This post is part of our series for advisors to pass to their clients. Knowing more about your clients’ needs will help you to better serve them. Aging doesn’t have to be scary, and we here at Ashar
want to help you provide the resources that policy sellers need to flourish in this chapter of their lives.
My parents said it to me, and I’ve said it to my own children: "The most important thing I can do is make sure that you don't have to take care of us.”
I’d venture to say that most parents feel this way, and have even said some variation of this sentence to their kids.
And that’s because we mean it. No parent wants to see his or her child saddled with the financial and emotional stress that providing nonstop care for an aging loved one almost always entails.
According to the AARP, which is one of the groups that we highly recommend as a resource, half of caregivers rate their stress level as high, and Aging Care reports that those with caregiving stress have a 63 percent higher rate of mortality than non-caregivers of the same age.
So what can you do to help your loved ones preserve their independence, while ensuring their health and safety? Doing so will give your loved one peace of mind, allowing them to retain their happiness and dignity as they age.
As with everything … plan ahead!
According to a post on the New York Times’ Well blog, many people don’t consider the options for elder care until a catastrophic injury or illness forces the issue. That can make it more difficult to take the time to sift through the many options available to help seniors stay in their homes — or if necessary, options for assisted living.
There are home health aides, for example, who can be with your parent for as little as an hour or two in the morning, or as much as a full 24 hours.
Volunteer organizations, too, have emerged to help seniors stay in their homes safely. In these groups, volunteers provide transportation for seniors who can’t drive, deliver meals or food, and offer recommendations for home health aides or assisted living facilities.
If you or your parent are able to discuss these things early on, you’ll both have the presence of mind to make a considered decision.
As we’ve written about before, discussing finances with aging parents can make for a difficult conversation. (Find our tips on how to talk about money with your spouse or parent here.)
It is, however, preferable to waiting until something happens to make the subject unavoidable. It’s important to know whether your parent or loved one has money set aside to cover things like long-term care or assisted living. Then you’ll both be able to make more specific plans, ensuring that when and if your parent does need help with daily tasks, she’ll get the kind of help she wants.
How a life settlement can help
It’s also a good idea to talk about other assets that a loved one owns, like a life insurance policy. If the policy is no longer needed, a life settlement could be a good option to consider.
With a life settlement, instead of surrendering a policy for what’s usually a very low cash value, policyholders who qualify sell their policies through a financial advisor on the Secondary Market. Institutional investors purchase the policy for a sum that’s often several times the amount of the cash value.
This can therefore be a much better deal for seniors who need extra financial resources to cover healthcare or assisted living costs. And if seniors are getting care from family members at home, it can help caregivers too by lessening the financial burden on them and their families.
There are several things you can do to help your parent or loved one retain independence as they age. If you start early, you have a much better chance of making sure they keep both their happiness and dignity, no matter what kind of help they may need. If you think a life settlement might be a good place to start, give us a call at 800-384-8080 or contact us via email!