Are High-Net Worth Clients Planning to Pay for Their Aging Parents?
We at AgingInvestor.com met with some forward thinking business owners, all under age 40, expressing their concerns about their aging parents. They weren’t sure what should be set aside or what to plan for their loved ones. Any of these business owners could be your HNW clients.
Some had purchased long-term care insurance for a parent and we were happy to see that good planning. Others figured they’d have to pay out of pocket when the need arose.
The gap between what older people think and expect and what really happens as we age is startling. And it is likely to throw the burden of paying for it on the financially successful adult children of these elders in denial. Some of their parents never had much wealth. Others have depleted their assets by outliving them or by other factors.
What about the dollars and cents? The Genworth Cost of Care Survey is done every year and provides average rates charged by service providers for homemaker services, home health aides, adult day health, assisted living and nursing home care across the country. And you can also search by state to see the average where a client’s parents live. Even the lowest level of care, someone to come in and help with cooking, shopping, laundry and errands averages $19 per hour, the national median hourly rate. The national median monthly rate for assisted living is $3500. And in my state, in urban areas and well-populated centers, it is twice that.
If your clients must consider paying for long-term help for their aging loved ones, it’s planning you need to do with them. It’s a special fund or targeted assets to be used for aging parents as needed.
Educate yourself first. Figure out how much it may take. According to a colleague who knows long term care insurance benefits, the average time a person with this kind of insurance collects policy benefits is three years or less. If it’s three years at $43,200 a year for assisted living, not factoring in the 2% annual increase in cost, that’s $129,600. And that’s under the unlikely scenario that a person who lives into her 90s, say, is going to stay level in what she needs over that three years. More likely than not, her needs will increase and the facility will charge more every month for more services. We see clients who are shelling out over $10,000 a month for a parent to be in assisted living. When parent is infirm and needs a lot of things from the staff, every new thing increases the monthly cost. A few years of that kind of expense can take its toll on your client’s retirement planning.
Near the end of our fruitful discussion, one of the participants asked, “What do the other 99% in our society do when an aging parent needs long-term care?” The answer: they either provide the care themselves at a very high personal cost, or their parent spends what assets he has until they’re gone. Then he ends up on Medicaid in a shared little room in a nursing home. No one wants to see that happen if you can help it.
Here are the takeaways to share with your HNW clients who may end up supporting aging parents or paying for their care.
- Look ahead. Discuss what needs your client’s family, particularly elders may have and what may be required from your client to meet potential obligations created by their family members.
- Consider whether your client should buy long-term care insurance for parents if their parents are not wealthy and have health issues. Do this before their parents turn 60 if you can. The elders may become uninsurable or premium cost may become prohibitive later.
- Educate your client about the real costs of long-term care. If they’re under 40 as our audience was, they are probably not thinking about their potential future obligations to parents who are not financially successful. This was an unusual group.
Smart planning now can save your client shock and distress later. If they are responsible folks, help them to expect the long run as their parents age. People in the 85+ age group are the fastest growing segment of our population. Most of these elders are not wealthy and someone will need to care for them.
China's Push Toward Excellence Delivers a Global Robotics Investment Opportunity
Written by: Jeremie Capron
China is on a mission to change its reputation from a manufacturer of cheap, mass-produced goods to a world leader in high quality manufacturing. If that surprises you, you’re not the only one.
For decades, China has been synonymous with the word cheap. But times are changing, and much of that change is reliant on the adoption of robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence, or RAAI (pronounced “ray”). For investors, this shift is driving a major opportunity to capture growth and returns rooted in China’s rapidly increasing demand for RAAI technologies.
You may have heard of ‘Made in China 2025,’ the strategy announced in 2015 by the central government aimed at remaking its industrial sector into a global leader in high-technology products and advanced manufacturing techniques. Unlike some public relations announcements, this one is much more than just a marketing tagline. Heavily subsidized by the Chinese government, the program is focused on generating major investments in automated manufacturing processes, also referred to as Industry 4.0 technologies, in an effort to drive a massive transformation across every sector of manufacturing. The program aims to overhaul the infrastructure of China’s manufacturing industry by not only driving down costs, but also—and perhaps most importantly—by improving the quality of everything it manufactures, from textiles to automobiles to electronic components.
Already, China has become what is arguably the most exciting robotics market in the world. The numbers speak for themselves. In 2016 alone, more than 87,000 robots were sold in the country, representing a year-over-year increase of 27%, according to the International Federation of Robotics. Last month’s World Robot Conference 2017 in Beijing brought together nearly 300 artificial intelligence (AI) specialists and representatives of over 150 robotics enterprises, making it one of the world’s largest robotics-focused conference in the world to date. That’s quite a transition for a country that wasn’t even on the map in the area of robotics only a decade ago.
As impressive as that may be, what’s even more exciting for anyone with an eye on the robotics industry is the fact that this growth represents only a tiny fraction of the potential for robotics penetration across China’s manufacturing facilities—and for investors in the companies that are delivering or are poised to deliver on the promise of RAAI-driven manufacturing advancements.
Despite its commitment to leverage the power of robotics, automation and AI to meet its aggressive ‘Made in China 2025’ goals, at the moment China has only 1 robot in place for every 250 manufacturing workers. Compare that to countries like Germany and Japan, where manufacturers utilize an average of one robot for every 30 human workers. Even if China were simply trying to catch up to other countries’ use of robotics, those numbers would signal immense near-term growth. But China is on a mission to do much more than achieve the status quo. The result? According to a recent report by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), in 2019 as much as 40% of the worldwide market volume of industrial robots could be sold in China alone.
To understand how the country can support such grand growth, just take a look at where and why robotics is being applied today. While the automotive sector has historically been the largest buyer of robots, China’s strategy reaches far and wide to include a wide variety of future-oriented manufacturing processes and industries.
Electronics is a key example. In fact, the electrical and electronics industry surpassed the automotive industry as the top buyer of robotics in 2016, with sales up 75% to almost 30,000 units. Assemblers such as Foxconn rely on thousands of workers to assemble today’s new iPhones. Until recently, the assembly of these highly delicate components required a level of human dexterity that robots simply could not match, as well as human vision to help ensure accuracy and quality. But recent advancements in robotics are changing all that. Industrial robots already have the ability to handle many of the miniature components in today’s smart phones. Very soon, these robots are expected to have the skills to bolster the human workforce, significantly increasing manufacturing capacity. Newer, more dexterous industrial robots are expected to significantly reduce human error during the assembly process of even the most fragile components, including the recently announced OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screens that Samsung and Apple introduced on their latest mobile devices including the iPhone X. Advancements in computer vision are transforming how critical quality checks are performed on these and many other electronic devices. All of these innovations are coming together at just the right time for a country that is striving to create the world’s most advanced manufacturing climate.
Clearly, China’s trajectory in the area of RAAI is in hyper drive. For investors who are seeking a tool to leverage this opportunity in an intelligent and perhaps unexpected way, the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index may help. The ROBO Index already offers a vast exposure to China’s potential growth due to the depth and breadth of the robotics and automation supply chain. As China continues to improve its manufacturing processes to meet its 2025 initiative, every supplier across China’s far-reaching supply chains will benefit. Wherever they are located, suppliers of RAAI-related components—reduction gears, sensors, linear motion systems, controllers, and so much more—are bracing for spikes in demand as China pushes to turn its dream into a reality.
Today, around 13% of the revenues generated by the ROBO Global Index members are driven by China’s investments in robotics and automation. Tomorrow? It’s hard to say. But one thing is for certain: China’s commitment to improving the quality and cost-efficiency of its manufacturing facilities is showing no signs of slowing down—and its reliance on robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence is vital to its success.
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