Stand-alone long-term care insurance may still be going through tough times, but long-term care (LTC) planning is starting to become a standard part of any thorough financial planning conversation.
Bill Nash, vice president for insurance solutions distribution for Lincoln Financial’s MoneyGuard product, and Mike Hamilton, a Lincoln Financial vice president and head of MoneyGuard product management, talked about the shift recently during an interview in New York.
Lincoln offers MoneyGuard, a life-LTC hybrid product, and it also offers other types of life insurance and annuity riders that can help purchasers pay for long-term care costs.
Nash said he thinks financial advisors are much more interested in LTC planning now than they were even 10 years ago.
In 2007, he said, the idea of providing, or needing, care was an abstract concept for many advisors.
“Now,” he said, “everybody knows somebody who’s 90.”
Whatever happens to the U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, the conversation about the rule has also helped, by promoting the kind of comprehensive approach to planning that draws clients’ attention to LTC risk.
In spite of the slump in stand-alone long-term care insurance, “there’s actually a lot more solutions,” Hamilton said. “I think the market’s starting to increase.
Lincoln — a company based in Radnor, Pennsylvania — sent Nash and Hamilton to New York to promote a new Lincoln long-term care planning market survey report, and to promote this year’s Long-Term Care Awareness Month outreach campaign.
Nash said he has concerns about the idea of devoting one month out of the year to LTC awareness.
“It’s a discussion we need to embrace throughout the year,” Nash said.
But Nash said many advisors who come at the topic from a financial perspective, rather than because of a first-hand experience with someone who needed long-term care, may need help with talking to clients about the emotional aspects involved with providing care for a loved one, and with making realistic plans to pay for the clients’ own long-term care.
Lincoln has tried to fill some of the emotional awareness gap this year by sponsoring an online survey of 1,015 U.S. residents ages 18 and older. A survey firm conducted the survey in August. When Lincoln staffers were developing the questions, they tried to get information about the survey participants’ emotions, not just the participants’ personal financial calculations.
Here’s a look at three of the survey team’s findings.
1. Many people have a hard time admitting that they would have negative feelings if they suddenly had to provide care for a loved one.
Lincoln listed 10 possible emotional reactions to suddenly becoming a family caregiver and asked the survey participants to rate which emotions the participants’ thought they were most likely to feel if they were suddenly thrust into the caregiver role.