Eggs, Baskets, and Long Term Care Planning

Eggs, Baskets, and Long Term Care Planning

If there’s one thing we all understand about eggs and baskets, it’s never to put all of the former in only one of the latter. One stumble, and all those eggs are no more. “Would you put all your stock holdings into only one company?” we are asked. “Of course not,” we reply! “Would you bet more than you can afford to lose on the spin of a roulette wheel?” the questioner proceeds. “Do you take me for an idiot?” we answer. He leans in, “So you don’t sound like the kind of person who would – in all of your retirement planning – count on neither you nor your loved one needing long term care?” “That would be silly, and I’m not that foolish,” we answer, and then realize that we may have fallen into exactly that trap. Who among us has the audacity to think that we won’t need assistance if we live to a ripe old age? And it’s exactly that – needing assistance for more than 90 days with the activities of daily living – that’s part of the definition of long term care. It’s also one of the ways insureds become eligible for benefits. Surely we don’t think that we are immune from severe cognitive impairment (the rest of the definition and the other benefit trigger)? Yet many of us prefer to maintain the artifice of invincibility. And sadder still, many of our financial and legal advisors gladly go along with our self-deception. Perhaps they find it easier than starting a meaningful long term care planning discussion. Or, perhaps we have made it clear that we are not open to the topic. Another common practice is for advisors to automatically throw in what they describe as long term care (LTC) protection with other policies such

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