Americans are living longer. As more and more Americans continue to have personal experiences with loved ones needing care or actually become a relative’s caregiver, the need to have a prudent plan for long-term health care is becoming increasingly apparent.

Consumers and advisors across the nation have varying perspectives on this issue, and while no one plan or financial strategy is right for all, there is consistent opinion that a need for people to consider health care costs associated with aging and cognitive impairment is critical.

Americans downplay the risk of needing care – it’s part of the culture that is driven by consumption of fast food, sodas, and calories. Given the scope of the epidemic of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and the impact of smoking as a contributing cause of premature death, it’s ironic that more focus isn’t placed on this issue. 

You don’t have to look too far to see someone who has some significant health concerns. It CAN be YOU!

It’s also ironic, because 74% of Americans believe that ‘living a healthy lifestyle is the answer’ – but living healthy may simply increase longevity and that still leaves diseases solely associated with the natural process of aging. IF YOU’RE PLANNING TO LIVE A LONG TIME, YOU NEED A PLAN!

People far underestimate the dollars needed just for retirement, and the retirement savings rate is at an all-time low.  Beyond that, most never factor in the potential costs for long-term care. Those costs are staggering: the national hourly rate for At-Home care is $23.00 per hour, exceeded by the staggering costs for a private nursing stay in a nursing home – a whopping $103,000.00 per year2. And, these costs will only continue to rise as Baby Boomers begin to flood the system.

Having “The Conversation”

Only 14% of Americans1 have ‘discussed planning for care or talked with an advisor about how to plan for care. That’s surprising, given that 72%1 ‘worry that they would not be able to provide adequate care if someone in their family needed it.’

More than half of Americans say, ‘having a spouse provide their care is their plan’, yet very few spouses signed up for diaper changes, nor could most adequately care for an aging or sick spouse, given their own possible health concerns. That burden then falls upon the children –

1VerstaResearch, “2017 LTC Marketing and Thought Leadership Research, Findings from Surveys of Advisors and Consumers, “ library/file/Lincoln LTC Study Part 1 Final 02.21018.pdf, February 2018.

2LTCG, “2017 Lincoln Financial Group Cost of Care Survey, “, February 2018.

61% of which say ‘they don’t want to be someone’s caregiver’1 – nor is that option even practical in today’s dual income lifestyles.

Enter Asset-Based Long-Term Care.

The insurance industry has figured out a really great solution – something called Asset Based Long-Term Care plan. With these types of plans, clients use highly specialized insurance contract to people to position assets inside an insurance chassis to leverage for healthcare. No purchase is required.

Think of this as moving money from one pocket to the other – with the second pocket guaranteeing you can always return the money to the original pocket – but the dollars placed in pocket “B” is bigger than pocket “A”.  This strategy guarantees that, no matter what, you never lose!  

This establishes a comprehensive plan to address the financial challenges of healthcare, so spouses and kids don’t have to liquidate assets at the wrong time, never have to struggle between the need for care and the desire to preserve assets, thus assuring legacies and lifestyles when significant dollars are required for healthcare.  

What’s all the fuss about? It’s just about creating a meaningful, loving and respectful way to exit the way we came in, with the same thoughtful love and attention to our healthcare and well-being.