Over­com­ing De­nial

Ad­vi­sors have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to draw clients into dis­cus­sions about end-of-life fi­nan­cial plan­ning.

Financial Planning - - Editor’s View -

“Don’t freak them out.”

That’s one thing Se­nior Ed­i­tor Charles Paikert quickly learned when re­search­ing how ad­vi­sors should ap­proach long-term care plan­ning with clients. Another take­away: Plan­ners shouldn’t avoid the sub­ject, no mat­ter how much clients re­sist.

“Try and get clients to come to terms with the need to plan,” he says ad­vi­sors told him while he was re­port­ing the cover fea­ture, “Fac­ing Up to Long-term Care,” on page 22.

Ad­vi­sors use dra­mat­i­cally dif­fer­ent ap­proaches when broach­ing the topic with re­luc­tant clients. Some are more di­rect than oth­ers.

“I force cou­ples to talk to each other about how they plan to deal with de­bil­i­tat­ing ill­ness, lost in­come and whether they want to age in place,” Jean­nette Ba­jalia, pres­i­dent of Pet­ros Es­tate & Re­tire­ment Plan­ning, tells Paikert.

Once clients make their tough de­ci­sions, Di­ver­si­fied Trust ad­vi­sor Kim Gar­cia rec­om­mends strate­gies she thinks will work best for their par­tic­u­lar cir­cum­stances. She may sug­gest hy­brid LTC in­sur­ance plans, or even re­verse mort­gages for high-net-worth clients who want to self-fund.

“Hy­brids can be the right an­swer for clients who are look­ing for life in­sur­ance and long-term care si­mul­ta­ne­ously,” Gar­cia says.

When speak­ing with Gar­cia and oth­ers, Paikert was sur­prised by how ex­pen­sive and com­pli­cated long-term care proved to be, and how re­luc­tant clients are to en­gage with it.

“It was a sober­ing re­minder to try to not ne­glect long-term care plan­ning, de­spite the strong temp­ta­tion to do just that,” he tells me. — Chelsea Emery

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