By Kenneth Schulman, CLTC
During the past 19 years, Iíve found that the
majority of people quickly understand the value of
retirement planning and are able to calculate their
life insurance needs. Yet, the concept of long-term
care insurance protection is more challenging, since
people canít predict when the need for long-term
care will arise, how long it will be needed, and
what the most suitable care will be. By breaking the
review process into manageable parts, Iíve found it
easier to gain a better understanding of the
emotional and objective aspects of the decision
process and overcome some of the myths.
Itís An Emotional Decision
Several emotions drive the decision to
investigate long-term care planning. Understanding
these underlying emotional forces help when itís
time to guide decision-making thought processes.
When meeting with clients, the first conversation
point is a reality check: a discussion of family
members or close friends who have required long-term
care. Iíve found that everybody knows somebody close
to them or has a close personal friend who has
senile dementia, Alzheimerís or another debilitating
ailment. As we all get older and live longer, this
occurrence is more commonplace than ever before.
I try to help people realize that long-term care
planning and insurance protection is a way for a
family to stay focused on the emotional needs of the
family member who needs care instead of worrying
about a financial burden.
Plans Made Today Will Have a Broad Impact on the
Future, Family and Workplace. According to the US
Census Bureau (2002), by 2020, the 65 years and
older segment is projected to exceed 53 million.
This trend indicates an ever-increasing reality that
more people will need care than the health care
system will be able accommodate.
Well-intentioned families are taking the brunt of
the care demands upon themselves Ė or at least
delegating it to one member. In fact, a 2004
ďCaregiving in the U.S.Ē study by the National
Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, reported that an
estimated 44.4 million American caregivers age 18
and older provide unpaid care to an adult age 18 or
older. Almost six in 10 (59 percent) of these
caregivers either work or have worked while
providing care. And 62 percent have had to make some
adjustments to their work life, from reporting late
to work to giving up work entirely.