Three Compelling Reasons Engaging in Care Planning is in Your Client's Best Interest

May 19th, 2021

Having a plan for long-term care can help ensure that clients,

  • Don’t over-burden loved ones while receiving the quality of care they need and desire;
  • Maintain their lifestyle, for themselves and their spouse or partner even while paying for professional care along the way; and
  • Help ensure the continued financial security for a spouse or partner and other loved ones.

When there is not a plan to pay for professional help, the personal costs paid by loved ones increase dramatically as there are no other options, especially when the wish is to keep the care recipient at home.

Simply start by asking, “What is your plan for extended care?”  This is not a financial question.

“If you needed care tomorrow, where would you want to live long-term?”  Listen, and ask more questions as clients respond; guide and educate as needed.  Most people want to stay in their own home if at all possible for as long as possible.

Ask, “How do you see that working?  Who will be your primary caregiver(s)?”  If the answer is a spouse and/or children, ask, “Have you considered what the personal impact of 24/7 responsibility would be on their lives, lifestyle, and even their health?”

A survey by AARP found that half of family caregivers are performing demanding medical and nursing tasks previously and traditionally done by medical professionals.  They are providing intense and complex care, including managing multiple health conditions that are often accompanied by pain. [1]    

Quality custodial home care costs about $23 per hour, or about $4,000 per month for 40-hours of care. [2] Ask your clients, “If you or your spouse needed care, where would you get an extra $4,000 a month of income to pay for part-time home care?”

Shifting income or consuming assets to pay for care has a direct impact on the ability to keep all other financial commitments.  The ongoing lifestyle of the spouse, partner, children, or other loved ones, when income is reallocated to provide for care, is likely going to suffer.[3]

Only when these personal and financial consequences have been identified can you begin to explore the use of, and need for, LTC insurance.  Engaging clients in an effective extended care planning conversation should focus first on care. 

So ask your clients, “What’s your plan for extended care?”

It’s time to start the conversation.

[1] Home Alone Revisited: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Care. Funded by the AARP Foundation 2019

[3] The Advisor’s Guide to LTC Conversations and Solutions.  How to talk to clients about extended care, create meaningful care plans, and increase your profitability.  CLTC, Durham, NC