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Time to be a health care teammate

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At a time when such emphasis is being placed on President Obama’s health care plan, consider defining moments of past legislation. What did the passing of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and even the recent prescription drug program created under the Bush Administration, have in common? First of all, each initiative earned bipartisan support and has become very popular. Second, and perhaps most important, they have yet to come close to their cost projections. In fact each program is spearheading our country toward bankruptcy!

A new entitlement program
Now Congress votes in another entitlement program which is quite a contrast from the past when it comes to the Obama health care plan. Not only are the concepts unpopular and fiercely partisan, the plan isn’t likely to leave people feeling like they’ve benefited or that there is a better day ahead when it comes to health care. My question is this–if the social issues being presented are indeed as important as the Obama Administration is making them out to be, then why weren’t they presented so that there was a very clear up or down vote that could be easily explained over a cup of coffee?

The subject may be generating conflicting headlines, and time will tell if Obama is right–let’s hope he is or we are in bigger trouble. In the meantime, this time of anxiety offers a great opportunity for those of us in the financial planning profession.

As more and more seniors transition into their retirement years and begin living off their nest eggs, the mindset of this demographic I believe will shift toward the “every person for himself” mentality. Additionally, the changes will require people who have in fact taken their financial responsibilities to heart to be even more diligent in making sure they have someone on their team who can guide them through their life incomes or safety nets. That teammate is you.

If we reflect focus on how this latest initiative has developed and been communicated, surely we can foresee that our clients and prospects will trend toward a “me and my spouse before they take it” thought process. Now, more than ever, you–as the most valued advisor–need to understand and anticipate how your clients’ and prospects’ income and health safety net will play into that mentality.

Consider how much long term care protection is necessary to provide them peace of mind, for example. Being proactive in offering improvements to your clients’ portfolios during such unsettling times is guaranteed to boost their confidence in both their futures, and in you.


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