In last week’s Fridays with Fisher, I shared a specific Monte Carlo scenario that I ran demonstrating the potential financial impact that might occur to someone with a million dollar portfolio. As you would expect, a long duration care event has a much more significant financial impact than a short duration event.
What we rarely discuss is the personal and emotional impact that a care event introduces to that person’s family, friends, neighbors, etc.
As Harley Gordon says, “you need to look at the consequences”.
Consider this point for a minute in an even broader sense. As a popular life insurance campaign says – life insurance is for the living. That same principle applies to long term care insurance and planning – it is for the families and caregivers. That is why we strongly encourage everyone to at a minimum have a plan sharing their wishes in the event that an extended healthcare event occurs. It is simply an action plan.
While I was looking for material for this week’s Fridays with Fisher, I came across some interesting material about caregiving. The first thing was an article that I stumble across written by a caregiver entitled “No, caregiving is not rewarding, it simply sucks”. In short, the impact of caregiving is significant, frustrating, and painful. It is a first-person view of providing care for one’s spouse.
Which leads me to ask this question – if we know that caregiving is a thankless and draining (emotionally, physically, and financially), why do we 1) elect to make that our primary plan, and 2) accept that solution as a viable strategy? And, from my seat, why are some carriers pushing the idea of providing money for “your family to take care of you”? It makes no sense to me.
So, consider the impact that a care event has on the family dynamic as well as finances. Health and wealth work together and often when one fails, the other is impacted.
Take a look at the YouTube series “Ruth and Erica” which is about the issues and struggles that a caregiver experience.
Although the series was produced a few years ago, the issues of caregiving have changed very little. A spouse or family member often sacrifices their time, careers, and health to provide care. That is why we stress that people develop a plan, share that plan with their families and get their acceptance for whatever role they will have, and devise a funding strategy (I am repeating myself, but this is of vital importance).
At OneAmerica, we offer a tool called the Step-by-Step Guide to Receiving Long Term Care. It is an informational booklet that shares long term care resources and does not include a heavy product pitch. If the most that you take out of today’s FWF is the link to the guide, you have certainly done the right thing. It is one damn good piece full of information that everyone should have.
Remember, one of the reasons that someone purchases a long term care insurance policy is to help reduce the impact on their family when an extended healthcare event occurs. Insurance is for the benefit of more than the insured – it is for their family too. Rather than providing care, they are managing care by securing a trained caregiver.
Put a policy in place to provide quality care so that you can have the best possible relationship for as long as possible. And remember as Ann Brenoff said in her Huffington Post article that I led off with – “Caregiving sucks”.
If you want to a little help to start or expand an extended healthcare planning conversation with your clients, invite them to join my virtual consumer seminar that runs every Tuesday at 7pm. In 22 minutes, I discuss some of the impacts that LTC can present on an income strategy. You can get a feel for what it is all about and sample a few minutes of the content, go to the Virtual Consumer Seminar page on LTC Coffee Break website at ltccoffeebreak.com/virtual-consumer-seminar.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to me with your questions, comments, ideas, or concerns regarding OneAmerica’s asset-based long term care solutions, Fridays with Fisher, or my webcast LTC Coffee Break. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and phone is (678) 512-9627.
I hope to hear from you soon.