By Colleen Callahan
In April I attended a conference in Orlando sponsored by the American Association of Medicare Supplements. It covered issues and trends in our aging population. There were sessions addressing buying styles for baby boomers, planning for retirement, and how the insurance market is changing because of health care reform. I was interested in the overall planning process. One speaker mentioned how many seniors are updating their homes so they can age in place compared to the percentage of those who need long-term care. The presentation addressed long-term care insurance and the increasing options available to people buying policies that cover illnesses such as cancer, stroke, and heart disease.
A model has been developed for making planning process a team effort; aging parents need to engage willing children and family members, along with trusted advisors. The most professional advisors agree it is best if everyone understands the plans, wishes, and desires of the parent. In fact, they suggest and welcome comprehensive team meetings.
It occurred to me there are many books for young parents offering instructions, tips, and coaching to help them raise children. I think parents also need to be mindful of the thoughts, feelings, fears, and questions of their adult children. Those children need to be treated with respect and need to be informed. It is a difficult time for all, but the conversations are important.
Many of the people I meet who want to purchase long term care insurance have stories of their parents lacking planning and communication. They don’t want to do the same to their children. With 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day in the United States, there should be plenty of conversations happening in our neighborhoods.
Colleen Callahan, CLU, CASL, LUTCF