LTCI: The perfect year-end discussionArticle added by Julie Gelbwaks Gewirtz on January 6, 2010
Julie Gelbwaks Gewirtz

Julie Gelbwaks Gewirtz

Joined: October 13, 2006

The holiday season generally brings out the best in people. The lights and elaborate decorations make you smile; the idea of being surrounded by family and friends in a festive atmosphere warms your heart and things like shopping, wrapping gifts, cool weather, vacations and end of year celebrations all add to the joyous nature during this wonderful period. There is a quote from Hamilton Wright Mabie that fits the holidays wonderfully. Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love." In many ways, it's the perfect opportunity to think about long term care insurance.

You may assume that no one would want to focus on important decisions that involve money or complicated insurance products during this time, but here are three circumstances showing why it couldn't be a better occasion.
    1) Families come together. The world is very different place today. Families tend to be spread out all over the country. Because of this, many important decisions that should involve multiple family members just do not get made that way. During the holidays, people travel long distances to be with their loved ones. It is a way of showing them how much they care.

    Long term care plans are commonly not discussed between family members due to a variety of reasons including denial, privacy, or even embarrassment. As an advisor, you should remind your clients to make time during their holiday visiting to talk to their parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins and even grandparents about what their plan is for long term care. While they are sitting at the dinner table or sharing a moment at the family gathering, it could be a perfect time to have that meaningful conversation.

    Many people may feel that just bringing up this subject is painful, but it should be taken seriously and discussed when it directly relates to something that the entire family could be affected by in the future. The opportunity is there when family is together and it may not present itself again anytime soon. There is no better time than the present to talk about this important issue.

    2) People tend to be in a charitable/gift-giving mode. Holiday time is gift giving time. It is about thinking of those in need. It is a time to celebrate life and the people around you by showering them with thoughtful presents to show them how much you care.

    Long term care insurance is a gift that keeps on giving. Its benefits will last for many years into the future. It is not anything like the blouse, perfume, or jewelry that you might traditionally purchase. Long term care insurance protects the family from financial devastation, in addition to preserving the lifestyle of the recipient. Your clients and prospects need to be reminded of this and of how the gift of long term care insurance could be more appreciated than anything else they ever do. This kind of gift, of course, requires the giver to continually pay premiums in most cases. But it is the inherent value of the gift that cannot be denied. It gives peace of mind to the entire family.

    One of the nicest things about giving the gift of long term care insurance is the appreciation that comes along with it. Family members truly believe that you care and are reminded of that every year as that policy premium is paid. In addition to the special feeling they get when that gift is received, they will continue to think about how your client protected the family legacy for the rest of their lives.

    3) Time to plan for 2010. Financial plans are generated, budgets are created and important decisions are made just as a new year begins. While those things are happening, the discussion of buying long term care insurance should arise. That way, it could perhaps fit nicely into the dedicated budget for 2010. Now is the time to talk about the significance of LTCI as part of a financial plan with your clients.

    We have been hit hard as a country by the breakdown of our economy. Many people may think that it is a terrible time to spend more money on insurance. But, you need to be making them aware of the fact that what scores of them just experienced in the economic downturn was very similar to having an uninsured long term care event. This is not something that anyone would choose to have happen to them again. More than ever, this is the right time to protect what your clients have left. Explain to them that when they create that financial plan for 2010, LTCI is an absolute necessity.
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