Indy LTC professionals talk about preserving important memories

As Indianapolis-area extended care professionals and Long-Term Care specialists, Ed and I work to help our clients preserve the assets they’ve worked so hard to accumulate during their lifetimes.

At Long Term Care Resources, we often help folks better understand the many choices available to them on Long-Term Care plans, effectively protecting their future.

We also like the idea many of our estate planning colleagues now recommend, that of preserving financial data – as well as personal data, such as photos and stories from your childhood. In fact, recently, we found some new websites set up especially to enable easier “memory preservation.”

Here are some great ways to preserve memories and important financial documents for you and your family:

Store important or interesting documents, photos, files, and videos on sites like Dropbox. This cloud-based service is a safe place where your entries can be accessed and shared no matter where you are, via cloud servers. Depending on the service you select, from 2 to 10 gigabytes of material can be stored and accessed, free of charge.

Have a story or two to tell? Consider ‘blogging’ about your life at blogger.com. Write about your memories and add photos or videos to your posts using this free service. Family members and friends can add comments as well. Your blog can be password-protected so that only friends and family have access to it.

Free sites like flickr can store thousands of photos for you. You decide whether the photos are private or public, and you allow friends and family viewing privileges.

Sure, we’re extended care professionals serving Indianapolis, Indiana and the surrounding areas, but Ed and I are always looking to help our clients find to make their futures more productive, more protected, and more informed. We love the idea of helping folks like you save important documents — and precious memories — for future generations!

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My number one job is to find the best extended care program for you

Very true words, and I take them seriously. Even if it means I don’t get your business.

My father always said, “Always do what’s in the best interest for your client,” and I’ve never strayed from that. Because when you work with people in planning for their future, you want to be sure you are providing them with a good service they need at a price they can afford.

Case in point:  Last week I visited with a husband and wife who had both recently retired. They had no savings, were in reasonably good health, but were having trouble consistently paying their mortgage. They wanted to buy a Long-Term Care policy.

The more I talked with them, the more I was sure that Long-Term Care was not right for them. They were already strained paying their mortgage. The last thing they needed was to add another bill to their budget.

I suggested that a better route for their situation might be to get information on a reverse mortgage, since they did have equity in their home. I put them in touch with someone I knew would give them the information they needed to make a good decision.

They called me back to thank me and suggested that now that they had money in the bank, they could invest in Long-Term Care. I had to smile. I was pleased they believed so strongly in the program and in my services, but once again, I said that I didn’t feel Long-Term Care was in their best interest right now.

Would your agent have made that decision? My responsibility and commitment as a Long-Term Care planning specialist is to help navigate through the many choices available for clients, and help them choose what is best for them — even if it means I don’t sell them a policy.

I am always happy to talk to new potential customers and give them the facts about Long-Term Care and other extended care programs. And – I’m always ready to say no, if what I offer isn’t in their best interests. I think that’s the only way to go… and my father, I’m sure, would agree.          ~ Elise

A painful lesson on adding (financial) insult to (health) injury

When I read Christine’s story (click HERE to read), my heart ached for her. The co-founder of the business “The Parent Care Solution,” Christine and her husband Dan created their company together after caring for Dan’s father, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.

Even though Christine and Dan, both in their 50s, had worked with dozens of couples who were under-insured and struggling to provide healthcare for an ill spouse, they had not yet invested in Long-Term Care Health Insurance for themselves. As many do, they thought they were too young for any devastating health problems.

Unfortunately, they were wrong. Dan was diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 55  and died just 13 months later. After Dan was diagnosed, he could not buy Long-Term or Short-Term Health Insurance. And as the owners of a small business, Christine and Dan were under-insured with their health insurance. Thirteen months of surgeries, chemotherapy, and hospital stays took their toll not only emotionally on the two, but also financially.

As Christine says, I became painfully aware of how important it is to have a plan during such an emotionally trying time… The longer you wait, the fewer choices you will have and the more it will cost you, emotionally as well as monetarily.”

Nothing could have eased the terrible pain and emotional suffering of this couple. But when it came to financial pain, financial health care planning could have made a big difference. The lesson Christine learned the hard way could be acted upon by you early enough to make a difference in your life and that of your spouse.

It’s just too easy to postpone talking about difficult matters. As the owner of YourLTCresources, I consider it is my personal passion to guide the “Christines and Dans” of this world with the information and resources they need to make informed, educated decisions about their future. I hope you’ll contact me to learn about what Long-Term Care Health Insurance, Critical Care and Short-Term Health Care Insurance can do for you.                                                      ~ Elise

Decisions about Health Care Insurance begin at the kitchen table

The most common misunderstanding about advance care health planning may be that it requires consulting with an attorney and the creation of numerous complex legal documents. In reality, advance planning starts at the kitchen table, with a thoughtful conversation with your spouse and/or family members.

Focus on advance care planning, talking about how you want your health care needs handled, financially as well as physically, and from there, move on to a discussion about a living will, a will and burial decisions. Then you are ready to speak with a Health Care Insurance advisor to set up a health care plan that meets your needs, and an attorney to take care of your will.

Yes, some of the topics may be uncomfortable to talk about. Studies show most people would rather indefinitely postpone these conversations, rather than have them. But all it takes is one cautionary tale from someone like me, a Health Care Insurance advisor, to realize delaying is not the answer.

Claire and Rich, both in their 50s, sat down with me and talked for about an hour and a half about Long-Term (LTC) and Short-Term (STC) Health Care policies. They agreed that having both a LTC and STC policy could help them, but decided to take a few days to think through some of the plans I showed them.

When I checked back with them, Claire had decided to postpone their decision for a couple of months, until after the holidays.

Unfortunately, Rich had a stroke about a month later, and was unable to buy the Short-Term Care policy that would have helped Claire pay for his home health care and nursing home care needs while he was recovering. Like many stroke victims, Rich lived, but will now be ineligible for Long-Term and Short-Term Care policies because of his pre-existing condition.

I was still able to help Claire, but felt very badly not to have been able to help Rich as well.

 Unfortunately, most of us don’t want to think about end of life and critical care health needs – often waiting too long – until after something devastating happens.

This is the reason I’m so passionate about health care insurance! I want to make sure you don’t get caught up in a crisis situation like Claire and Rich did. Both LTC and STC health insurance needs to be decided upon WHILE YOU ARE HEALTHY.

Together, let’s make your future health care decisions a priority, beginning at your kitchen table.

~ Elise

Long-Term Care insurance = being prepared for the future

Many of us think that if we have life insurance, Living Will, employer health insurance or private health, or Medicare, we’re all set. But unfortunately, that’s just not the case. I’ve seen what unexpected health crises can do when there hasn’t been forethought and planning, and it’s not pretty. In this regard, my insurance CLTC certification and training are important, but just as important is my 25 years of experience.

Because I know what CAN happen, I know how to protect you from as many potential problems as possible. As the co-founder of Your LTC Resource, my job is to assure that singles, couples and families are protected in as many ways as possible when it comes to their future healthcare needs.

That phrase “as many ways as possible” is incredibly important. We can’t know what our future mental or physical health will be. That’s why we need to have Long-Term Care insurance that is flexible as well as responsible.

Being flexible means both Long-Term and Short-Term Care insurance. It means taking a good look at your present health insurance policies, and finding the gaps. The more planning we do, the better prepared you’ll be for every health and financial contingency.

When you do our Long-Term Care planning homework, the payoff in your future is well worth the time.

~ Elise