Recent research from Fidelity Investments found that while 84% of advisors surveyed had experience with Alzheimer’s among their clients, 96% felt they were not fully prepared to help their clients suffering from the disease, saying they lacked knowledge about the symptoms, did not know where to refer clients, nor did they have the financial or legal expertise to guide those clients.
Meanwhile, Fidelity estimates that the amount of medical expenses that a 65-year-old couple retiring this year will bear in their lifetimes if one spouse develops a cognitive health disease like Alzheimer’s would be $495,000, assuming life expectancies of 17 years for a male and 20 years for a female. That compares to $240,000 needed by a couple retiring this year at age 65 without such a debilitating disease (the estimate includes core medical costs and custodial care costs, and assumes there is no employer-provided retiree healthcare coverage).
The survey of 369 advisors conducted by Harris Interactive in April found that 59% said they have put plans in place for all clients in the event they are diagnosed with a disease such as Alzheimer’s, while 41% said they changed plans on a case-by-case basis.
The top three resources the advisors said they needed to be better prepared for clients with Alzheimer’s were best practice guidelines, greater understanding of insurance and protection products, and legal advice to assist clients.