Turn a Death Benefit into a Living Benefit and Pay for Long-Term Care
The costs of long-term care are increasing every year, according to Genworth Financial, but most families and advisors do not understand what they will be confronting when it is time to start paying for care. Too many people wait until they are in the middle of a crisis situation before they start trying to figure out how the world of long-term care works. Long-term care is a topic people don’t want to discuss and it’s a very expensive proposition. Families can go broke quickly trying to provide for a loved one. Compounding this problem is that many people do not know the difference between Medicare and Medicaid, and what you must do to qualify. They don’t know the differences between home care, assisted living and nursing home care. They don’t know what is and is not covered between public and private pay. And, most likely don’t understand the growing array of long-term care insurance, annuity and life insurance products.
People are warned to plan for the future almost constantly over the course of their adult life. But the reality is too few actually heed the warnings and don’t secure insurance or financial products that can mitigate their future risks. There are solutions to help many people who failed to plan. One of the fastest growing areas of funding long-term care is in the area of “crisis management”. There are “point-of-care” tools available to families that can help pay for the costs of care at the time that it is needed. One tool that is becoming more prevalent is exchanging life insurance policy death benefits into structured vehicles such as Long-Term Care Health Savings Accounts (LTC-HSA) that will pay for the costs of senior retirement living and long term care.
A life insurance policy can still protect your loved ones while you are alive. You bought it to protect them in case you died—but, it’s important to realize the same policy can protect your family from certain tragedies brought on by insufficient financial means and/or the need for long-term care:
- Avoid becoming a physical or financial burden on your spouse or children
- Family members can avoid being forced into the role of a caregiver
- Families don’t have to experience the sudden disruption and stress of having to find accommodations for loved ones
- Income and assets are not drained to support your family today and in the future
There are three critical elements to a responsible retirement plan:
- Protecting lifestyle by guaranteeing income.
- Protecting family legacy by guaranteeing wealth transfer.
- Protecting lifestyle and legacy from the costs of long term care.
The costs of long-term care can be staggering and, according to the Genworth long-term care costs survey, a person could easily spend through $100,000 (or much more) over a 12- to 24-month period. But, what if you could use an existing asset such as a no-longer-needed life insurance policy to cover the costs so that your income and legacy are protected—all while ensuring that your health and lifestyle are lived with quality, dignity, and choice? It is being done by people every day.
Despite the best efforts of legal, insurance and financial advisors to educate people about planning for the inevitable with insurance products and savings; people tend to be too busy trying to keep up with today to worry about tomorrow. The problems this can cause goes far beyond the individual. There is a ripple effect that can engulf family members, employers, tax-payers, care providers, and it can also create significant liabilities for advisors.
So the tough question must be asked of clients regularly: Are you confident that you have planned and saved enough to live comfortably in your senior years? Are you ready to handle long-term care for you or a loved one? Sadly, for the majority of Americans the answer to these questions is NO!
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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