A Month to Reflect: Are You Dropping the Ball With Long-Term Care Planning?

  • Originally published October 18, 2018 , last updated November 6, 2019
A Month to Reflect: Are You Dropping the Ball With Long-Term Care Planning?

The need for long-term care (LTC) planning in the United States is enormous, and that means the opportunity for retirement planning professionals to help provide solutions is also great.

Not being insured “can be the single biggest devastator of a financial plan," Tom Henske, CFP and partner at New York-based Lenox Advisors, told cnbc.com. 

Are you among the professionals dropping the ball, failing to talk about this risk with clients? Or are you educating clients and helping them find solutions? No matter what type of retirement planning professional you are, you’re in a position to help educate clients on the risks of failing to plan for long-term care.

November is Long-Term Care Awareness Month, a month dedicated to educating the public on the importance of long-term care planning and encouraging families to start the conversation early rather than waiting until it’s too late.

The market for long-term care is robust, Steve Schoonveld of the Society of Actuaries said, speaking to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' Senior Issues Task Force. Citing LIMRA data that average annual premium sales grew 14% in 2018, analysts told the task force that hybrid products are driving growth -- 85% of long-term care sales in 2018 were on the hybrid product shelf, either chronic illness or acceleration of benefits. And the demand is not expected to abate anytime soon, the analysts said.

You Don’t Have to Specialize in LTC Planning to Help

Jamie Hopkins, Co-Director of the American College’s New York Life Center for Retirement Income, wrote in Forbes that the failure of planning professionals to discuss long-term care planning is partly due to the segmentation of investment specialists and insurance professionals, with those professionals avoiding the conversations with clients because it’s not where they specialize. But, Hopkins argues, any secure retirement plan needs to consider risk mitigation strategies, including long-term care planning.

As leaders in the retirement planning and insurance space, Senior Market Sales® (SMS) has long recognized the need for long-term care planning. SMS has the resources and support for all types of planning professionals, at every stage of the LTC planning process.

Resources to Help

If you aren’t selling long-term care insurance because of its challenges, it’s important to understand that the industry is evolving, offering opportunity to not only help clients but also build your business.

The SMS video, “Navigating Troubled Waters: The Importance of LTC Planning,” discusses the state of the LTC insurance industry and how SMS can help you determine a strategy to expand your business to include long-term care planning.

Because of SMS’ extensive experience in long-term care planning, the company can provide the behind-the-scenes support that helps you find the best product for your clients, even if you aren’t an LTC expert. SMS can help you get contracted and certified, learn the basics, help with not only your first case but also any cases in which you need help. One great resource SMS offers is a step-by-step guide through the LTC planning discussion.

For example, SMS Marketing Consultants can do pre-underwriting to see which LTC insurance clients could qualify for. SMS also offers sales and product training, including case studies and presentation tips.

Mutual of Omaha and SMS have partnered with the Corporation for Long Term Care Certification (CLTC) to offer their best-in-class eCLTC course at a significant discount. For questions on this course, please contact a LTC marketing consultant at 1.888.456.8884.

Whether you’re new to long-term care planning or need ideas on how to improve your process, SMS’ “LTC Planning Kit” can help. It can serve as a road map, helping you establish a plan of care with clients, overcome common LTC objections and find the best solutions. It also includes printable worksheets that can be used while on appointments.

SMS also offers the Income ArchiTechTM planning tool to help you demonstrate the impact that lack of LTC coverage can have on a retirement plan. The tool then also shows different solutions, so you can find one that works for your client. Watch this webinar at your convenience to learn more. 

Face the Challenge With the Support of SMS

Only 14% of Americans have talked with an advisor about how they would pay for long-term care, according to a 2017 Long-Term Care Marketing and Thought Leadership Research Survey conducted by Versta Research on behalf of Lincoln Financial Group. And while a majority of advisors in the survey said their clients were waiting too long to plan for long-term care, only 26% of these advisors said they discussed long-term care planning with their clients.

SMS recognizes the challenges of selling LTC insurance but also the importance of helping clients understand the need for long-term care planning. That’s why we’ve developed the training, partnerships and support that can help you find solutions for clients and build your business.

To speak with an LTC Marketing Consultant, call 1.888.456.8884, option 4.