Good morning. This is Larry Goldstein, president of Meridian Retirement Solutions. 

This podcast is going to talk about the epidemic of what I refer to as the epidemic of Long Term Care, Long Term Care to many people as a four-letter word. They don’t address the subject unless their parents experienced it, their sibling experienced it because they don’t need it. It’s not a fun topic to talk about. But it’s not about just taking the risk of Long Term Care off the table and putting a plan in place. It’s more about risk management, meaning the protection of assets. 

What is retirement all about? It’s all about protection of assets, assuring that your money is not spent down due to a extended Long Term Care event and their money is there to leave to your kids, to your spouse, to enable your spouse to maintain her lifestyle and not be burdened with Long Term Care bills that she cannot pay or Long Term Care expenses that the deplete her investable assets or money to spend on a monthly basis.

Now, Long Term Care in a strict sense definition is the inability or needing help to perform two – six daily activities. Now that can be done in a home or in a facility. Many people mistakenly think they’ll be put in a facility but 90% of people need and use Long Term Care benefits in their home, which is the first choice for many people. 

Now, Long Term Care could be a godsend. It can transfer the risk to the insurance company removing that potential risk of spending down your assets. 

Now, Do I need it? Well with the erosion of defined benefit plans, meaning pensions, your parents had pensions and if your relatives had pensions, but if you don’t you may not have the income to fund Long Term Care premiums, your traditional Long Term Care premiums. Which means you put a plan in place, you’re paying all this money to an insurance company over 20, 30 years and if you never use it, what happens? Who keeps the money? The insurance company keeps all the premiums you paid into a Long Term Care plan. 

What I’m gonna talk about today is a new phenomenon only offered in the last three to four years called Asset Based Long Term Care. Meaning, imagine a Long Term Care plan that’ll pay a compound rate of interest if you never use the benefits. Imagine a Long Term Care plan that can be viewed as an asset-building tool with some of your money that’s not performing or cash or underperforming money. Imagine a Long Term Care plan that will cover two lives for the same out of pocket. Imagine a Long Term Care plan that’ll pay a tax free benefit to your kids, to your spouse, to your beneficiaries. And most importantly, or just as importantly, imagine a Long Term Care plan that gives you the ability and flexibility to change your mind in the future. Meaning if your life circumstances change and you no longer need that Long Term Care benefit to get the money back, all the money you paid in, including all the interest earned without penalty.

In addition, there are traditional insurance plans that offer extended Long Term Care benefits that are also an option for you and your family. Now, most people say, “sure, it all sounds good, Larry” but they don’t consider the ramifications or the negativity that will surround extended Long Term Care benefit if you don’t put a plan in place. Meaning when it comes to your family dynamics in your family relationships, because who’s the caregiver for that person? For you? If you need Long Term Care, your spouse, your siblings, even your children, you certainly don’t want to rely on them. But what does that do to family relationships? Many times it destroys family relationships. If that person has not put a plan in place. So that’s the most important thing in families. To me, it’s not all about money sometimes folks. It’s really about maintaining the family dynamics and keeping the family intact so everyone gets along moving forward.

Now can I fund it myself? Sure you can. Many people can. You can self fund Long Term Care plan. But that’ll make you spend on your assets or spend down a good portion of your assets and for a small portion of your investable assets now you can take that risk off the table and put a plan in place. 

With 75% of people needing Long Term Care, it’s something that cannot be dismissed. Now for people 65 and over, the biggest reason for bankruptcy is unpaid Long Term Care bills. Meaning their spouse, their kids are burdened or they have to declare bankruptcy. Their spouse does because they cannot pay the Long Term Care. Is that something you want for your family? Absolutely not. 

So to get a no cost consultation and to learn more about these innovative, financially flexible plans that we can look at that may have a fit in your portfolio, please email me at larryg@meridianretirementsolutions.com.