Retirement planning is more than just legal planning or financial planning. An effective retirement plan requires coordinating the efforts of some key professionals whom consumers rely on with their different needs; to include: health care providers, housing professionals, financial planners and legal counsel. There are other ancillary professionals who may play key roles in the lives of consumers. And outside of professionals, consumers will generally have to place some reliance on family and loved ones, particularly in times when they face health related incapacity, most often in later years. And finally, a not so obvious planning issue that generally is deferred, but should not be, is the housing issue. Most Americans say that they desire to age in their own homes, but may well have to accept institutional care because they cannot afford the care at home, the home is not suitable for aging issues or there is no family support to oversee the coordination of care at home. This makes advanced planning for long term housing issues critical, and invites the involvement of appropriate professionals, including: Realtors, home health / home care agencies, physical / occupational therapists, home placement agencies, remodelers, etc.
The problem with traditional planning is that few professionals (healthcare, housing, financial or legal) are aware of the impact of their recommendations / prescriptions upon the eldercare issues other professionals might be addressing. For example, a physician recommending transfer of an individual to a nursing home may not have any concerns or awareness of the impact of the prescription on the patient’s financial well being. Another example would be that of a financial planner recommending the use of immediate annuities as a way to shore up income, not having taken into consideration the possibility of future uncovered long-term care costs rendering Medicaid planning difficult in later years. Similarly, traditional Estate Planners will focus on death issues but do little, if any, planning around incapacity issues that may invalidate last minute Medicaid or VA planning.
These issues essentially render the traditional Estate Planning that consumers rely on as little more than a recipe for disaster when incapacity strikes, which could have been averted if appropriate planning had been done ahead of time AND providers understood the issues in a holistic manner, allowing them to coordinate their recommendations to complement (not compete with) the efforts of other professionals.
To that end; AgingOptions recognizes that it will take more than any one single professional to truly help a client with the client’s retirement planning needs. To that end AgingOptions has developed a LifePlanning solution which is based on a team approach. The solution aims to provide client information that will help them with the following:
- Understand how to approach healthcare from a preventative point of view through the selection of the correct health insurance option and then link the client to the appropriate health care providers – from the primary care physicians to nutritionists and personal trainers. The underlying premise being that the foundation of good health is eat right, exercise, socialize and have the right people on the medical team.
- Help the client develop a housing strategy that will allow the client not to have to endure a move if and when the client’s health fails the client. This is done with assistance of real estate brokers focused on the needs of retirees, reverse mortgage brokers, placement services familiar with the local retirement community landscape and home health and home care agencies who offer services designed to help keep people at home.
- Help client develop a financial dashboard which will help them be better prepared to retire. Research shows that though most people focus on investment issues of financial planning, few pay attention to other issues such as timing retirement, procuring of a long-term care insurance policy, determining the optimal time to start social security, knowing how much to safely withdraw from the retirement nest egg so as not to run out of money or sacrifice quality of life and many other issues that go beyond investment planning advice. This is done with the help of financial advisers, long term care insurance agents, reverse mortgage brokers, and health insurance agents.
- Finally, help client develop a legal framework that goes beyond traditional estate planning. The legal framework appropriate for retirees is one that reflects the many decisions the clients have made around the housing and financial issues and directs named fiduciaries to follow carefully developed instructions so as to reach predetermined outcomes that the client has developed. For this AgingOptions relies on Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorneys.
The benefits of working in a team of like-minded professionals is that you can provide a more complete answer to your client, distinguish your services from your competition, and add a new line of revenue source by offering LifePlanning services in addition to your underlying services.
Are you trying to reach retirees and aspiring retirees and having a hard time?
At AgingOptions we have developed a unique conversation designed to change the way America thinks of, talks about, plans for and navigates through retirement. The solutions we have developed are far beyond the traditional solutions which prove to be little more than a recipe for disaster for many retirees. And after a decade of pursuing this conversation we are now ready to connect professionals and businesses with our listeners, clients and online visitors who believe in this unique way of planning for retirement.
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