We often associate the risks of skin cancer with younger generations. Men and women who spend too much time on the beach or in tanning beds, but it’s a real problem for older generations as well and quite expensive at that. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime and billions of dollars will be paid out in treatments.
The cost of skin cancer is no small expense and Americans of all walks of life should have plans in place to pay for it. Skin cancer treatment costs have risen significantly and could be a financial burden to those who are on a fixed income because of its sometimes lengthy treatment. Given the widespread nature of this disease, it should be assessed seriously as a potential medical expense.
Awareness is the First Step
As with almost all illnesses, the cost of treatment depends on the severity of the diagnosis. Simple surgery in a clinic or hospital can often take care of skin cancer but it can also have far more in-depth treatment and, therefore, expense.
Lowering your risk for skin cancer is fairly easy: covering up, wearing sunscreen and hats are simple things your clients can do to decrease their risk. Given that many retirees enjoy traveling in their later years, especially to sunny, warm climates, adding a reminder of the cost of skin cancer and what they can do to prevent it might not be a bad idea.
Planning for the Cost of Skin Cancer
Depending on your clients’ lifestyle or genetics, the likelihood for skin cancer could be high. It’s important to ask questions around family health history and environmental factors, such as those included in the HALO assessment, to properly assess if your clients should be actively planning for skin cancer treatment.
Even if all signs are good for being “low-risk,” it’s still an incredibly common form of cancer and should be kept in the back of your mind as potential expenses for your clients.
All diseases require preparation, planning and expense management. Skin cancer is no different. Given its dramatic increases in expense and diagnosis, talk to your clients about their plans to pay for it, even if they are low-risk. No one regrets having the extra money that they don’t end up using and if they do need it, they are prepared for the extra costs of care.
When we think about long-term care in the United States, there are several diseases that come to mind. Cancer is often at the top of this list, similarly, chronic diseases such as diabetes or arthritis can cause people to be trepid about their future health care spending. But an often overlooked and sudden cause of long-term health expenses is having a stroke. The cost of stroke is high for many Americans and it’s only getting more expensive.
Why stroke costs are rising
The reason strokes can cause such financial hardship is because they come unexpectedly. While diseases such as cancer generally have a progression and time to adjust, strokes can be sudden and the amount of damage they cause can be immense. Loss of senses or immobility can happen in the snap of the fingers, leaving almost no time to prepare.
The question is, how does one expect the unexpected? While you are most likely not a health professional, that doesn’t mean you can’t have honest conversations with your clients about their health. Prioritizing their wellness now can save them tens of thousands of dollars in the future and postpone their need for long-term care.
How to better plan for clients’ long-term care costs
Such a topic can be sensitive, but numbers speak louder than most anything. Simple financial analysis and basic research can show both the risk for a stroke and the amount of money it could cost your client. Likewise, the sudden nature of strokes can be a great motivator for your clients to examine their lifestyle choices.
Genivity’s HALO report can also help take personal data from your clients, such as their health and family history, and give clients an idea of what their health care spending could look like in the years to come.
No matter how you decide to approach the topic, if you have a client who is making unhealthy lifestyle decisions, keep it in mind when calculating their future spending needs. Though this can be a tough topic to discuss, a cost analysis doesn’t lie. If you feel comfortable enough with your clients, approach them about the subject and use their calculated future health care spending as the impetus for such a conversation.
There are trillions of dollars surrounding the nearly 80 million baby boomers who are set to retire in the coming years. Such a vast quantity of wealth is undoubtedly going to attract massive competition from the financial management sector. And with the rise of robo advisors, there’s more and more competition for the pre-retirement crowd, too.
With so much money and so much competition, do you have a plan to set yourself apart from the crowd? More importantly, can you address your clients’ concerns with confidence and accuracy?
Asking the Right Questions
The main question most clients have is “will there be enough?” For many financial planners, this can be a fairly daunting question. They don’t know what the future holds, how many years their clients have left, and what level of care they will need in those remaining years. What if you had a different answer? What if you could give your clients a better financial picture of their retirement years and accurately predict how much their care will cost in the future?
Genivity’s HALO (Health Analysis & Longevity Optimizer) can help you do just that. Built by trusted experts with backgrounds in computational genetics, data science, and health IT, HALO pinpoints a client’s risk so the advisor can help the client plan for it. The HALO assessment also provides firms with rich and insightful client data. Firms can use the data to spot trends and needs among their clients and prospective clients, which in turn helps them better understand what types of products and solutions their firm should focus on offering.
The opportunity presented by accurately predicting future healthcare costs is unprecedented. With HALO’s analysis, you can give directionally accurate healthcare cost and mortality projections personalized to the client – something that your competition can’t do.
What can HALO do for you?
There’s no reason to believe that health-care related costs will go anywhere but up, wouldn’t you like the opportunity to tell your clients how much money they will need moving into retirement? HALO brings science and financial planning together to reveal critical aspects of a client’s financial future they never considered before with the eye-opening ability to accurately predict future health care costs. These are the questions you need to be asking and this is the tool to set you apart from others in your field.
If you’re interested in working with a cutting-edge healthcare cost prediction solution, read our case study to see how Genivity can benefit your firm as it has so many others already.
The fact that the world is getting older should come as no surprise to you. There are already over half a billion people over the age of 65 and that demographic won’t be shrinking anytime soon.
To stay ahead of the curve and to future-proof your practice, your firm needs to start accommodating this demographic shift now. Longevity planning will be a crucial part of business moving forward and for the foreseeable future as life expectancy continues to rise.
How to incorporate longevity planning into your practice
Plan for women.
Women makeup 50 percent of the population but generally outlive men and end up being the decision maker for a large percent of medical spending. While your financial planning principals can generally be agnostic to gender, there’s no doubt that you need to be giving serious consideration to the likelihood of a woman outliving her husband and what that will entail for their future. How will pensions be affected? What about her children? Even smaller things such as taste in vehicles or living situations can be influenced by a single woman versus a married couple. Keep things like this in mind as you are strategizing about your client’s future wealth.
Don’t fear new technology.
As automation, software, and artificial intelligence rapidly progress, you will need to understand how these new technologies will affect your business. Generally speaking, most of them will be positive and likely take some work off your plate. Keep an eye out for these kinds of advancements in the financial planning sector as they may make your job easier and deliver better, more personalized results to your clients.
Pay attention to how retirement is changing.
There’s no shortage of retirement tropes out there. Playing golf, traveling, visiting grandkids, but that might not be the reality for all. Trends change and there’s no doubt that retirement today will be different from retirement ten years from now. While some of these are personal preference, some are influenced by external forces. The government often has a large impact on how retirement will be spent. Be sure to keep tabs on news regarding policy or trends that will influence your clients’ wealth down the road.
Pay attention to big pharma.
If there’s one parallel industry that is invested in the elderly as you, it’s pharmaceutical companies. These companies pour billions of dollars into market research that you can take advantage of. Watch these companies closely as they will be changing strategies to capitalize on the aging market. Not all of their moves will be valuable to you, but if you pay attention, some of them will have a direct impact on your clients’ future which means you’ll be prepared to advise confidently on their assets.
These strategies will enable you to put a deeper focus on longevity planning for your clients along with their retirement plan. When used with personalized solutions such as HALO, you can truly future-proof your business.
Longevity financial planning is a hot topic, no wonder, considering a sizeable portion of the population is projected to live until their 80s if not longer. This begs the question, will your clients outlive their money?
If you plan accordingly, your clients can ensure that their money lasts as long as they want and need it to. However, if your clients want their money to last, they first need to prioritize and create a strategy for the goals for their wealth.
There are almost infinite questions you can ask your clients regarding money in their later years, but there are a few key subjects you’ll want to touch on to make sure they are thinking about their future appropriately.
First and foremost, a discussion around long-term care is paramount. Longevity without some type of long-term care is unusual. It’s almost impossible to set a framework for wealth management in the later decades without talking about how, where, and with what assistance, your clients will age. Solutions such as HALO can help put individualized numbers behind the long-term care conversation.
Once your clients feel comfortable around their plan for long-term care, then you can move on to incidentals like recreation, necessities, transportation and the like. This will paint a comprehensive picture about how your clients will plan for long life, what roadblocks they may face along the way, and what kind of unforeseen expenses they may encounter.
This isn’t to say that planning for other expenses outside of long-term care will be a walk in the park. Housing and transportation, in their own right, can eat into the budget of the elderly fairly quickly. However, it’s far easier to plan everything around long-term care than it is to shoehorn it into an existing budget and try to find money at the end.
Data + conversation are the foundation of longevity planning
Everyone knows they can’t live forever, but that won’t stop them from trying. If you are proactive, your clients’ wealth will be protected as they age and they will have the security of knowing that their finances will be with them until the end. Using personalized data and having difficult conversations early can ensure that your clients are prepared for longer life.