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Long-Term Freedom for Families


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Editor’s Note: We originally posted this simple, yet thoughtful post a year ago. Because it was so impactful, we decided to publish it again. This year, be sure you talk to your clients not just about their own independence, but the independence of their loved ones. 

 

On the Fourth of July, we all think about having a day off from work, eating at cookouts, watching fireworks and just enjoying ourselves. It seems as though we’ve quickly forgotten about what the day really means: Independence. 

Now I’m sure everyone reading this thinks I’m going to talk about your clients having the freedom and independence to receive long-term care where and how they want. To be honest, that’s the way I was going to go … Then I started thinking about my mother-in-law and all the struggles she and her siblings have gone through over the past few years as their parents required care … So please bear with me as I take a different approach.

 

Changing Roles

When it comes to long-term care, I’ve written many times about the consequences family members suffer when their love one chooses to ignore the need for planning. What I’m saying is this: When someone needs extended care, they get it. But, those closest to them get new obligations which they may not be ready for. They are no longer a spouse, child or grandchild – they are likely caregivers, and their loved one is their patient.  

While we all would happily sacrifice everything for our families (or at least I hope), would we ever ask our family members to do the same for us? The only logical answer is no, but clients seem to take this approach every single day. Ask them: 

“If you have an extended care event, would you ask your spouse, children, grandchildren or other loved ones to give up their lives – their independence – to be your caregivers?”

The answer is probably no, but we typically don’t make our clients look at it this way.

 

Put it in Practice

As we celebrate our great nation’s independence, let’s change the way we have the conversation about long-term care. Let’s talk to our clients about giving their families freedom – freedom to continue to live their lives and not put everything on hold. Just a few simple questions will help them see things in a different light.

 

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How ‘Major League’ Can Help You Pitch Long-Term Care


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If you’ve ever seen the movie “Major League,” you probably remember it was about a baseball team made up of the biggest misfits anyone could put together. It was a team built to fail. (Spoiler alert: No, literally – the owner actually wanted the team to lose so they could move to another city.)

“Wild Thing” Ricky Vaughn had a great fastball, but, unfortunately, it was rarely a strike. Pedro Cerrano could hit a fastball into the next zip code … but couldn’t touch a curve ball. Willie Mays Hayes could run like the wind – too bad he couldn’t actually hit the ball so he could run the bases. Plus, manager Charlie Donovan used to manage a tire store … how could he manage to help this misfit team win?  

Long-Term Care Planning

The better question you may be asking is, “What does this have to do with long-term care planning?” Well, let me explain.   

First of all, the players on this team were out for one thing: themselves. Their focus was on what was best for them individually, not what was best for the team. They were blind to their real problems. This was especially true for Vaughn – he was literally blind to the strike zone and needed glasses to focus! When the rest of the team realized they were set up to fail, their focus changed, too. They had to come together, drop their old habits, and start focusing on what mattered. 

The same is true when it comes to long-term care planning. Both advisors and clients seem to be blind to what matters. I can understand why clients may be blind – we aren’t giving them the right tools (glasses) to focus on what they should really be looking at. As financial professionals, we have to make sure we’re throwing something they can actually hit, not lobbing in lazy pitches. 

  • Too often, we spend more time trying to sell clients insurance instead of discussing the impact a long-term care event could have on their family. Ball 1.

  • Despite knowing the above, we may have heard about a new product, and we wind up and throw a “pitch” as hard as we can. Ball 2. 

  • Sure, maybe we can throw a 100 mph fast ball, but if we can’t hit the strike zone, what does it matter? The same is true with showing clients a policy/strategy that gives them all the bells and whistles, but has an outrageous premium attached. Ball 3. 

  • Here comes the big one … some advisors say, “My client can self-insure.” But, even the wealthiest clients can appreciate the leverage and risk protection of long-term care insurance – we just have to show them the impact. Ball 4.

If we continue along this path, we’ll start walking in runs, losing games (sales), and the team (clients) may move to another city (advisor). So, how do we pitch so our clients can hit homeruns?

The Perfect Pitch

  • First, we start with the right conversation – the conversation about the real possibility of a long-term care event, and the impact it could have on their family.

  • Next, we make sure they see the positive, lasting impact this decision will have on their family and their finances. No matter their situation, long-term care planning is something everyone needs to ensure they get the care they want and deserve. 

  • Third, we help them find the right funding option, ensuring they get proper leverage for their investment. 

  • Finally, we show them a solution that actually fits their needs, not the solution of the month.

The next time you’re ready to pitch long-term care to your clients, grab your Wild Thing glasses and get focused – you’ll win more games and take your clients to the World Series. If you continue to lob your throws across the plate? You’re only setting yourself up to fail. 

 

About the Author

Chad Eyrich is proud to help keep families together with long-term care planning. He helps advisors and their clients avoid the potential financial devastation of an LTC event by providing strategies around traditional, asset-based and linked-benefit insurance. In addition to earning his Long-Term Care Professional and Certified in Long-Term Care designations, Chad has a life and health insurance license, and a property and casualty insurance license. 

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3 Reasons LTC Planning is More Important for Women


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Women are typically the caregivers of the family. We care for our own children and household, and maybe our parents and their household … Our own care typically comes last. It’s only natural then that women don’t think about long-term care (LTC) planning as much as we should. Because we can’t even fathom the idea of needing care for ourselves. 

But we MUST plan for the unthinkable because LTC is far more important for women than it is for men. Here are three reasons why: 

1. They’re more likely to need care themselves.

Women live longer than men and have higher rates of disability and chronic health problems. According to the American Association for LTC Insurance (AALTCI), roughly two-thirds of LTC insurance claims paid in 2011 were for women needing care.

2. They’re more likely to care for their spouses

Even if a woman can’t contemplate her own care, she might consider the need for her spouse. Ask her: “Can you imagine lifting your husband if he can’t lift himself? Do you think you’ll still be able to do that 10-20 years from now?” If the answer is no, then she needs to consider a plan for both of them.
 

3. Their daughters are most likely to be their caregivers.

The AALTCI reports approximately 75 percent of those providing home care are female, most often a daughter who spends 20 hours a week providing care to her mother. Do they want to give their daughters that burden? 


I witnessed the need firsthand when my own mom fell and broke her hip. I’m one of four children, and let me tell you, it was all hands on deck for a good two months. 

Someone needed to be with my mom when my dad was out of the house. We needed to shop, cook and clean for her. We took turns, but it was very hard taking care of two households, even though I was on rotation with three siblings. That whole time I thought, “Do I try to have more kids now or make a plan so my only child isn’t on her own in this?” I can’t imagine putting her through that alone. 

As a financial professional, you should be talking with ALL of your clients about LTC planning. But clearly, the conversation is far more important for women. Make sure you’re pointing out the risks their taking – for themselves and their loved ones – if they don’t have a plan. 

 

Learn More

American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance – Important Information for Women: http://www.aaltci.org/long-term-care-insurance/learning-center/for-women.php

 

About the Author

Teresa Curreri is a senior LTC consultant partnering with agents to protect their clients and family from the uncertainty of tomorrow. She’s is a licensed life and health producer, and she’s been focusing on LTC for 15 years.  

 

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Planning for the future… What does that mean to you?


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I don’t know about you, but my life revolves around planning. 

As parents, we plan for our child’s future in education, health and sports. We plan for college, marriage and eventually grandchildren. We hold on to things in preparation for the future. 

As working adults, we plan for retirement, save for the future, build HSA accounts for future medical expenses, and we even plan for death. We create safety nets for unforeseen catastrophes and in turn, create financial security for our loved ones. 

One thing we often neglect to think about: What is going to happen to us when we can no longer take care of ourselves? What will happen if a medical emergency, or simply age, prevents us from living independently? 

Of course, none of us believes we will be in the position to need such planning. The fact is, however, the majority of us will need some sort of care, regardless of the circumstances, at some point in our lives. Along with this knowledge, the trend of extended families living in one home has declined. We can’t always count on children to take care of their parents or other relatives. What option does this leave, but to move dependent loved ones into nursing homes, or to hire in-home care services? 

Long-term care insurance is a vitally important resource everyone should have in their financial safety net. It will provide money toward your care at a nursing home, or even pay for someone to come into your home and help with your care. We all know someone who has stayed in a nursing home. It is a great expense to one’s family. Why not make it easier on your loved ones, and already have a plan in place? 

Bottom Line: Life is all about plans. Make sure yours are complete. 

Meghan Cormany’s focus within the Disability Marketing team is to find available coverage for tricky medical cases. She has worked exclusively with Ash’s Disability Marketing Team for more than seven years, so she brings experience and knowledge of individual and business-related disability products and case design, along with medical underwriting with our carriers. 

LTCAM LTC Awareness Month Planning

Be an Educator, NOT a Promoter


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So, November is here, and we all know what that means, right? No, not Thanksgiving, and not the beginning of Christmas music being played on the radio. November is Long-Term Care Awareness Month. It’s also Alzheimer’s awareness month. 

Unfortunately, our industry has turned November into Long-Term Care Insurance month. Think about it for a minute. More information is passed around about LTC insurance than about educating clients on the importance of planning for an LTC event. That’s not what this month is for!

This November, I challenge you to be an educator instead of a promoter

Let’s take it one step – or even a large leap – further. With the baby boomers turning 69 at an astounding rate of 10,000 per day, we shouldn’t just talk about the importance of LTC planning for a month. Instead, we need to make each day LTC awareness day. With every sunrise, make it a goal to talk to clients about planning, not just coverage. Because awareness isn’t about trying to make a sale; it’s about protecting families and legacies.  

Join me in making the commitment to have the discussion each and every day. These conversations may not be the most comfortable, but they are necessary if you’re truly looking out for your clients’ best interests. If you don’t have someone to work with, find someone. Don’t hide your head in the sand and say you’ll wait until tomorrow. We have a tremendous opportunity to change the paradigm of our business and make a huge impact on the future of our clients and their families.

Put it in Practice: November is a great month to start this initiative. Clients want to talk about LTC planning and are looking to us to help them better understand their options. Here’s to each and every sunrise – and each and every opportunity to make a difference.

Chad Eyrich is proud to help keep families together with long-term care planning. He helps advisors and their clients avoid the potential financial devastation of an LTC event by providing strategies around traditional, asset-based and linked-benefit insurance. In addition to earning his Long-Term Care Professional and Certified in Long-Term Care designations, Chad has a life and health insurance license, and a property and casualty insurance license. 

LTC LTCAM Long Term Care Awareness Month