The long-term care planning session consists of two parts:
1. An initial conversation of 10-15 minutes, wherein I get information about your health and finances to make sure that
(a) insurance would be available to you (unfortunately, many clients are declined for this type of protection due to health issues); and
(b) that this is suitable from a financial standpoint.
2. The subsequent conversation occurs after I have taken the health information you provide, and have found you coverage to consider. That second meeting usually takes an hour-and-a-half, or longer, depending on your questions.
It can be difficult, depending on your health. My job is to streamline the process for you and to help you avoid being declined for the insurance. Getting through the underwriting process (the evaluation by the insurance company of your health) can be tricky. As long as I have a clear picture of your health conditions, I can do my best to find a solution for you. I will never recommend that a client apply for long-term care insurance unless the underwriting guidelines of one of the companies can be met.
Financial advisors are terrific for investment questions, and their opinions about long-term care insurance planning can be very helpful. But without the expertise of a seasoned long-term care planning professional who has worked with a variety of companies and has experience in navigating the underwriting process, you could be declined for coverage, making it much more difficult to get this type of protection in the future.
I enjoy meeting with my clients in person. It also works quite well to have the consultation over the phone. We'll decide together how we want to meet.
There are many questions to be answered before the price of a plan can be determined, such as: what rate class would you fit in; how comprehensive a plan do you want; do you want a "term" policy, or one with "unlimited" benefits which will never run out; and do you want to pay over the rest of your lifetime, or in a lump sum up front. All of the above questions go into the plan design, which determines the premium. There is no "one size fits all" with long-term care insurance.
My clients who decide to move forward and apply for coverage tell me they feel relieved to have made a decision to protect not only their assets from unnecessary spend down, but also their family members or friends from the burden of having to potentially provide and manage their care. It is not only the risk of needing long-term care to be considered--it is more importantly the consequences of leaving oneself exposed to that risk, that can be so devastating to oneself, one's finances, and most importantly, to your loved ones.