Have you insured your retirement?
After six years of nursing care at home and in a facility to end with hospice, George had exhausted all of the family retirement savings and had built up a debt that was more than the value of everything George and Nancy had to their names. Following the funeral, Nancy was forced to move into a rent-controlled apartment several miles away from the nearest family member. The question I wish our office would have had the chance to ask with them on is, “Would you have wished for this to go differently?”
Our office hosts a lot of educational seminars every year, and as we present them, and in our daily meetings with our clients and prospects, I catch myself asking this question of people quite a bit. “Have you insured your retirement? Also, if you paid off your home today, would your next phone call be to Jake from State Farm telling him to cancel the home insurance?” The truth is…you wouldn’t. What am I getting at. As life is short, many of us don’t spend much time in our busy lives considering our concerns for ourselves and our spouses when it comes to our morbidity or end-of-life care and expenses. I guess another question comes to mind. Why would you?
So, let’s take George and Nancy in the first paragraph. If they had a long term care PLAN, then they would be able to promise to each other that each would have the retirement that they planned for when they got married. They would be able to afford to stay in their home until each died, whether together or separately at different times. They would also be able to make sure that they are able to follow through with their legacy wishes to their family and to their church/charities. Instead, a lack of planning changed the plan, and the future for Nancy. So what I am recommending? Have the conversation.
- Plan to move in with family or have them move in with you
- Chose No plan, like George and Nancy did
- Make a choice to pass on that risk to someone or something else
I will accept all of these options, however, you will need to convince me that it is better. Twenty years ago, my mentor called me selfish and self-serving for not “ensuring my retirement” and leaving my wife with the choices that Nancy is stuck with. My wife and I actually do have long-term care insurance that we purchased and retain since I was 28, she was 25. (I am 45 right now.) If you plan to move in with your kids or have them move in with you, make sure that your children feel the same way. As my father brought to my attention in 2012, he claimed that one of us kids would do just this. We four kids discovered that was not in our plan. If you insure the retirement and legacy plan, you can ensure that your final wishes go as planned.
As always, don’t hesitate to have the conversation with your family and your financial advisor about your choices. Hope all have a very blessed Thanksgiving holiday. Enjoy the family and the turkey!