By Stan Israel
Several months ago I got to thinking about something. It was Valentine’s Day and I thought everyone should go ahead and proffer the usual loving gifts—flowers, candy, dinner, maybe even a couple’s massage. But there is another, more important gift you can procure for your loved ones and your clients—the gift of financial and insurance protection while you or your client is still living, as well as after you are gone. Planning for future insurance needs means protecting loved ones from having to make difficult decisions–this is truly an act of love. As insurance pros, this is what we need to convey to clients more than ever.
Long Term Care Insurance
Unexpected illnesses or accidents are part of life. Not all extended illnesses occur later in life; sometimes life just happens. One’s good health assists with the purchase of Long-Term Care insurance, which covers custodial care needs, those not covered by one’s health insurance plan, Medicare, or Medi-Cal. A Long-Term Care insurance policy protects one’s bank account and prevents spend-down to pay for care. Currently, Home Care costs in California run between $25-$30 ($680 per day/24-hour care); costs for an assisted living facility run between $4,000-$9,000/month. Long Term Care Insurance ensures that you or your clients will have a plan in place when care is needed; it protects families from scrambling to make important decisions about one’s care—who, where, what, how, and the cost. One can decide between Traditional LTCI and Hybrids (Life Insurance with LTC insurance riders). Of course, everyone should check with a financial advisor or CPA about possible tax issues.
Families often avoid the discussion about the stressors and decisions loved ones must make after a loved one passes away. Life insurance, a vital component of financial planning and retirement planning, assists with those difficult decisions. Those funds may go to paying for housing, food, medical, education and paying off bills. Planning for the inevitable shows one’s family that they are remembered long after the insured is gone, a part of one’s legacy for their family. How much life insurance is needed depends on the insured’s age, lifestyle, number of children and income. The insured needs to know the options and variables available with term, whole, and universal life insurance coverages, including Indexed products.
Disability or Critical Illness Insurance
Protecting an insured’s income stream and/or business in case of an accident or sudden illness is another vital protection to consider–so there is no interruption with bills and obligations. Both disability insurance and/or critical illness coverages offer peace of mind while one is living, providing on-going funds.
With all these choices for insuring you or your clients—remember that the insured is precluding loved ones from having to make those sudden, difficult financial decisions. Consulting with you, the financial advisor, about insurance protection demonstrates to loved ones that the insured family member is always there for them.
So, next Valentine’s Day gifts, tell your contacts to plan a marvelous dinner, romance their sweethearts—but remember to plan for the future. A true gift of love is forever.
Stan Israel, a Vietnam Era veteran of the US Air Force, began his career in the entertainment and fitness industries before becoming an insurance professional, opening his own Life/Disability insurance brokerage over 30 years ago. Now, a premier specialist in Long Term Care Insurance, Stan guides his clients and financial professionals through the complexities of the choices available with Long Term Care Insurance for Traditional and Hybrid coverages. Stan currently teaches the general LTCi Continuing Education (CA) courses, as well as The California Partnership for Long Term Care, under the auspices of the California Departments of Insurance and Health/Human Services. Stan receives numerous invitations to speak or offer CE courses for local financial planning, legal, senior, and insurance associations, including FPA of the SF Valley, NAIFA, USC, and local and national AHU Medicare and Business Development Conferences. He serves on the advisory panel for the California Partnership for Long Term Care. More info at www.SDIINS.com or reach Stan at 818-706-1100.