Our country is being challenged by a dramatic transformation that has never happened before. We are transitioning from a world of young people to a world of old people. Eighty percent of all the people who have ever lived past age 65 are still alive today. This phenomenon raises many questions. Where will our nation get the money to take care of senior’s retirement and health care costs? Will our standard of living decrease when seniors are faced with higher costs for health care, food, energy, housing, etc.?
Federal and local governments will be unable to provide the assistance that our seniors will require in the future. Corporations and large companies will be unable to extend retirement and health care benefits for our retirees.
Other professionals could ask the questions that Americans need to have answered, but they don’t. Insurance and financial professionals have a unique advantage. Unlike bankers, attorneys, accountants and financial media celebrities, we can solicit business by asking emotionally jarring questions such as, “Is keeping your independence in retirement important? What would it be like to run out of money before you run out of life? How would you feel if you had to move in with your children?”
I can help the readers of Senior Market Advisor have meaningful, inspiring discussions with prospects and clients. In the future, we will review Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the costs of health care, energy, food, infrastructure, housing, and their impact on seniors and soon to be seniors.
How will we help our clients prepare for this rapidly changing world? By discussing issues of importance with them when they still can take action. Our challenge is to inspire them to take action before a crisis arises.
Here is my first idea: The Employee Benefits Research Institute (www.ebri.org) and Fidelity Investments recently updated information concerning health care costs for seniors in retirement. The numbers are staggering — ranging from $300,000 to $1,000,000 per couple depending on length of life and quality of health.
Explaining to my clients that only spending $7.50 per meal, per person for twenty years in retirement, they will spend $328,500. Just to eat and go to the hospital or doctor in retirement, they will need $600,000 to $1,400,000.
If the median amount of savings in this country is around $60,000, what kind of life will they have?
We know the questions and have the answers. We must start asking the questions.
Van Mueller, LUTCF, is an insurance agent, professional writer and speaker. Responses and questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.