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Policy Matters



From Waylon Jennings to long term care, it all ends with "someone they love."

It’s not just mamas. Papas also don’t want to be a burden on their loved ones.

And, yes, most children will say to their aging parents: "You're not a burden!" But the fact is, being a caregiver does place a burden on finances, jobs, relationships, and health and wellbeing.

Caring for can mean:

  • taking time away from spouse/partner and children
  • taking time away from a job, going part-time, passing on a promotion, or even giving up the job
  • compromising personal health
  • out-of-pocket spending

Caring about can mean:

  • helping loved ones plan for the need for care
  • helping with premium payments (paying less by planning instead of more by failing to plan)
  • ensuring your loved one can get care where and how they want (at home instead of a nursing home)
  • maintaining lifestyle, health, and finances and knowing that your loved one is being well cared for

Caregivers provide care for all sorts of people: a spouse or significant other, a friend, a neighbor, a child. And the statistics about that caregiving are staggering:

  • 43.5 million adults in the U.S. have provided unpaid care1
    • 70% suffered work-related difficulties due to caregiving
    • 4% retired early
    • 5% turned down promotion
    • 6% gave up working
  • In 2016, more than 15 million Americans provided an estimated 18.2 billion hours of unpaid care for those with Alzheimer's or other dementias, valued at more than $230 billion2
  • About one-quarter of dementia caregivers are sandwich generation caregivers, providing care for an aging parent and a child under 182
  • In 15 years, we’re going to have twice as many people over 65 as we have now. So the average worker is going to end up being a caregiver.3

"My wife will take care of me." If you're in a client meeting with a husband/wife and he says that, here are some reality check talking points:

  • Ask the wife the last time she picked up her 250-pound husband. Does she really want to be responsible for his care 24/7?
  • Ask the husband: "Do you really want her trying to lift you up if you need that?"
  • And ask them both: "Do you really want to spend your time together in a stressful, uncomfortable, and possibly unhealthy manner? Or would you prefer to enjoy each other's company while a professional does the heavy lifting?"

You may also want to share this with those clients:

The feeling of obligation (lack of choice) is especially pronounced among those caregivers who live with their care recipient and who provide more than 20 hours of care weekly (64% reported no choice).

Here are a few modern-day issues and solutions:

  • With more women waiting to have children until after launching a career, more of them are finding themselves going directly from caring for their children to caring for aging parents
  • When someone doesn’t qualify for traditional LTCi, all is not lost. There are options:
    • A hybrid Annuity/LTCi policy
      • They have less stringent underwriting requirements
      • And your clients can double to triple their LTCi benefits from day 1
    • An annuity
      • Purchasing an annuity early on will give it time to grow (tax deferred) until it’s time to withdraw or annuitize
  • The majority of caregivers are women, who have broken through into executive positions and have become successful business owners. Caring for a loved one may just threaten what they have accomplished.

Care about your loved ones, not for them. That's good advice for both women and men.

  • 1 National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP (2015)
  • 2 Alzheimer’s Association
  • 3 Cheryl Matheis, former AARP Senior Vice President


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