. Then those same Americans reported that if long term care needs arose, 53% of them would hire a caregiver or move in with a family member. (Provider magazine, April 2016)
We are probably not going to achieve critical mass with long term care insurance products without some form of government involvement or mandate. This is a high risk business for most insurance carriers and as we have seen in the past, the risk was too great for many of them, while others significantly scaled back the benefits they offer in order to manage the risk.
So it really all comes back to who is going to pay for this. Personal wealth, family, government…your choice! I think most people would want the choices afforded when paying for it themselves. So let’s talk to them about some of the choices.
Yes, long term care insurance is an obvious solution but many simply can’t afford the premiums, can’t medically qualify or simply have an issue with long term care specific coverage. Then why are we not talking about the alternatives available? Life Insurance with access to long term care benefits prior to death, Annuities with access to additional dollars for long term care services, Short term care plans and Recovery Care products. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing when it comes to protection for long term care needs.
The next client you sit down with, ask if they are prepared for what many Americans are finding out. We are living longer, with developed health issues that make long term care needs almost inevitable. It’s time for us to make sure our clients know all the options available to them. Their financial future and your livelihood depend on it.