Some startling facts from Fidelity: 84 percent of advisors have been touched by someone in their client base with Alzheimer’s. Of those, 96 percent don’t know what to do about it. Only 4 percent of advisors surveyed by Harris Interactive for Fidelity said they felt prepared to assist clients who came to them with Alzheimer’s.
Additionally, half of advisors said they wouldn’t know how to bring up the subject if a current client began to show symptoms of the disease. The most common reasons for this reticence were a fear of being wrong, not knowing where to refer ill clients, and simply lacking the expertise to deal with clients with dementia.
However, inaction could be detrimental to clients who are most in need. Fidelity research found that a 65-year-old couple retiring this year will need approximately $240,000 for health care costs; should one spouse develop dementia, that number skyrockets to nearly $500,000. If he or she lives longer than expected, or if both spouses should become ill, costs could be even higher.