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Topics: Long-Term Care Planning Advice

March 28, 2023

Financial planning involves thoughtfully outlining objectives and setting goals in your Life Plan. With anything, the possibility of running into obstacles, options, and challenges throughout your financial journey is unavoidable. That’s why it is important to implement some sort of checks and balances to mitigate these challenges. Insurance is one of the best ways to account for unforeseen conditions and events in your financial plan. The thought of utilizing insurance can be daunting. It makes the possibility of losing your car or home due to an accident, flood, or fire a reality. That’s exactly why we create a financial plan – to be prepared for the unexpected. Our team is committed to coaching you through the process, so that you can make an informed and confident decision. There are various types of insurance services available that your Trilogy Financial advisor can help you navigate so you can handle the many uncertainties that life throws your way.

Read on to discover these insurance services.

Insurance Services Provided by Trilogy Financial

Every Trilogy Financial Advisor is committed to helping you build the legacy you have always desired to leave through the following services:

Term Insurance

A term insurance policy is the most common form of temporary life insurance. The term usually lasts for a specific “term” of years. Term insurance is also a form of insurance that is rented. Meaning, you pay a monthly premium for the insurance, but it expires after the allotted time frame. The duration can range from five to thirty years.

Term insurance protects liabilities that will cease to exist after a specific period, such as providing extra cashflow for raising children. It is a simple life insurance plan that protects against the possibility of an untimely death. A death benefit is granted if the insured passes away during the policy's stated tenure.

Because death is unpredictable, term insurance plans are essential. The family may experience a significant financial loss if the family's primary provider passes away. A term plan covers the loss. It benefits the family, allowing them to cover lifestyle costs and continue to address their financial objectives.

Permanent Insurance

Permanent insurance can be considered “owning” insurance coverage. Like term insurance, you pay a monthly premium; however, in permanent insurance, the range is continuous and does not end within a time frame.

For instance, even after your children have moved out and your liabilities have diminished, you may continue to carry some form of insurance to cover your loved ones and compensate for your end-of-life needs.

Permanent insurance premiums are more significant than term insurance premiums because, unlike term insurance, the insurance company may never have to pay out the policy. Permanent insurance can be used as an income and an insurance tool. Both a death benefit and a cash value factor are included. You can access the money as the value increases by taking out a loan or a withdrawal, and you can terminate the insurance by withdrawing the cash value.

Long-Term Care Planning

Long-term care planning, at its foundation, entails ensuring that you or a loved one's needs are adequately met when they can no longer care for themselves. Therefore, as you age, having a practical plan becomes more and more crucial. While many maintain their independence well into their senior years, it never hurts to plan.

Any long-term financial plan should consider long-term care costs, especially if you are in your 50s or older. You are unlikely to qualify for long-term care insurance if you already have a disabling condition. Most over 75 applicants will not be accepted by long-term care insurance providers. Most persons who purchase long-term care insurance do so between 50 and 60.

Risk Management

Risk management entails recognizing, assessing and managing risk. A well-executed risk management program is built on a foundation of standardized risk assessments to assist businesses in prioritizing their risk based on its potential impact. This procedure will inevitably reveal hazards affecting the company's fundamental competencies.

As financial Advisors, it is a part of our job to help you navigate your financial well-being, which includes helping you mitigating certain risks. Identifying your risk factors is your first defense, followed by avoiding or limiting risks to your income and survivors. Insurance is your quality line of defense.

Importance of Insurance in Financial Planning

Here are some factors that make insurance an essential aspect of your Life Plan:

  • Financial assurance: You feel safe knowing that the insurance policy will cover the damages in the event of an emergency.
  • Tax advantages: Insurance lowers your taxable income and provides financial benefits.1
  • Risk protection: Insurance prepares you to deal with any financial loss you might suffer in the event of an unplanned circumstance.
  • Meeting your prerequisites: Several insurance policies are available to cover the various risks you can encounter.
  • Peace of mind: Insurance plans assure you that your funds will not be compromised in the event of an emergency.

*This information is not intended as authoritative guidance or tax advice.  You should consult with your tax advisor for guidance on your specific situation.

Why Choose Trilogy Financial

Your financial plan should be strategically in line with your insurance. Our Trilogy Financial Advisors use a comprehensive strategy to offer insurance policies tailored to your specific needs and Life Plan. We understand the risks you face and how to help improve your financial life. Our Advisors will work with you to develop a deeper understanding of your alternatives, pinpoint practical needs and make plans for the care you and your family deserve.

To help you build the life you’ve dreamed, we collaborate with the most reliable insurance firms with a track record of being financial secure and capable of paying claims.

Get Started with a Financial Advisor Today

Everyone has a distinct level of risk, and before purchasing insurance, it is critical to identify risks and establish how to limit the likelihood of them occurring. We understand that everyone has a varying level of comfort and experience in navigating finances and Life Plans. That’s why our Advisors are committed to being both a partner and coach to support you as much or as little as you need, so you can make the best decisions for you and your family.

At Trilogy Financial, our Advisors will guide you through your daily financial decisions to keep you on track and set you up for your real-life goals. If you have any questions concerning insurance or any other element of your financial life, get in touch or visit our website today to book a meeting with an advisor

 

happily discussing insurance plan after meeting with financial advisor
 

 

September 23, 2019

People are living longer – that’s a fact. Unfortunately, all those additional years aren’t always spent in optimum health. With longevity comes the complicated question of how to pay for the necessary health care for those additional years. Costs for unexpected and long-term chronic care are rarely covered by Medicare. People are having to face these costs on their own. Thankfully, the right type of planning can make this task less daunting.

Long-term care can be an overwhelming topic. The statistics are sobering. 52% of people turning age 65 will need some type of long-term care services in their lifetimes, and 14% will need long-term care for longer than five years. With the median annual cost of adult day care averaging $18,200 and assisted living facilities at $45,000, the financial implications can be staggering. It can sound like a complicated topic, but the way to protect you really boils down to three options.

  • Self-insure: This is the option that many select by default because they don’t want to think about the possibility of illness creeping into their future. It’s a scary option, which they hope won’t happen to them. However, this option typically leaves them unprepared for the medical costs that eventually do occur.
  • Long-term Care Policy: This is a good form of financial protection as it covers your risk but won’t wreck your financial plan. However, the down side with such a policy is that if you don’t use it, you lose it.
  • Accelerated Benefit Riders (ABR’s): Lastly, you can invest in life insurance you don’t have to die to use. These riders in your insurance plan will allow you to receive your benefits prior to death due to terminal, chronic or critical illness. The ABR’s will cover your risk, and you’ll still receive the benefit if you don’t need to use it for long-term care purposes.

Now, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It’s always best to meet with your trusted financial advisor to find the right option for you. Just know that when you do take the time to plan ahead and find the right option for your particular situation, you’re not only providing for your future but also your peace of mind as well.

[i] https://www.morningstar.com/articles/879494/75-must-know-statistics-about-long-term-care-2018-edition

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

November 2, 2018

In 2015, Americans spent $225 billion on long-term care. That’s 7 ½ times what was spent 15 years prior, in 2000. With the great advances we have made in medicine and medical technology, people are living longer. The downside to that is that it means people are more likely to need care and need it longer. In fact, over half of people turning 65 will need long-term care at some point in their lives.(1)

Types Of Long-Term Care

When you think of long-term care, skilled nursing facilities are probably what comes to mind. However, that is actually the last step in the long-term care journey. Most long-term care is not medical; it is simply assistance with basic activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, eating, and going to the bathroom.

Even without serious medical problems, most people become less and less capable of taking care of themselves as they age. Traditionally, people would turn to family for help with such things. However, in our modern era where families live far apart and adult children are already overburdened with careers and children, more and more people have to pay for long-term care services.

The most basic, and least expensive, form of care is homemaker services. Homemaker services do not involve anything medical, but rather things like meal preparation, cleaning, and running errands. The next step up, which does have a medical component, would be a home health aide.

Once basic in-home assistance is not enough, specialized facilities are needed. Care outside of the home can be in the form of adult day healthcare, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes.

Costs Of Long-Term Care(2)

Costs vary depending on the type of care needed and the part of the country in which you live. On an annual basis, the national average goes from just under $48,000 for homemaker services to over $97,000 for a private room in a nursing home, and that number is growing about 3-4% a year.

Things change drastically when you look at specific locations. In San Francisco, homemaker services are more than 150% the national average and growing twice as fast. A private room in a nursing home averages $171,185 a year. Even downgrading to a semi-private room still costs over $141,000 a year. Twenty years from now, that same semi-private room is expected to cost over a quarter of a million dollars.

As you can see, long-term care can be very expensive, especially with the rise of dementia, where people can live a long time while needing care. In 2018, the estimated lifetime cost of care for someone with dementia is $341,840,(3) and it’s probably much higher in a state like California.

Ways Of Paying For Long-Term Care

Because of the high cost, it is important to plan ahead for long-term care. There are a number of ways to pay for care, each with its advantages and disadvantages.

Medicaid

The vast majority of Americans turn to Medicaid for their long-term care expenses. However, it’s not because it’s a great option. Rather, it’s their only option. In order to qualify for Medicaid, you have to have a low income and low assets, so it’s not really something people plan for intentionally.

Self-Insure

On the opposite end of the spectrum from the people that can qualify for Medicaid are those who have amassed enough wealth to self-insure. If you have $50 million in assets, you can afford to pay $170,000 a year for a nursing home and it won’t have a significant impact on your finances.

The danger is that sometimes people take too great a risk thinking they can self-insure. Often, care is needed later in retirement when savings have already been spent down significantly. Having $500,000 in the bank may seem like a lot of money, but long-term care expenses can eat through it very quickly. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for a couple to spend all of their savings on the husband’s care only to leave the wife destitute at his passing.

Life Insurance With A Long-Term Care Rider

One option for those that find themselves in between broke and very wealthy is adding a long-term care rider to their life insurance. If you have, or are planning on purchasing, permanent life insurance, your policy may allow you to add a rider that would help pay for your long-term care costs. Using the long-term care option will often lower your death benefit, but many people appreciate knowing they will receive a benefit even if they never need long-term care.

Premium Paying Long-Term Care Insurance

Another option is buying pure long-term care insurance. Like with most kinds of insurance, you pay a regular premium in exchange for receiving a benefit when you need long-term care. One downside to this for many people is that you will only receive a benefit if you end up needing long-term care. As with car insurance where you have to get into an accident in order to get money out of it, if you never need care, you never see your money again.

Asset-Based Long-Term Care Insurance

The final option has been the fastest growing long-term care option over the last decade.(4) It is a combination of long-term care insurance and single premium life insurance, commonly called asset-based insurance.

The way it works is that you pay a large amount up front and then low annual premiums. You have several times your initial deposit available tax-free for long-term care needs. If you never use it or cancel your plan, you usually get your deposit back plus interest. Some plans even include tax-free death benefits.

Choosing A Long-Term Care Option

Looking at the statistics, you can tell that planning for long-term care is an important thing to do. Failing to do so can be a costly mistake. Because the multitude of options available can be complex and confusing, it’s important to work with an experienced financial professional.

An experienced advisor can explain all of your options to you, help you consider the pros and cons of each, and decide which is the best solution for your particular situation. If you want that kind of help choosing a long-term care option, call my office at (949) 221-8105 x 2128, or email me at michael.loo@lpl.com to set up a no-strings-attached meeting.

(1) https://www.morningstar.com/articles/879494/75-mustknow-statistics-about-longterm-care-2018-ed.html

(2) https://www.genworth.com/aging-and-you/finances/cost-of-care.html

(3) https://www.morningstar.com/articles/879494/75-mustknow-statistics-about-longterm-care-2018-ed.html

(4) https://www.525longtermcare.com/asset-based-ltci/

August 26, 2018

There is one area of planning that gets glossed over, even by the many responsible people: long-term care planning. For so many, it is difficult to plan for something that seems so far removed from their current existence. Many also assume that their current health insurance or Medicare will cover most expenses associated with long-term care. Unfortunately, these mistakes leave them ill-prepared for the expensive reality.

As the US government estimates 70% of individuals who are currently 65 “will require some form of long-term care”.1 Therefore, this is more of an eventuality for most folks than it is a possibility. When an individual’s health starts to decline, hopefully, multiple levels have been put into place. Not only should you be concerned with who will care for you physically, you must all consider who will care for your finances.

Physical Care –The costs for long-term care can be surprising for many, with the average 65-year-old paying approximately $138,000 over his/her lifetime.2 As mentioned earlier, Medicare or private health insurance rarely covers all types and expenses of long-term care. Medicaid assistance varies by state and requires that an individual “must spend down his or her assets and meet other criteria.”3 Additionally, It is important to talk with your loved ones about long-term care options, not only about what one can afford but equally as important, what one prefers.

Ultimately, many end up paying for long-term care from their own finances – 50% according to the Bipartisan Policy Center report.4 To protect your finances and the finances of your loved ones, it is vital to prepare for these possible scenarios. There are many long-term care insurance policies that can provide you the assistance your particular situation needs. The premiums for these policies are much more affordable the younger you are. While some of these policies can get a bit confusing, a financial planner can easily go over these policies and help you determine which one would be best for your particular situation.

Financial Care – The key to financially protecting a client in declining physical or mental health lies in teamwork. The team, which consists of their financial team members (financial planner, tax professional or estate planning attorney), delegates and medical professionals. While we all continue to focus on our own particular role and duties, maintaining a professional relationship does give us the opportunity to share any concerning or unusual behavior concerning our client, as well as execute things quickly and as close to the client’s wishes as possible. Equally important is a Durable Power of Attorney (DPA), which legally allows an individual to designate someone to make financial and medical decisions on their behalf should they become mentally incapable to do so. Having these safeguards in place can save on time and hassle should health matters deteriorate and allow your delegate to focus on more pressing issues.

When so many of us pride our independence and self-reliance, declining health issues can be downright scary. I understand this well as I do my best to set my clients up for financial independence, so they can create the life they want to live. When circumstances step in and disrupt your life, it’s vital to know that you have people to rely on and safeguards to protect you.

1. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/retirement/2017/11/17/retirement-planning-should-include-long-term-care-costs/866344001/

2. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/retirement/2017/11/17/retirement-planning-should-include-long-term-care-costs/866344001/

3. https://www.consumerreports.org/elder-care/elder-care-and-assisted-living-who-will-care-for-you/

4. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/retirement/2017/11/17/retirement-planning-should-include-long-term-care-costs/866344001/

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