The Real Cost of Long-Term Care for Aging Clients
Are you doing retirement planning with your clients? Do you understand the real dollars involved in long term care?
It goes way beyond out of pocket medical expenses for Medicare premiums, supplemental insurance and medicines. You need to help them free up enough to pay for it.
We are indeed living longer now due to advances in medicine and technology but what is the condition we’re in with longevity? It’s not true that we’re living healthier than the prior generation.
No one wants to talk about the reality that things like obesity, in 30-35% of Boomers are going to affect whether they need to pay for lots of things Medicare does not cover. Obesity is frequently associated with significantly greater risk for heart disease, strokes and diabetes. Boomers have the highest rates of obesity of any age group in the U.S. If you want to pick conditions that are most likely to result in the need for long term care, all of these are among them.
Retirement planning can be very tricky when it comes to considering the cost of long term care. Most people don’t want to have a conversation about what would happen if they became disabled. Most would rather change the subject quickly if the issue of possible diminished capacity is raised. “That’s on going to happen to me!” is the expected response. But the risk is real, and there are plenty of statistics to support an analysis of what it costs to care for a person with disabling health conditions.
According to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey, which comes out annually, 70% of people over the age of 65 will need some kind of long term support as they age. At AgingInvestor.com, we recommend that every financial professional have the latest study on hand and that you share it with your clients when you do retirement planning. Chances are they are not as healthy as their parents were. And what kind of care will they need?
Most people want to stay at home as they age. Many will use home care services to be able to stay at home. Here’s an example. My now 94 year old mother in law, Alice, had numerous hospitalizations for a couple of months, for blood pressure issues, the flu and other problems. She simply wasn’t safe living independently in her apartment as she recovered. A home care worker came in every day for a cost of $25 per hour, initially for 12 hours a day. That cost is not paid by Medicare.
She’s a good example of how we can need care with advanced age even if we do things right. She has always taken good care of herself, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t abuse alcohol, exercises regularly and keeps her weight in normal range. And yet, after illness she needed 24/7 care. The overall out of pocket costs associated with that bout of illness approached $10,000. She’s fairly tough and did recover fully. However at her age that is not what usually happens. Home care could be needed indefinitely at a cost even part-time of at least $20,000 per year.
The extra $20,000 a year any less resilient elder could need is for someone who has neither heart disease nor diabetes. Chronic illnesses put a person at even greater risk of needing expensive care. Full time around the clock help can run $250,000 per year and up, depending on geographic area market rates.
Here’s the takeaway: Expect that anyone who reaches the age of 80 is much more likely than not to need cash to pay for help of some kind. If your client is overweight or obese, the risk is very high. Ditto if your client smokes. Be sure to plan for making cash available to cover your client’s likely needs in his later years. Most of what is usually required is not covered by either Medicare nor supplemental “Medigap” insurance.
NBA Player Carl Landry Demonstrates the Value of Persistence in Life and Work
Written by: Jon Sabes
When you meet Carl Landry, stand-out college basketball player and nine-year NBA player, you imagine that becoming a professional basketball star was a straight forward run for the 6-foot-nine-inch power forward.
However, when you go deeper into Carl’s background, becoming a NBA professional was less than certain and little came easily to the 33-year-old from Milwaukee:
- He was cut from his high school team as a freshman and averaged less than ten points a game when he did play as a senior.
- He started his college career not at Purdue, but a junior college where it was not clear he would play.
- When he finally got to Purdue, he tore his ACL in his knee his first year and reinjured it the next year.
- While his family held a party for him the night of the NBA draft, he slept in the Philadelphia airport after missing a flight following a workout for the 76ers.
- In the NBA playoffs, Carl had a tooth knocked out, but came back in the same game to make a game-winning blocked shot as the Rockets beat the Utah Jazz 94-92.
Landry, who I interviewed on my podcast, Innovating Life with Jon Sabes (www.jonsabes.com), is a remarkable example of the value of “persistence.” In a time where technology creates the image that anything is possible at the touch of a button, persistence is an under-appreciated trait. When I spoke with Carl, I clearly saw someone for whom success has only come through a force of will that made him a NBA player, but it also made him a better player every year he played. That’s the kind of personality that has produced greatness in business as well as sports.
Carl was, in fact, drafted that night he spent in the airport. The Seattle Supersonics chose him as the 31st overall pick and then traded him to the Houston Rockets where he rode the bench for much of the first half of the season. When All-Star teammate Yao Ming was injured, he stepped in and played a key role in the Rockets astonishing 22-game winning streak (the third longest streak in NBA history). And, that season, after sitting on the bench for 33 of the first 36 games, he was named to the All-Rookie second team.
Carl was the first in his family to go to college. “I told myself that this was my ticket out, so I did everything I possibly could to be the best person in school and also on the court,” he said.
His family life in Milwaukee showed him what he didn’t want to do. “Just being honest with you, seeing some my cousins, peers, they went to work for jobs paying six, seven dollars an hour or they didn’t go to work at all and then living off welfare. I didn’t want that.”
When he was first injured, he had to contemplate the end of a career before it even got started. “When you have an ACL tear, it’s over…no more basketball,” he told me. “I said, God, give me health again and I’ll do everything I can to leave it all out on the line and be a successful individual.”
On my podcast, Carl pointed out another interesting lesson he learned in the NBA: Not doing things just to fit in.
“Fitting in was easy,” he said. “Doing everything that everybody else does was easy. If I stood out in some type of way, I’m going to have different results. I’m going to have stand-out results.”
That’s called the “Law of Contrast” and it produces that exact effect of changing the outcomes that everyone else is experiencing. Carl is smart, he recognized that differences make a difference, and doing whatever it takes is what is required to make real, meaningful differences.
Every off-season for the last 11 years, he has run a camp for kids in Milwaukee where he tells youth his story of hard work and persistence. “I always tell the kids to apply themselves and always be persistent,” he said. “If you dream, apply yourself and be persistent. With hard work, man, the sky’s the limit.”
When Carl says the sky’s the limit he means it. He is smart to recognize that it’s important to dream big, because if we don’t – we may be selling ourselves short. “You have to dream bigger than your mind could ever imagine,” he said. “I wanted a nice house. I wanted a nice car. I said, and I got all of that. So, what do I do, do I stop now? Maybe I didn’t dream big enough.” That’s a big statement coming from a kid who grew up to be the first in his family to graduate college and go on to be not only a top NBA basketball start, but a good businessman, father and someone who gives back to the community.
I’m convinced that in whatever he takes on as a basketball player or in his post-hoops career, Carl Landry is not going to stop getting better at whatever he does, and in the process of doing so, make the world a better place.
- 1 of 1625