March 2009 Newsletter
It's almost the
end of the 1st quarter already. How are you doing? There's
still time to take stock and adjust if you aren't hitting the mark, as
you intended. The key is to have a target and go for it.
adage really rings true, "people don't plan to fail, they just fail
to plan." Having the right plan is important too. Having
the right advisors can really make a difference in determining if, when,
and how we alter our course.
on planning for the quality of our care, and planning for our
financial futures. Our health and wealth are topics of critical
importance. What better time is there than now to start planning,
or adjusting the plan?
We would all wish
for good health and prosperity, right? In case we don't get what we
wish for, let's come up with a dynamite Plan B! I'd love to
hear your ideas.
all the best,
best way to predict the future is to invent it."
(1940 - ) Computer scientist
challenge is in the moment, the time is always now."
(1924-1987) Novelist and essayist
any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the
next best thing is the wrong thing, and
the worst thing you can do is nothing."
Roosevelt (1858-1919) 26th president of the United States
What To Keep In Mind When Planning Long Term Care
For Yourself Or A Loved One
By: Barb Vorenberg, Long Term Care Insurance
Understanding what long-term
care insurance covers is the first thing you need to keep in mind.
Long-term care insurance picks up where health insurance leaves
off. The standard definition for long term care insurance is
insurance that covers chronic conditions that are anticipated to last 90
days or longer and the individual needs assistance with two or more
activities of daily living (such as bathing, eating, dressing,
continence, toileting, or transferring), or which has a cognitive
impairment such as Alzheimer's or dementia. Policies cover long
term care services delivered at home, in adult day care, assisted living
and nursing home facilities.
Next, it is important to understand that a
policy is based initially on the age and health of the individual.
The younger and healthier the individual is, the lower the premium.
This is why it is important to purchase insurance early - before a medical
condition occurs that disqualifies an individual from obtaining coverage
or before the premium becomes too expensive for the amount of insurance
desired. When I receive a phone call from a daughter calling about
obtaining insurance for her mother that was just diagnosed with
Alzheimer's disease, I have to tell her it is too late for the mother,
but not too late for her! You wouldn't call an insurance company to
purchase homeowner's insurance when you are in the middle of having a
fire and expect them to cover you would you?
The cost of the insurance is determined by the
individual's age, the amount of coverage desired per month, the benefit
period to be covered (i.e., three years, five years, lifetime), how much
inflation to add to the policy annually (i.e., 3% compound, 5% simple, or
5% compound), and the elimination or deductible period (i.e., what the
individual will pay for before the policy goes into effect). Other
"riders" are also available if so desired by the individual.
Since every situation is unique, there is no
"one size fits all"! Understanding all of the
definitions and provisions of the actual policy is important, as all
policies are not the same. It is important to understand the actual
benefits provided when comparing policies, not just price!
Identifying the components of a policy that are important to the
individual and matching the right policy to those needs is
critical. Therefore, it is important to work with each individual
to determine their specific needs and objectives and develop a plan
specific for their needs. Working with a long-term care specialist
and with a strong, financially sound company is important to remember
when considering long-term care insurance.
Finally, it is important to understand one major
misperception regarding Medicare and its coverage of long term care
expenses. Medicare may cover up to 100 days of care if the
individual meets the Medicare criteria - 3 day hospital stay, rehab or
skilled care required, improvement of condition, and so forth. It
is not automatic and it is limited in time and circumstances.
Vorenberg has been involved in healthcare her entire life. She
shared her room with her grandmother as a child and learned early on how
important it is to care for one's family as they age and become
frail. She earned her Bachelors Degree from the University of
Missouri in Medical Technology and Biological Science, her Masters Degree
in Health Administration and Planning from Washington University in St.
Louis, and worked for 20 years in healthcare, primarily in the area of
strategic planning and development. In 2001 Barb joined her
husband, Tom, in his insurance and financial services business. Her
healthcare background and numerous family experiences provided Barb with
the expertise and passion for working with individuals in the area of
long term care planning. For more information, visit www.yourlongtermcaresolution.com.
Product: One Financial Advisor's Perspective
Brian Eyster, Essential Strategies
Do you want Tiger Woods golf game
or his clubs?
Let's pretend for a moment that I just purchased a set of 10 golf
lessons. I would have certain expectations about what I'd
learn in these lessons, including how to properly grip the club or
address the ball. How
disappointed or upset would I be if the club pro started
trying to sell me
the latest driver, after a mere five minute lesson?
To play better golf and improve your score, you just
can't go out and buy
a better golf club. It may improve your score by a
stroke or two, and you may
feel more comfortable with that product, but you're not
going to improve your score tremendously. If you or I have a bad
swing, no club is going to help.
To really improve our score, we need to work on our swing
assistance of a golf professional.
So what does golf have to do with
our money? Everything.
Most people who fail to gain financial
independence or financial success
do so because they ignore the process. Instead,
their main focus is on
"where should I be putting my money?" That's like
trying to improve your
golf game with a new club, rather than proper instruction on
your swing. Financial tools in and of themselves won't improve your
In both cases, it is the strategy or process that makes the
difference in your
Most traditional financial advisors are trained
to sell you the latest product without any regard to
process. That's the equivalent of the golf pro trying to sell
you the new set of clubs while ignoring your swing. A good process
should protect your money against premature death, disability, lawsuit,
taxes, inflation, technological change, planned
volatility, interest rate fluctuations, propensities to
consume/spend, downsizing, layoffs, etc.
If the product was the solution, wouldn't we all
be wealthy by now?
Brian Eyster received his finance degree from Michigan State
University in 1998. Brian has been called a "financial
contrarian" based on the success of his non-traditional approach to
wealth development, honed through years in the financial services
industry. It's a title he wears proudly, knowing that his financial
planning strategies and coaching process build clarity, focus, and client
confidence. Brian is frequently requested as a speaker on wealth
development strategies. To learn more, Click Here or contact Brian by phone at
(248) 295-2710. To read Brian's latest blog,