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Tips for Protecting your Client’s Financial Plan while Caregiving

Tips for Protecting your Client’s Financial Plan while Caregiving

As your client’s parent’s age, it’s likely that they will find themselves with mounting healthcare and general caregiving costs. Whether these caregiving costs are predictable or unexpected, your client may think that accessing their own retirement plan to help ease the burden is a good idea, and rightfully so. A couple retiring today is looking at $280,000 in health care costs during retirement. Here are some tips to help them address these expenses so that they don’t feel like they have to jeopardize their own retirement in the process of caring for aging parents

Living with Family

If the client is open to the idea, suggest having parent(s) move in with them. Family struggles are real issues for some, but if an amicable relationship exists between your client and their parents, this can be a straightforward way to reduce the expenses paid by children and parents alike. Some cities are starting to legalize and encourage the construction of accessory dwelling units (aka “Granny Flats”) to accomodate this type of cohabitation. It’s a happy medium that allows access and care while still affording independent space.

Aging in Place

Having an extended family situation may not be best for your client, if that’s the case, it’s almost certainly more cost-effective to have them live in their home. There will be costs associated with retrofitting an existing house to better care for an elderly adult such as first floor bathrooms, grab bars, and ramps. However, these costs will likely be less than 24-hour care from an assisted living facility. If the parents need additional help, make sure your client investigates programs like Meals on Wheels, or state and county programs set up to assist aging in place.

Tax Breaks

Depending on the level of care, income, and monetary commitment, your client may be able to claim their parent as a dependent. This can offer the option of writing off large portions of care for parents and keep clients from using their retirement accounts to shore up funds. Similarly, some FSAs (flexible spending accounts) allow for pre-tax dollars to be spent on care for elderly parents.

No matter the route that your client goes, one thing is for certain, care will only get more expensive. Now more than ever, it’s important to have a plan for dealing with costs so that your client doesn’t feel the need to risk their own retirement to help their parents.

Care Planning for Elders: What You Should Know

Care Planning for Elders: What You Should Know

Caring for your growing elders can be stressful yet rewarding. You help maintain their health and bring a smile to their face. However, as they grow older, it is important that you consider more drastic situations in your care plan. An advanced care plan must be created for the benefit of your elders, yourself, and your family. An advanced care plan includes a living will, power of attorney, health care proxy, and a do not resuscitate order (DNR). This care plan is made to determine treatment directives and should be updated as health care related events occur.

Communication

It is crucial that there is communication when you construct an advanced care plan. You must consider your elder’s values. What are your loved one’s personal values and beliefs? Do they value religious practices or want family members to be present during their passing? These are personal beliefs that should be addressed and considered when creating a care plan.

Also consider your loved one’s preferences. Do they wish medication to be withheld? Do they wish to have CPR performed in an event of a medical emergency? Although this may be a difficult conversation to have, it is important that it is discussed. This will prevent a future conflict with your family.

Remember that you also have resources. There are professionals such as lawyers, social workers, clergy members, counselors, and more that are available to assist you. Constructing an advanced care plan is difficult to do. Do not feel that you are alone in the process.

What to Include in an Advanced Care Plan

Living Wills. Livings wills are also called medical directives. They are written instructions that determine what medical decisions will be made in case of an event. They are written by your the individual in this situation. 47 states and the District of Columbia have laws that authorize and legalize living wills. However, each state has different requirement and regulations, so it is crucial you research you state.

Power of Attorney. A power of attorney is the same as durable power of attorney. These documents determine the person that your elder will appoint to make medical decisions on their behalf. If your elder is unable to make a health care decision, the power of attorney will determine the next step. They will be able to make decisions even if your elder does not have a terminal illness.

Health Care Proxy. These individuals are also substitute decision makers for your elders. These individuals are similar to a power of attorney. However, some states regulate the decisions the proxy can make. All 50 states and the District of Columbia recognize this individual as an adequate decision maker.

Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order. This is a physician’s written order on behalf of your elder. It is attached to your elder’s medical record. DNRs will indicate whether your health care provider should attempt to perform life-saving measures such as CPR in events of heart attacks and cardiac or respiratory arrest. If your elder is able to make this decision, the physician will approve and carry out this order.

This is not an easy conversation to have. However, it is a conversation that must happen in order to maintain your elders wishes. Furthermore, it prevents future conflict between your elder, yourself, and your family and friends.

Genivity is here to help. We place emphasis on helping advisors with goal-based financial planning that incorporates health wealth factors to provide personalized reporting. Genivity can assist you in determining how your family members health impacts their future care planning. To determine how their health impacts their care plan, advise your family members to ask for an assessment with Genivity’s HALO to their financial advisors.

Planning for When You’re Gone: Leaving a Legacy

Planning for When You’re Gone: Leaving a Legacy

A legacy is “something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past.” While it usually represents a monetary value, a legacy is much more than that. Material possessions are just one of the things you can pass down. A legacy represents who you are and the people you have impacted in your life. In other words, how can you assist your clients in creating a lasting legacy for their family?

Two Types of Legacies

There are two legacies – health and wealth related. The easier of the two that can be discussed is the wealth legacy. This is monetary value one leaves to loved ones or to charities. While this is the most common type of legacy, health legacies are also following their lead.

Health legacies are the importance you place on health. It is a healthy habit that you teach your loved ones in order to improve their health. For example, Sarah does not control her high blood pressure. She continues to consume fast food produces,refuses to exercise, and teaches these habits to her children. When she passes, these children are most likely to continue the same habits.

If Sarah understands how to take control of her high blood pressure and continues to eat healthy and exercise, her children are most likely to be taught the same. This results in a health legacy – and a wealth legacy. A health and wealth legacy are more intertwined that your clients imagine.

Plan to Leave Two Legacies

If your clients begin to understand the importance that health management has on their legacy, you can begin to relate this to a wealth legacy. In other words, a health legacy can also allow an increase in their wealth. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, your clients will experience a decrease in the cost of health care.

The same rule applies to their heirs. By leaving their heirs with healthy habits, their heirs will maintain a healthier life, which decreases the cost associated with various health conditions. Even in cases where heirs have chronic conditions such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, a healthy lifestyle can control them. Your clients will leave more than just a monetary legacy – they will leave a lasting impact in the lives of their loved ones.

Genivity is here to help. We place emphasis on helping advisors with goal-based financial planning that incorporates health and behavioral factors to provide personalized reporting. Genivity can assist you in determining how your health decisions impact your life. Using Genvity, you can determine what type of health legacies you want to leave behind. If you wish for your family to understand how crucial your health is, ask your financial advisor for an assessment with Genivity’s HALO.

Future Financial Planning: Continuing Care Costs

Future Financial Planning: Continuing Care Costs

Did you know that Americans are five times more concerned with burdening their family with retirement than they are with death? According to a Genworth study, this is a true worry for individuals. Considering the cost of care can range from $1 million to $300,000 in a 10-year period, we can see how this would make individuals uneasy. Furthermore, every institution offers different services and amenities for individuals that may make the cost of retirement rise. This does not even include concerns about inflation. That is why it is important to consider certain factors to make the best choice in your retirement planning.

The Entry Fee

An entry free is an up-front cost to move into a continuing care residential community (CCRC). It often pays for the underlying mortgage and for maintaining the property. In other words, this payment is for maintaining a well-functioning facility. The cost of an entry fee can be as low as $80,000 or as high as $600,000.

However, the average costs is typically around $250,000. This is a considerable amount of money, even in the lower range. You may be asking yourself what makes the entry fee vary so widely? Your location is very important. Those that reside in the Northeast region can expect to pay a higher entry fee, while those that live in the Midwest region can expect lower entry fees. Changing locations can impact how much you will expect to pay for this fee.

You should also consider whether this fee is refundable. Most institutions do not have a refund policy, meaning that if you stay for a year or 10, they will not be returning your money. Other institutes that do offer a refund policy typically ask for a higher entry fee. Although this may not seem desirable, if you wish to leave a legacy to your next-generation family members, this may be an option worth considering.

The Monthly Fees

Monthly fees can cover a wide range of services and amenities such as meal plans, gym access, and social activities. Most fees range from $2,500 to $4,000, depending on the services that the institution provides. It is crucial to consider these services as you plan. If you do not plan to be involved in several services or activities, consider a different institution to avoid paying extra.

Included in your monthly fee and in your entry fee is your healthcare cost. Under this cost of care, there are 3 options to consider.

  1. The first option is choosing a higher entry fee. This option will cover most of your health care costs and typically offers a fixed monthly fee. If you require nursing care or assisted living, these costs will mostly be covered.
  2. The second option is paying a lower entry fee along with some health care assistance. This option will cover a set number of days that nursing care or assisted living will be covered. After this time period, you will be required to cover the extra costs.
  3. The last option is paying a low entry fee and a low monthly fee. In this case, less health care services will be covered and you will be offered a pay-for-service. In other words, if you require assisted living or nursing home care, you will be responsible for paying the rate.

Consider these factors when planning for retirement and cost of care in an assisted living or nursing home facility. The cost of care can be daunting, but it can be done with the appropriate planning.

Genivity is here to help. We place emphasis on helping advisors with goal-based financial planning that incorporates health wealth factors to provide personalized reporting. Genivity can assist you in determining the future costs of your care, and allow you more information needed to plan for your future retirement. If you are interested in understanding your health wealth factors, ask your advisor for an assessment with Genivity’s HALO.

Establish Financial Goals in Client Meetings

Establish Financial Goals in Client Meetings

No matter your client’s age, setting financial goals can help determine their financial planning route. Furthermore, success to one individual may not be a success to another. That is why it is important in your role as an advisor to guide your clients through this process. To make it easy and concise, we looked at six factors to consider to assist in the development of financial goals for your clients.

What is important to your clients and what motivates them to establish this as a goal? What are your clients’ short-term and long-term goals? Are they planning to save for a new house, an emergency fund, retirement planning, etc? These are all important factors to ask your clients. Asking your clients what motivates them is also important. This drives your clients to become more involved in their financial plan and make it more likely they will be active participants.

While you have this conversation, emphasize SMART goal planning. In other words, make sure their goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. In order to really determine whether their goals are SMART, ask yourself the question that follows.

What is their financial situation and can a realistic plan be created? We cannot determine if their goals are measurable and realistic if we do not know the financial side of these goals. Begin by discussing their income, their current budget or their lack of, and their net worth. If your client lacks a budget plan, establish one with your clients and remember to use the 50/20/30 rules – 50% is allocated to necessities such as housing and utilities, 20% is associated with savings, and 30% is used to cover your client’s lifestyle. Once you understand their finances, discuss with your clients whether their goals can be reached in a timely manner.

Follow the discussion with prioritization. Discuss with your client the importance of three factors in establishing financial health – retirement planning (including health care costs and assisted care costs), emergency fund planning, and debt repayment. These three factors should always be a priority. When planning for retirement, experts state that individuals should save at least 15% of their annual income. Experts advise individuals to save enough to cover at least three to six months of expenses, approximately $500 each month. This income can be used in case of job loss, loss of a family member, or other large life events. As for debt repayment, experts advise individuals to pay high-interest debts such as credit cards, followed by low-interest debts such as student loans.

Once these factors have been established with your client, you can prioritize the goals that follow.  

Sometimes automatic deductions are best for your client. If your client is forgetful about manually deducting certain amounts of income from their paychecks, advising weekly or monthly automatic deductions may be useful! It ensures that your clients remain on track and removes the burden of reminding your clients to deduct income.

Check your client’s progress. Make sure to review and update your client’s financial plan at least annually. This will ensure that you consider the life events, changes in habits, and changes in health that occurred in that year and make adjustments to their plan. For example, if your clients experienced a job loss or a wage increase, this calls for an update to their financial plan. If things have remained constant, it reassures the clients that they are making great progress toward their goals.

A financial plan is easier to construct when the goals of your clients are made clear and realistic. Using these tips, we hope that your meetings are productive and meaningful for your clients.

Genivity is here to help. We place emphasis on helping advisors with goal-based financial planning that incorporates health wealth factors to provide personalized reporting. Using our HALO report can help determine the importance of health in your clients’ financial planning. Similar to retirement planning, emergency fund planning, and debt repayment, health wealth factors are also factors to consider when establishing financial goals. Genivity puts these factors on display for your clients to consider while establishing their financial goals.

Health Is Your Clients Largest Asset. How Are You Protecting It?

Health Is Your Clients Largest Asset. How Are You Protecting It?

Customers are more educated than ever before and the financial services world is more transparent than ever before. Your challenges as a financial advisor have never been greater. The good news is that there is also more information than ever before to help you manage client expectations, make solid recommendations and gain emotional engagement with customers despite the analytics of financial planning.

Grow Your Practice Using Trusted Tools

You base your recommendations on reliable sources of data, while clients are basing their decisions on emotion. Using well-known software like NaviPlan, MoneyPlanPro and Morningstar Advisor Workstation with your clients helps build trust with them and solidify your recommendations. But, the emotional piece of investment planning can be left by the wayside when it comes to using these popular software programs. However, there are several other turnkey tools that you can easily incorporate into your practice, adding value to your recommendations. Programs designed specifically about topics like charitable giving needs or healthcare needs can help you address the emotional aspect of planning clients are seeking. Plus, these types of tools can help you start asset discovery conversations, include more family members in legacy planning discussions, and ultimately grow assets in your practice.

Health, Wealth, and Family Are Connected

Explore the options these tools can offer to see how they can benefit your practice and your clients. The benefit to you? You don’t have to do the time-consuming research and analysis – but, you get all of the credit! Plus –even better – these tools can help you maintain a fiduciary standard with your clients. Start with a demo of our Genivity Planning Tool. It captures generational health history to help you make more informed investment recommendations to clients and their families.