David Haynes - Headshot David Haynes

David Haynes, CLTC, is an independent insurance broker specializing in long-term care insurance planning. Contact David at 336-314-1698 or david@haynesltc.com.

Boston College football quarterback, Doug Flutie’s 1984 “Hail Mary” final second, game winning pass against Miami has become an iconic collegiate football play that underscores how quickly an event can change. Flutie later remarked that the play was specifically designed and was practiced hundreds of times never knowing if or when it would be needed. Consider extended care planning through the same type of lens. Obtaining an insurance policy is insuring protection of an event that may or may not ever happen. So the question is, “Do we plan for the best or just hope for the best?”

Long term care insurance provides dollars to pay for needed care in the home or facility settings in the event of an extended illness or accident. It is assistance provided to loved ones because of their inability to perform the normal activities of daily living due to an illness, injury, or progressive, sudden, cognitive impairment as dementia or Alzheimer’s. Most of us think of the event but hope it doesn’t happen to us. Our knowledge is often limited by the assumption that only the frail and feeble need the care. That is only a small part of the population.

While a football team has many play designs and opportunities to score, a long term care event has limited options of providing dollars in the event care is needed. The cost of care is typically higher than planned and financial resources are less than expected to pay for the care if needed. Home care and assisted living care comes at a cost. Some are financially prepared while most are not. The question is, “Are you?”

One of the greatest tools of providing dollars to pay for care is a properly designed long term care policy. Today’s policy options allow for greater customization to meet one’s needs. Plans today have much creativity in making the purchase to fit almost any budget. While writing this article, a prospective client and I had a conversation about the value and risks of purchasing a policy. I was asked, “What is the best long term care policy?” My answer was simple; “The best policy is the one in force at the time it’s needed.“ Of all we know about the cost of care and the limited financial options, it only seems logical to get all the facts about what a policy will mean to your family if care is ever needed.

If you have or are experiencing an event with a parent now, keep the faith and stay the course. Don’t look back as to what could have been. Look forward to what you need to do to prepare for life’s unexpected plays on the gridiron of life. If you are wondering if long term care planning is for you, then it probably is. It cost nothing to have a conversation. It could cost everything if you don’t. “What’s in your playbook?”