November is Long Term Care Awareness month, and many of our advisors are taking the opportunity to reexamine how the service can benefit both their clients and their practice. While according to Lincoln Financial Group, 72% of Americans believe they would not be able to provide adequate care for a loved one, and 99% of advisors agree that families should establish a plan for long-term care (LTC) before they actually need it, many offices admit LTC falls off their radar. Brad Marshall from Marshall Wealth Management Group, and Kevin Swanson of Potentia Wealth feel this is a major oversight.
“People save for their entire lives, and it’s tragic to see that savings go so quickly. Care is extraordinarily expensive,” Marshall said. “Most LTC also has death benefits, so the money isn’t lost if it’s not used for care. It’s a no brainer: buy early enough, you can significantly multiply your money. Not to mention, the peace of mind our clients gain by having a solid plan is priceless.”
“I watched my grandmother with dementia quickly deplete her life savings trying to find adequate care” Swanson stated. “The impact it had on my parents as the burden for her care fell to them when her assets were gone was astronomical on both a fiscal and emotional level.”
When it comes to advising his clients, Swanson said, “I have seen the fear in a healthy spouse’s eyes when they consider the weight of caring for an aging spouse, and the guilt for having that fear. I have also seen the empowerment of independence that having a proper LTC policy in place gives our clients knowing that they can provide for themselves. In our office, we have made LTC part of every planning discussion.”
When asked why he thinks LTC is important to offer for your business, Marshall stated that it’s a “huge value differentiator. It also opens conversations between friends and family, providing opportunities for referrals and multigenerational clients.”
For tips on how to add LTC as part of your offerings, he advises: “Start small. Work with the support at the insurance companies and have them run some hypotheticals. Look at unproductive cash, or non-producing assets.” Ultimately, he notes, “Clients are thinking about it, and your clients are other advisors’ prospects, so better learn it quick. It’s easier than you think.”