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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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Fathers See Things Differently


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As we all know, Father’s Day comes every June. While it’s not a major holiday, there is more to it than meets the eye. Trust me. As the father of four kids, I know how much it means to us to be celebrated for all we do … Even if we don’t say how much we appreciate the appreciation. 

Fathers are a proud group. We like to be the providers and protectors of our family. That said, we have a tendency to think we’re invincible. We don’t want to come to terms with our mortality because we think we’ll always be around to care for everyone else.

I must say, our thinking isn’t completely out of line with reality. We are living longer and taking better care of ourselves. We want to be around to see our kids grow up and have their own kids. This is where long-term care planning plays such an important role.

Because men can be difficult, you have to talk to us a different way. You can’t just throw statistics at us and expect us to understand. If you say, “There’s a 70 percent chance you’ll need long-term care,” let me tell you, I will always be the other 30 percent. My wife and kids won’t need to pick me up or help me out because it won’t ever happen to me. This is where the discussion needs to change.

Fathers care about their families, and we want to make sure nothing ever happens to them. So instead of asking about us, ask about THEM. “If” we’re not the lucky 30 percent, what would happen to our families? How would THEIR lives be devastated? 

Now you have our attention. If you can tug on that string, we will at least engage in the conversation. This goes back to my earlier blogs. Long-term care isn’t about trying to sell insurance. It’s about helping families plan for living a long life.

Put it in Practice: Now that we all have a better understanding of how dads think, find yours and let him know how much he means to you. Then, the next time you’re talking with a dad about long-term care, shift the conversation away from his weaknesses and instead focus on what will really matter to him.

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Stop Trying to Sell – Start Asking Questions


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In the last few years, I’ve been told over and over again how hard it is to sell long-term care Insurance. When I ask why, the “reasons” (or excuses) start flying in ...

  • It’s too expensive
  • Carriers are getting out of the business
  • There are no lifetime benefits
  • Rates could go up
  • My clients won’t need it

When I sit back and think, it seems like we are spending more time pushing products and less time helping clients put together plans to protect their families IF they need care. That’s right, I said IF. None of us thinks we’ll really ever need it, but then again, this isn’t about us. Long-term care planning is about our families. They will have to deal with the consequences of our actions – or inactions – not us. We will still get care.

But let’s get back to the excuses. I think we could get past all of this if we just stop trying to sell insurance. Think about the ways you present other solutions. 

When it comes to life insurance, we start by asking questions about the client’s family and goals, right? Why not just go in there with a $1 million life insurance quote? Or how about retirement planning … Do you just throw a prospectus on the table and say, “Buy this”? Probably not. 

So, why do we resort to these things when it comes to long-term care insurance? Are we just selling insurance … or do we want to give clients a plan to protect their family? 

Before you jump into your next sales pitch, back up and start with a few questions:   

  • Have any of your family members or loved ones needed some sort of care?
  • Would you agree that the longer you live, the greater the likelihood your health may become compromised and you might need care?
  • IF something was to happen and you needed care, how would you pay for it?

Let’s face it: Most clients don’t think that they will ever need care. I know I don’t. But, it isn’t about me – it’s about my family. If, and I emphasize IF, I were to need care, that last thing I want is for my wife or kids to suffer because I was selfish.  

Put It In Practice: If you want to make your life easier, and maybe help protect your clients and their families, STOP trying to sell them long-term care insurance and START asking them about their plan IF something were to happen. If you don’t want to go down that road, call us! We’ll be more than happy to be part of your team and have the conversation for you.

 

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Come to Your (Financial) Senses


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The emotion of long-term care event speaks for itself – it needs little, if any, explanation. The financial impact, however, should be explained. In detail. Over and over. Don’t stop until the client completely gets the picture.

Cost of care in this country averages $80,000 a year for a nursing home or $50,000 a year for part-time care in your own home. Assisted living falls somewhere in the middle. Twenty years from now, those costs will likely double – 20 years from now, the last of the baby boomers will be entering their 70s. 

Long-term care planning shifts the risk off an individual and their family. It’s better leverage on their money. Without shifting the risk, without planning, clients by default are choosing to self-insure. When we show them how to self-insure more effectively with insurance solutions, we have to show them the financial impact of their decisions – good or bad. 

A typical, standalone long-term care policy costs $2,500 a year. Average cost of care in this country is $5,000 a month. So what’s more expensive? It makes good financial sense to shift the risk and do long-term care planning. 

Concerned about having to lose in order to win? The market today is ripe with solutions that offer a promised benefit. Live too long, die too soon, maintain control over your premium. If your clients have money set aside for retirement, it could be multiplied in value – sometimes two to four times – for long term care! Why wouldn’t your clients want to have their money work harder? 

Put it in Practice: Make sure you move past the emotional and into the financial when you’re having the care conversation. The Ash Brokerage LTC team can help show your clients the impact of their decisions. 

 

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