In the past eight years of my specializing in long-term care insurance sales, there have been a number of times I have tried to assist people who are clearly in the procrastination or denial phase of planning for long-term care. As every LTCI agent knows, first-hand experience with a loved one’s long-term care needs is the best motivator for someone to start his own long-term care plan. Yet, not everyone has had a personal experience, and many who have still believe they can put it off because they are too young.
This long-term care time machine will help you sell more LTCI.
For my Baby Boomer prospects who believe they have plenty of time to plan, I sometimes use what I call the “long-term care time machine” exercise. To set the stage, I go over a few demographic and price statistics with them. For example, we know there are 77 million Boomers in the United States, most of whom will be between the ages of 65 and 85 in 25 years. I note that this is more than twice the number of people who are over 65 today.
To cover current average long-term care costs, I quote the cost of home care and private-pay facility care in the area where they are. Then, I note that the yearly cost of care in many regions has risen by 5 percent or more a year for the past five years. Furthermore, if a 5 percent yearly rate of increase holds true for the next 15 years, costs would double, which you can explain by using the “rule of 72.”
Next, I ask the individual or couple to think of a big event that happened in this country or in their own personal life approximately 25 years ago. This usually creates a good opportunity to get to know each other a little better. We come to a consensus about how fast time flies. Then we get to the heart of the matter. I ask them to fast-forward and project what things may be like for them in 25 years. I ask a few simple questions:
- Where will you live?
- Where might your family and friends live?
- Where would you want to live if you became physically and/or mentally disabled and needed ongoing part- or full-time assistance with activities of daily living?
I restate the point that in 25 years, the number of people who would need care could be twice what it is today. Finally, I ask if they believe starting to plan now for their own long-term care needs will help put them at a competitive advantage in the future for gaining access to high-quality, long-term care services. If the answer is yes, you can begin the factfinding and education that is crucial to put together a well-rounded and flexible LTCI plan to complement their overall financial plan.
Mark Iglehart, LTCP, is the LTCI agency sales manager at Forrest T. Jones & Co. Inc. in Kansas City. A member of the Harry S. Truman Chapter of NAIFA, you can reach him at email@example.com.