With the holiday season in full swing and November’s National long-term Care Awareness Month now under way, what better time than now to think about your loved ones and those of your clients?
If they are like most Americans, there’s good news and bad news to face.
The good news is we’re living longer.
The bad news? Perhaps you guessed it already… we’re living longer. The more years we accrue, the more likely we are to require some form of long-term care (LTC) services that can quickly eat away retirement savings and other assets.
I’ve seen too often in both my professional and personal life how many people are affected when savings for long-term care services are insufficient or nonexistent. As a trusted advisor, you can help your clients and their families by educating yourself on the LTC landscape and passing that knowledge on to them.
It’s not as daunting as you may think and you will earn their trust through a deeper commitment to their future financial, physical and emotional wellbeing.
Close the ‘Care Knowledge Gap’
The more you and your clients know about the cost and impact of long-term care choices, the more apparent it will become that they need to start planning today.
For instance, 70% of Americans over the age of 65 will require long-term care services during their lifetime. What’s more, the cost for these services can be dizzying: nursing care nears $7,000 per month and home health aides $21 per hour. And that’s on top of other common costs such as housecleaning and transportation.
I don’t have to tell you how quickly savings can (and do) succumb to long-term care costs. Many people incorrectly assume that Medicare will pick up these bills when in reality that coverage is limited to acute short term services (up to 100 days, with plenty of restrictions).
Most Americans aren’t getting this message until it’s too late. Familiarize your clients with sites such as the National Clearinghouse for Long Term Care Information and have them find out the cost of care in their area from the Genworth Cost of Care Survey (now available for your iPad).
Build a Team
Overwhelmed by the nuances of the ever changing long-term care landscape, an advisor in Philadelphia recently asked me for guidance.