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  • Sarah Smith, Tenaya Insurance

Protecting A Legacy

You’ve worked hard your entire life to create a lifestyle, and build an estate. Over the years you’ve made tough choices, done without at times for the benefit of the long-term goal. Your retirement is the much-deserved portion of your life where you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

We all have dreams and goals for our lives. But there is a very real, very serious threat out there just lurking in the future that threatens all of your best laid plans. But there’s good news! And that is that you can eliminate this threat. But there’s a catch . . . you have to plan ahead, you don’t have the option to wait until the threat is here.

What is this threat I’m talking about? It’s long-term care. In a matter of 2-3 years it can obliterate what took you a lifetime to build. The legacy that you’ve always envisioned can be gone. Why? Because paying for one year of care in a nursing home now costs more than tuition at an ivy league college!

Now, how many of you have said to yourself that you want to blow everything that you have spent a lifetime building on paying for long term care? I guarantee you that no one is sitting on the edge of their seats with their hand raised and waiving it in the air to proclaim that it sounds like something they’d love to do.

A Personal Reminder

Last year I received a personal reminder that I didn’t want to get as to why long term care insurance is so important. My parents were always big on planning ahead and having everything in order. The long term care policies that my parents put in place when I was a teenager was something that they got to protect themselves and their children from potentially disastrous consequences. Consequences that realistically wouldn’t happen for another 30+ years for them at the time. My father also wanted to make sure that my mom would always be well taken care of, whether he was here or not. This was important to him because not only did he love my mom, but he also experienced first hand what happened with his own grandma . . .

When I was little, my great-grandmother lived with us for a while. On top of raising four young kids, my mom spent a lot of time caring for her. When she started to get dementia and it worsened, she needed to be transferred to a nursing home about 5 minutes away. It was expensive, and my great grandma didn't have enough assets to pay for it. As a child I was oblivious to the financial aspect of what the adults around me were dealing with. But what I did see was that my parents took care of family. It was important to them that she was well taken care of and that she stayed close to her family.

Fast forward to 2017, my father pulled out their long term care policies and asked me to look them over and explain to him the coverage they had and how it worked. (The agent that sold them the policies had passed away a little over 10 years ago and my parents hadn't looked at them in a while.) This struck up a conversation about when my great grandma needed care when I was young, and I asked him how they paid for it. He told me about how the little assets that she did have were quickly spent, and that they had to scramble to figure it out. It wasn't easy, and my parents, aunts and uncles all chipped in to cover costs. My father wasn’t interested in his children having this same issue down the line.

Four months after going over my parents long term care policies with them my world changed forever when my father passed away unexpectedly, and at too young of an age. In the aftermath of my father’s passing, I saw firsthand in my own family the value of these products. Because of the policy that they had put in place years ago my mother has peace of mind for the rest of her life. There was a clause in the policy that my parents bought that ensured that if one of them passed away, the surviving spouse’s policy was considered “paid-up”. This means that my mother will keep her policy coverage for the rest of her life and she will never have to pay another premium again. That is huge. No one ever expected my father to pass away at 67 years old. But sadly that’s how life is, it tends to throw you curve balls that you weren’t expecting, and you're either prepared for them or you pay a price. But even in his passing he’s taking care of my mom, and also his children.

But what if he hadn't planned ahead? Would my mom find herself in a situation where she had to sell her home to pay for care? Move in with one of her kids? Lose her independence, and quickly deplete all of the savings that her and my dad built up over the course of their lives? Drastically change her lifestyle?

Sadly, many people find themselves in this situation, either because they didn't realize how serious the threat was, or they just shrug it off as "it won't happen to me" or "I'll figure it out if it happens". But taking that approach can have disastrous consequences. Thankfully, that's a decision my mom won't ever have to make. That is an enormous load off of my mom's shoulders, as well as us kids'. My mom and her estate are protected.

What do you do?

So how do you protect your legacy? You put a plan in place to make sure that if care is needed, you won't have to pay out of pocket for these astronomical costs. You ensure that if you do need care you will be in control of when, how, and where you receive it. You protect your family from the financial, physical, and emotional stress of providing and paying for care, because there was no plan in place to take care of it. You ensure that your lifestyle will be able to continue. You do all of this and more by shifting the financial risk off of yourself to an insurance company to shoulder. This is what long term care insurance is built to do. It throws a shield of protection around your assets. Without it, everything you've spent your lifetime building is left wide open and at risk. It is an essential part of estate and retirement planning. It protects your legacy.

Want to learn more?

Long term care is a subject that is intimidating for many people. What is long term care insurance? How does it work? What does it cost? Who needs it? Just how much does long term care services cost? (to learn more, check out our blog posts about the basics of long term care HERE )

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Want to protect your family and assets from long term care costs? Call Tenaya Insurance Services at (925) 322-8073 today! We will simplify the process for you.

#LongTermCare #LifeInsurance #Women #Insurance #Retirement #Seniors #BabyBoomers

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