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Help start the long-term care (LTC) conversation

Sell more and provide greater value for your clients by working with Eisenberg Insurance for life, long term care and disability insurance.

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Help start the long-term care (LTC) conversation by using these important questions with your clients to shed light on the consequences of ignoring the risks of LTC.

1. “You may never need care,but what if you did?”

How would that affect your family?

  • Spouses — Caring for a chronically ill loved one can make the caregiver chronically ill as well.*
  • Children — Other loved ones, such as children, often carry the burden,too. Daughters are most likely to give up their careers and move in or relocate the parent to her home** — as any child would feel obligated to do.
  • Family dynamics — Informal care usually is not shared equally among adult children. One sibling may bear a larger burden, which can harm relationships.
  • Unnecessary losses — A number of spiritual, emotional, financial and relational losses can be prevented when your clients are prepared for and protected from LTC risks.

2. “If you do need care, how will you pay for it?”

Three common ways to pay for LTC expenses:

  • Government programs — This may require them to spend their assets first.
  • Long-term care insurance (LTCi) — In many cases traditional LTCi can be very expensive, hard to qualify for and, to many, viewed as a “use it or lose it” policy.
  • Self funding — Few people are able to pay out-of-pocket, dollar-for-dollar, for all LTC expenses. Doing so can wipe out the savings they’ve worked their entire lives to build.

The Care Solutions suite of products uses life insurance and annuities in tax-advantaged ways to fund LTC. Asset-based LTC is designed so that unused benefits can pass to beneficiaries, or clients can get their money back if they change their mind.


* Doty, P. (2010) The Evolving Balance of Formal and Informal, Institutional and non-Institutional Long-Term Care for Older Americans: a Thirty- Year Perspective. Public Policy & Aging Report 20, no.1
** Center on Aging Society. (2005). How Do Family Caregivers Fare? A Closer Look at Their Experiences. (Data Profile, Number 3). Washington, DC: Georgetown University.
Notes: Products issued and underwritten by The State Life Insurance Company® (State Life), Indianapolis, IN, a OneAmerica company that offers the Care Solutions product suite. Products and riders may not be available in all states and may vary by state. All guarantees are subject to the claims-paying ability of State Life. Provided content is for overview and informational purposes only and is not intended as tax, legal, fiduciary, or investment advice.

Don’t Taint Nostalgia

Only 11% of Americans aged 65+ own long term care insurance (Source: Urban Institute). For people between 55-60, only 5% have long term care insurance. So it’s likely that you – the one reading this article – are not prepared financially for long term care. That’s a problem, because if you are not prepared financially for long term care, you can ruin your family and exhaust the assets you’ve accumulated throughout your life.

So imagine this…you’ve worked your whole life. You’ve been a successful business person that has provided a wonderful life for your family. You’ve watched your family grow from perhaps just the two of you, to four of you to now eight little grandkids jumping on your knee while enjoying a cool summer night at your cottage at the lake.

But here’s the rest of the scenario, and you’ll see how quickly things go from “Hmmm…” to “My goodness, this is a crisis!”

You’re 70 years old now. You’ve got your physical issues – a bum knee, a dull pain in the shoulder. But otherwise, you feel good, and still work a little bit to keep your mind fresh.

A year or two goes by, and now you’re starting to become more forgetful – or at least that’s what your spouse and children have started to tell you.

A few more years go by, and you’re 77. In your mind, you don’t think you’re any different, but the people around you are noticeably irritated because they keep on saying you’re repeating yourself, and forgetting the grandchildren’s names. Another year or two go by, and it’s now a health care crisis that puts you in a memory care facility with beautiful grounds and a lush garden of flowers – and it costs $6,000 per month.

With Long Term Care Insurance

This is simple…it kicks in, and the financial burden on your family is minimal allowing them to provide loving care to you every day. Long Term Care Insurance is the tool that allows you to be the one coordinating care for your loved one, not providing it.

Without Long Term Care Insurance

Your spouse, who is also getting older, is reeling every day, going from sadness to anger to an odd feeling of empowerment. But in addition to the emotional roller coaster, he or she now needs to figure out how to pay for this new level of care. There’s no insurance, so the family is brought together to discuss how this is all going to be paid for.

“Well, we have his pension plan still a little bit. That, plus social security and Medicare help some.”

“Yeah, but not $6,000 per month some! And you have your own expenses, don’t forget.”

“So maybe we need to liquidate some of our investments. We have some stock, mutual funds…I’ll call my financial advisor tomorrow.”

“OK, that’s a good start. But that also needs to be available to you as you continue through retirement. We need to find a balance.”

“We can tap a bit into the trust for little Jimmy. Not much…it’s still there to hopefully pay for his higher education.”

“We could do that. It would be a real shame, but we could that.”

“We could sell the cottage. That would cover the majority of care from here on out.”

“Yes, I suppose we could do that. We’re going to need to make a decision quick, because the bills are going to start racking up. I have a real estate agent that can probably get to work now.”

“That’s great. I’ll call the financial advisor. You call your real estate friend. We can hold off the nursing home for a week or so, but we’re going to need to get this moving fast.”

“Such a shame. We all loved coming to the cottage. It’s been our most special place for decades.”

“I know, honey. We’ll always have the memories, though.”

The memories of the cottage and the hope for what the family trust would provide for the next generation are now associated with your long term care needs.

Nostalgia tainted.

Long Term Care – Until You Live It

As many of you know, our family made a tough decision to transition my father, Ed, into the memory care unit of a local Assisted Living Facility. Frankly, for my mother, his primary caregiver, it’s been a huge relief, and our family is very happy the decision was made. Having a family member in need of extended care can cause emotional, physical and financial hardships that you can’t imagine, until you live it. But the “financial hardship” is the only one that can be proactively addressed. By doing so, you can now focus your attention on the care giving and where it is to be received as opposed to having to search for ways to keep up with long term care costs.

Now that my family is living it, I want everyone to know one thing…SENIOR CARE IS VERY EXPENSIVE.

If my parents had not addressed long term care before it became an issue, a huge financial drain on our entire family would have been the result, at best! As our baby boomer parents continue to age – and as us Gen-Xers continue to age – long term care insurance is going to be as important as life and disability insurance. So with that, I hope you take the time to read this article about long term care costs going up. Now is the time to protect yourself and your family from these rising costs. A small investment now will pay off significantly in the future.

Is Diabetes shrinking your brain?

It’s not a secret that some diabetics also have memory issues, but a new study suggests it’s not just due to clogging of blood vessels – your brain may actually be shrinking.

When the brain shrinks, it’s often because valuable brain cells that help us think and remember are dying. A loss of brain cells is a hallmark for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

In this new study, published in the journal Radiology, researchers looked at brain scans from a little more than 600 people age 55 and older with type 2 diabetes.  They found that patients who lived with diabetes the longest had smaller brain volumes.

“When you lose brain cells, you lose the capacity for more complex thoughts and memory,” says Dr. R. Nick Bryan, lead author of the study.

“Diabetes may be a risk factor for things like Alzheimer’s disease,” says Bryan, chair and professor emeritus at the Department of Radiology at the University of Pennsylvania. ” We didn’t prove that, but we suggest that.”

Up until about five years ago, experts thought memory and cognitive problems related to diabetes were largely due to problems with blood clots in the brain. But Bryan’s new imaging study builds on other research, which points to brain shrinkage as a potentially stronger link to the development of cognitive decline in diabetics.

“Somehow diabetes is doing something to the brain that results in tissue loss (death of cells),” says Dr. Rosebud Roberts, professor of epidemiology and neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who was not involved with this new research.

Roberts says scientists are still trying to understand why cells are dying. Their best guess is that it’s related to both too little and too much glucose in the brain.  Glucose is the brain’s food and when you have diabetes, brain cells may not be getting enough nutrients, so they can die. Another possibility is that too much glucose in the brain can also kill cells.

The brain of a diabetic “metabolizes glucose and oxygen differently than people who don’t have diabetes,” says Bryan, because destructive free radicals are possibly produced.

“Diabetes can lead to what is in essence a faster aging process,” says Dr. Gail Musen, investigator at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, who was also not involved in this new research.

Her advice to diabetics is to keep the condition under control: “Exercise, eat right, go to your doctor, lose weight if you need to and take your medicine.” These lifestyle changes won’t prevent the brain shrinkage, Musen says, but they will slow down the process – and the sooner you start, the better.