Understand why planning for the what-ifs in retirement including long-term care is an essential part of aging. Learn key financial tips from Guest Speaker Sara and tricks for your long-term financial strategy.
Sara Finkelstein moved from New York to Florida after visiting her father there and fell in love with it. She initially enjoyed working in her
own home-based business, providing clients with hand calligraphy services. But eventually, she started to feel isolated and wanted a career that allowed her to interact more with people. That's when one of her clients suggested the financial planning field and how rewarding it is to help others reach their financial goals. As a result, Sara obtained the proper licensing to become a financial professional with Prudential Insurance and Financial Services.
After entering the field, she also worked for several companies before striking out on her own and forming the Signature Advisory Group. While working in finance, she focused on Medicare and Social Security planning. Knowing that 11,000 people in the US turn 65 daily and become eligible for Medicare and need help with their Social Security claim, she wanted to be of use.
Sara saw a trend working with the senior population - people are living longer and longer than ever before. Her own husband's grandmother is currently age 98, and his great-aunt lived to 106, and many of her clients live well into their 90s. Most don't expect to live to such ripe ages and are unprepared financially.
Americans' #1 fear in retirement is running out of money before running out of life. However, living a long life requires appropriate planning, so you have the funds for extended healthcare costs and are prepared financially to live well!
"I learned as a trainee - People don't plan to fail, they just fail to plan. So much of what I do and how I help people are planning for the "what ifs" that happen to us down the road, as we retire, as our relative's age, as we live longer lives."
What healthcare costs should you plan for as you age?
As we age, there are lots of things to consider, including long-term care. According to Morningstar, 52% of people over the age of 65 will need long-term care. Some people may only require these services for a short time, but others will need them for years to assist with diseases like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's. So an essential part of retirement planning is long-term care - because if you don't have a plan in place, it can wipe out your retirement nest egg.
Women especially need to pay close attention to planning their retirement and not leaving it until the last minute or up to a spouse to plan. Unfortunately, Sara found that many women are not actively involved in their own financial planning.
"They don't know what they need to know about their finances and goals. Plus we, women, are already at a disadvantage as we get smaller social security checks, since most women take time off from work to raise children or care for family members."
Social security is an integral part of retirement planning. Like it or not, many of us may not be able to work forever.
"If people haven't planned for the what-ifs or the holes in their financial plans they and their family members may get hurt."
Sara knows this first hand as her mom needed help. She moved her mother to Florida from New York so that she could check in on her. Her mother needed assisted living for six years, followed by two years in a nursing home. Since the pandemic, nobody wants to have their relatives end up in a nursing home more than ever.
"I realized it could happen to me, just like it happened to my mom - one day I may need long-term care. I had a personal family experience through my mom, but for many the potential need for long-term care doesn't enter their mind because they haven't had an experience with it."
The bottom line, discuss long-term care needs ahead of time before they are required.