I was honored to be invited as one of four guest speakers at a one-day conference this past Friday hosted by Kim Natovitz, President of the Natovitz Group in Bethesda, MD. There were over 70 financial advisors in attendance and the theme for the day was Extended Care Planning for Clients and Their Families. Other presenters included Tim Prosch, author of “The Other Talk- A Guide to Talking with Your Adult Children about the Rest of Your Life,” Anne Coventry, Estate Planning Atty with Pasternak Fidis Law Firm in Bethesda, MD, and financial planning thought-leader and host of The Nerd’s Eye View financial blog, Michael Kitces.

If there was one key point that was driven home at the workshop it was  that in the coming years, as the number of age 65+ households increases by almost 40%, financial advisors will need to be equipped to help older adults and their families navigate the retirement living landscape. This is a message we have been preaching here at myLifeSite since our founding in 2011 and I was thrilled to be a part of an event embracing this theme. I could tell from the types of questions being asked by the financial advisors in attendance that this is a topic they are facing more frequently than even just a few years ago. More people are saying “I don’t want my kids to go through what I went through with my parents” and they are seeking to plan more proactively to address the need. Naturally, many of these families will turn to their financial advisor for guidance.

Another key point of the workshop was that long-term care insurance, by itself, is not a plan. It is a valuable part of a plan but it mainly addresses the issue of cost of care; not access to care. Where and how care will ultimately be provided has major planning implications.

Families need to be in discussion before a major health event occurs. They need to understand the choices so that educated decisions can be made. Many families choose to stay in their home as long as possible, while others may seek the peace of mind that comes from being in a retirement community that is equipped to provide care if needed. Financial advisors can be catalyst for helping families talk and plan ahead; while also benefiting from the multitude of planning opportunities that may arise and from increased loyalty with clients and the next generation.

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