Long-term care conversations often follow a challenging path. Many financial advisors hesitate to bring up the topic because it involves discussing clients’ mortality, as well as potential physical and financial dependence. It is an emotional and often overwhelming subject.
Women historically bear the brunt of long-term care responsibilities. They tend to live longer than their male counterparts and also care for their aging parents. Meanwhile, the number of Americans age 75 and older is projected to more than double by 2040, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. A daughter or son suddenly being thrust into a caregiving role can create tension among family members and may stall the caregiver’s career and retirement plans.
Financial advisors miss an important opportunity to provide real value to clients when they fail to raise the topic of long-term care. A longevity map can help clients be better prepared to live gracefully and discover private moments with their family members that ease the aging transition.
The most important step in the planning process is to proactively create this longevity map while the client is still in good health. This gives the senior control over decisions about long-term care well before it is needed. It’s human nature for seniors to be more content if they are in control of decisions, even if they don’t necessarily like the choices presented.