Gramp was an extraordinarily brave and hard-working man. In 1925, he jumped ship in Baltimore Harbor off a Russian freighter to which he was consigned at the age of 17. Later, he made his way to New Jersey where he started a contracting company and raised a family. At the age of 35,
when World War II broke out, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy.
By the early 1950's, he and his brothers owned four hotels on Miami Beach, but in the summer of 2000, he died penniless in a South Florida nursing home. In only a few short years, our family had spent all of his significant savings, taking care of him and maintaining his long-term care needs.
Gramp was a craftsman and he firmly believed in using the right tool for the right job. His old wooden tool kit was a world of wonder for his grandchildren. He never tired of explaining to us how each of the various tools worked and how each was best utilized.
If only Gramp had known before his illness that there was another kind of tool kit which needed to be assembled, a tool kit as important to his success as the old wooden one—a financial tool kit.
Gramp was like most of us. He knew he needed to prepare for future needs and plan for adversity. His financial tool kit was filled with stocks and bonds, investment properties and an up-to-date will. However, he realized too late that there was a staggering price to himself and his family for neglecting to prepare an appropriate long-term care program.
I have spent much of the last seven years since founding Today's Caregiver magazine and caregiver.com working to ensure that other caregiving families do not face financial ruin due to the increasing cost of caring for their loved ones and that their financial tool kits include considering the option of long-term care coverage.
Caregivers understand what steps are needed to safeguard their loved one's physical and emotional health. We must now become adept at learning the steps needed to ensure our family's fiscal health. The lesson taught by the preceding generation and the one we must pass on to generations to come is that the tool kits you assemble during your lifetime must include all instruments of preparedness to meet any situation.
Proper long-term care planning allows your loved ones financial flexibility and emotional security.
It truly is the gift of a lifetime.