#198 – Understanding Long-Term Care Planning

Episode #198 – Understanding Long-Term Care Planning. Listen and read along as hosts David Bezar, Karen Bezar, and Bret Elam talk with Joe Krause.

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Announcer  00:00

This program is paid for by JAKIB Media Partners. All opinions or statements expressed on this program are solely those of JAKIB Media or its guests and do not reflect the views of WPHT or Audacy. Today’s program is pre-recorded Welcome to Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show with David Bezar, Karen Bezar, and Bret Elam from Thrive Financial Services who have been featured on Fox, ABC, NBC, the Wall Street Journal, and more. Saving for retirement is a great start. But it’s what you do with this money that really matters. What’s your strategy to reduce taxes, generate income in retirement, reduce your risk, and get even more from Social Security? This is where you can count on straightforward and objective advice about how you can make your money go a lot further in retirement. Roadmap to Retirement, The Radio Show. Now here are your hosts David, Karen, and Bret along with Joe Krause.


Joe Krause  00:52

Welcome everyone to another edition of Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show with David Bezar, Karen Bezar, and Bret Elam. Great show lined up for you today. David is off and Bret’s in control. And we’ve got special guests today I should say we’ll tell you more about that. But tune in and stay with us, Bret for the full hour. As you know, we continue to provide information for the listening audience. That is all part of that Roadmap to Retirement.


Bret Elam  01:21

Yeah, if you’re a regular listener of the show, you know, one of the common themes that we have is always talking about risk mitigation, whether it’s talking about the stock market, whether it’s talking about taxes, and Karen and I are very excited today to talk about risk mitigation of something that happens to so many families that are out there that’s completely devastating, is when someone gets ill, we talk about from a financial standpoint, when somebody passes away. It’s an emotional thing. But it doesn’t always necessarily devastate you from a financial standpoint. But God forbid somebody in that household gets ill, whether it’s Alzheimer’s, or they just can’t care for themselves anymore. Not only is it a stressful situation for the family, but can be a real financial strain for the family as well. So we’re excited we got some special guests that Karen and I are going to introduce in the next segment. But some interesting things are going on out there right now. What they call the VIX indicator, which is the fear gauge, has just hit a low since the pandemic, so has not hit this mark since January of 2020. But just like data, we have data that contradicts themselves, because the University of Michigan just put out the consumer sediment information, which is at a 70-year low. So, you have institutions out there that are saying maybe things are okay. But the consumers are feeling it, statistics just came out that 1.2 million Americans are going to be losing 100% of their savings over the next year why? Interest rates are high. So now people are having to pay more for housing. I’m looking at all the crises going on, I think you can’t drive down any street and not see office space up for lease, they’re talking about the market not going to recover until the year 2040. So there are a lot of interesting things that are going on out there in the overall market. And especially when you’re talking about this pending recession, and a lot of people are like, oh, people have been saying there’s a recession and it doesn’t look like it’s happening, you know, patients, patients, I mean, they’re talking about all sorts of different inflation right now it’s getting interesting because goods and costs have gone down. And if you’re a regular listener of the show, we talk about how Social Security next year will only be going up by about 2.9%. A far cry from the 8.7% that people got last year and 5.9% from the year before. So, when you start pulling all those pieces together, and you start talking about the perfect storm, this is something that we do when people come in and visit us talking about “Your Roadmap to Thrive”, where we always talk about what if, what if? And what if, and you get some crazy stories? Because one of the questions we always ask is what happens if one of you gets ill and you hear all the crazy people are like, oh, we’ll take me out back and shoot man, they’ll pull the plug, we have gotten those. And then that person said that 5, 6,7 years ago, they’re now facing it. That’s not the plan. But guess what that was in the plan in their head because they just wanted to simply ignore it. Us being fiduciaries, means that we need to cross everything, and look at somebody to make sure that they’re bulletproof. So in saying that there’s no other time to talk about the perfect storm, is that when you do have the market go down because Karen and I and David and the rest of the team here Thrive when we talk about what is your plan if God forbid one of you gets sick? The answers you typically hear will be the crazy ones I just shared with you. It’ll be self-insured. It’s nowhere in my bloodline. So, I really don’t think it’s something that I really need to be conscious of, or there’ll be like, when that happens, we’ll just sell the house and deal with it.


Karen Bezar  04:48

Or sometimes they’re like the kids will take care of it. Will they?


Bret Elam  04:53

That’s it. Well that it’s good to have that conversation and it’s all about the plan. It’s all about being prepared. Because I know Karen’s getting ready to share some statistics with us when we talk about home health care and nursing care and so forth, that it’s real, does that mean it’s always going to happen? No. But that’s why we talk about risk mitigation, talking about all the conditions that are out there, and the importance of why we need to be, again, just pulling it all together, because these things are very real. And if you’re not prepared for them, and you’re making emotional decisions, versus rational decisions, where today before the situation happens, we can talk about what if, because our heads clear, then all of a sudden, if you haven’t prepared for it, and all of a sudden, something devastating happens, we’re making very emotional decisions. A lot of times those decisions aren’t in the best interest of the family, financially. Where, again, it’s the importance of preparing, and the difference between being emotional, versus being rational. And again, the three things that we pride ourselves with and we try to bring to our listening audience week in and week out, are the three things that the Delaware Valley has really recognized as far as leadership, which we’re going to hear a little bit about today. But it’s the education and we’re going to cross that path today talking about going deep onto this home health care topic. And then it’s awareness and what’s awareness? And I think our special guests are going to help us with that here today. Awareness is conversations that need to be had that you didn’t even think needed to be had, by asking a series of questions that you didn’t even know needed to be asked. So in saying that, and kind of kicking things off, I want to candidate over to my partner in crime Karen, to start firing away with some of these statistics about why it’s important that we need to keep this home health care nursing care, topic fresh in our heads, because it’s very real and can become very devastating.


Karen Bezar  06:37

So on to me, so Joe, I have your favorite thing, I have a couple of things, I have a list, we love lists. And then I have some statistics, you know, May. But here are some interesting statistics, statistics, more than 810,000 people right now reside in assisted living facilities, assisted living costs, right, that’s just living in an assisted living facility, it’s not having 24-hour around-the-clock care, but just having a little bit of assistance is $4,300 a month. The population of adults older than 85 will double by the year 2036. I know it sounds like it’s far away. But I mean, it really isn’t. And it’s going to triple by 2049. Seven out of 10 people require assisted living care in their lifetime. Here at Thrive. One of the things we focus on is being bulletproof on your retirement. And one of the things we focus on is health care and what your long-term health care plan is, what is your health care plan, immediately. And if you don’t plan now, for this financial, I’m not going to say burden, but it’s going to be something that you’re going to have to deal with financially at some point, then you are going to be shocked at how much money it’s going to cost. And you might not be able to afford it. Now I know when we talk with a lot of people, our clients, they want to age in place, right, they want to live in the home of their choosing. Sometimes they downsize. But I myself, I don’t want to have to go into a facility. So, if I can plan ahead and take care, I can come home. That’s something that I want to do. And we’re going to have some guests coming on in the next segment. They are owners of a company called “A Long Term Companion.” And what they focus on is just that right aging in place. And we’re going to go in a little bit deeper in a few minutes. But just remember, as you get older, it doesn’t matter how healthy you are when you’re younger. Look, I focus on my health. David focuses on how his health I know Bret does, and we want to be healthy and our retirement. But when you age, things just change and you’re just going to need a little bit of help. I’m not going to put that burden on my children. But we are planning now for this. You don’t want to be surprised and they’re going to give us some numbers. But I know sometimes people are shocked at how much it costs.


Joe Krause  08:57

the inevitable reality of life. It’s something that you have to ultimately deal with it. We’ll talk about it coming up. As Karen mentioned in the next two segments, we have Brett Ringold and Michele Kilstein from A Long Term Companion” And we’ll get into that conversation as we go to our commercial break on roadmap to retirement, the radio show or reminder, you’ll hear messaging about an upcoming workshop you can get registered for one of the workshops just go to thrive financial services.com or call us at 215-798-9088. And again, 215-798-9088. Back in a moment. And back here on Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show. We thank everybody for tuning in and being a part of our special broadcast today on this the final Sunday or final weekend of June 2023. Thanks again for listening. Good show plan for you, as we talked about in the opening segment. Bret, over to you, sir.


Bret Elam  09:53

Thanks, Krausey. Appreciate that. So I love the name Karen just talked about the name, “A Long Term Companion” you think about long-term care has that little mystique with it. But “A Long Term Companion” is an awesome name for the company. So in the introduction and statistics that Karen just shared with us, I want to waste any more time and throw this over to our special guests. Again, Brett Ringold and Michele Kilstein, president and vice president of a long-term companion. So I’m going to start off with the most obvious question: maybe why it is so important to plan for long-term care. And inevitably, let’s just start there. Why is it important to start with long-term care?

Brett Ringold  10:32

Well, first of all, Bret and Karen, thank you so much for having us here to discuss such an important topic. Frankly, it’s a subject that we speak to families about each and every day of the week. And if it’s okay, before we jump into it, can we tell you maybe for a minute about ourselves? So I’m the vice president of long-term companion, we’re a family owned and operated homecare agency, located about 15 minutes from here in Jenkintown. We have been in the long-term care space as owner/operators of the homecare agency for about 13 years now. But before becoming homecare agency owners, we actually experienced the other side of the long-term care discussion. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of 12. I’m very happy to share that I’ve been in remission for over 15 years now. But from age 12 to 19, there were pretty challenging times and we actually had to turn to long-term care to a homecare agency. When I was a young adult. My mother was my caregiver, she would take extended leaves from work whenever I had a flare up with Crohn’s. And that experience in our lives, and particularly that experience with long-term care was really the genesis of my mom’s founding a long-term companion. So, mom, Michele, do you want to jump in and share a little bit about that?


Michele Kilstein  11:45

Absolutely. So my background before this, I was a preschool teacher, I taught twos and fours, that was really my passion. Like Brett said, I experienced homecare in my home and became his home, his caregiver, and there isn’t a manual, right what to do. So when families turn to homecare there, they don’t know what to do. They’re nervous, they’re scared and things like that. So, being a caregiver made me realize that there was definitely a better way of doing this. And that’s how A Long Term Companion” evolved. I wanted to find a better way for families and make it less stressful, and for them to realize that there’s an easier way in a process to go through this.


Brett Ringold  12:34

Yeah. And this is, you know, Bret, you would ask, you know, what is long-term care? What’s the importance of planning, I guess long-term care is a good place to start. A lot of people don’t know what it is, until you need it, or a loved one needs it. So essentially, everybody performs activities every day that you and I take for granted, right? We bathe ourselves, we dress when cells are able to emulate and walk and feed and prepare meals. When somebody needs a level of assistance with any of these, they’re called ADLs and IADLs. That means that you need help with long-term care. Most long-term care in this country is actually performed by family members. AARP does a study every year, one out of five Americans is a caregiver. Within the last 12 months, 21% of Americans that’s 53 million people have cared for either a child with special needs, or an adult. And that’s pretty remarkable to think about right? One out of five Americans are caregivers. And there’s a lot of reasons, you know, you could have somebody who has an illness who has an accident who had a stroke. More commonly you see cognitive impairment issues. So we work with a lot of individuals who have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. And Alzheimer’s disease is becoming very prevalent in our society, right? Right now over 6 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease by 2050. So in just about 25 years, that number is going to double to 13 million Americans with Alzheimer’s disease. And a lot of people when they hear the word Alzheimer’s, they think, well, well, that person is not going to live very long, maybe a few months. We know it’s quite the opposite. It’s quite the opposite. Absolutely. Bread. So right now, statistically, if you were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease today, your life expectancy is eight to 10 years. Yeah, at some point, you’re going to need assistance with care. And for the last few months or even years of your life, you might need assistance with all those activities that I mentioned. So that’s one of the reasons that long-term care is becoming so expensive, because people are living longer, and they’re having more complex needs. So that’s really why it’s so important to have this discussion today. You know, you might not have the need today, but chances are, it’s going to touch you in one way. AARP does different kinds of studies. Like you said, Karen, seven out of 10 Americans over 65 or older are gonna need long-term care one day, and it’s going to affect 100% of families. That’s not hyperbole, that’s statistics in one way or another. Either you’re planning financially or you’re assisting financially. You’re the one on one day caregiver, you’re arranging for medical appointments and doctor’s appointments, it’s going to touch you at one time or another. So you have to start planning today.


Bret Elam  15:08

And it almost seems like medical advances are just continuing to get better and better. So one thing that I continually read related to your industry is, while maybe somebody needs that assistance for maybe now a little over two years, that healthcare has continued to get better is now that it gets extended and extended. So I just hear the additional financial burden that people need to really be aware of, because now I believe that number is probably even closer to three years plus the average need. And that’s for people, even not Alzheimer’s or dementia and so forth. Is that fair? Fair statement?


Brett Ringold  15:39

Without question. Yeah, and a common rule not to this isn’t unique to a long-term companion, it’s in the healthcare industry, you know, they have a 47 year old where if you’re 40 years old, and your parents are in their 70s, that’s the time that you should absolutely have a discussion, right, you have to talk about their financial situation, their long-term wishes their insurances, because when somebody a baby’s born, you start planning for college, you know that you have 17 or 18 years to start a college fund. When your parents are seven years old, you generally don’t have 17 or 18 years. So you have to, at least at that point, start planning today, and that care is going to be for longer than three years on average. 


Karen Bezar  16:16

I’m going to lead my next question kind of along those lines is how do you pay for it? But I know, personally, we’re experienced in a situation with my husband’s parents, or mainly his father. And I started searching for home healthcare, and I was surprised. I thought, oh, Medicare is going to pick up all these costs. And they’re like, oh, no, no, if you want skilled nursing in your home, which he needs, you just have to pay for it. Pretty much out of pocket. So if you want to dive into that part a little bit more, how do you pay for this?


Brett Ringold  16:50

That’s a great question, Karen. You know, long-term care is part of healthcare. Healthcare is the largest part of our GDP as a nation, and everyone assumes, you know, Medicare is the biggest payer, they’re going to pay for long-term care, not the case. They will pay for up to 100 days of care in a skilled facility or in a rehab facility for an acute reason, right? Maybe you had a stroke, or you had a surgery, you’re recovering, they’ll pay for up to 100 days at the most. Medicare Advantage, that’s more commonplace now. They’re now having long-term care benefits. But that is very limited. You know, on average, somebody’s going to need 40 hours or more of care. Medicare Advantage will give you 10, 15, maybe 20 hours over the course of a year. Not very helpful. No, no, and it’s not, you know, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Humana. Long-term care is not a covered benefit in private health insurance. Long-Term Care Insurance is the one type of vehicle that does pay for care. The problem is, it’s so uncommon, you know, there’s no national study, but everything I’ve read shows that between one and up to 10% of Americans have long-term care insurance, a very small number. And you know, now it’s more common to see things like long-term care, life insurance, hybrid type policy, you have certain elimination periods, maybe have to pay out of pocket for 30, 60, 90 days before it starts caring. Most care is funded out of pocket, it’s private pay. So that’s why it’s so important to start planning for it now. Because at some point, you’re going to have to activate that plan.


Bret Elam  18:18

It’s interesting hearing you talk about those hybrid products, as we’re gigantic believers of them as well. And you start talking about terminology, like indemnity versus reimbursement. And I’m not going to go too deep on it, keep our listening audience engaged, we won’t go into that topic right there. But maybe when you hear something like that, because again, they’re a lot more flexible with those solutions that are out there. But probably the biggest benefit that we see is probably in the industry, because traditional long-term care a lot of times really meant facility, nursing home, but now the flexibility. And as Karen said, and I know my wife and I were only 46 years old, we got our policy three years ago and it took over five years. And so we only have a couple of premiums left. As I watched my parents start to develop dementia, I’m like, this has me written all over it. And I don’t want everything that we’ve worked so hard to build and be trying to be almost forward thinking of decades beforehand of saying, hey, there’s no better time than the present. And especially when you’re younger, it’s cheaper. There’s no better time to start to maybe talk about maybe the importance of the psychological side of things with people really wanting to as Karen said stay in their home, because I know you guys really experienced that. And it’s really what you guys have really specialized in because I know home health aides can also assist if you’re not getting that quote unquote, care that you need, maybe at a facility, but also maybe stress the importance of maybe why and the psychological side of things of really people really wanting to be at home.


Brett Ringold  19:45

Yeah, absolutely. And I think it’s on the other side of the break. We’ll share a couple of specific stories of families that have been affected but you know, AARP, I keep referencing them. They do all these studies. 70% of Americans age 50 or older desire to remain at home in the long run. Karen, you said that you want to stay at home. I know I want to stay at home. Right? My mother’s raising her. Who wouldn’t? Right. And that is definitely when you’re talking about long-term care, you could talk about assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, and also Home and Community Based Care. That is where Americans as a whole want to be. That’s where the best outcomes are. You live longer, you’re healthier, less hospitalizations, less falls. So most people do have that desire to stay at home, it is the most affordable long-term care option. That’s not to say that it’s inexpensive, there’s definitely a lot of costs associated with being able to stay at home with paid professional caregivers such as ours. But it’s still something that you have to start planning for.


Bret Elam  20:39

Yeah, I thought about it. We were talking about before we started the show, you just talk about, hey, I need some help at home. And I have somebody there from 9 to 5. And then you shared a statistic with us on average, I believe the number you said was 91 hours is on average the amount of time per week for our clients. Yes, per week? And I believe you just said Medicare picks up 0. Yeah, 0, or the advantage plan. 20 hours a year. And things like that. So again, all I hear now is we need to prepare. So you know, before we started the show, Karen and I were looking at your website, a phenomenal website, maybe you could share with the listening audience different ways of how they can get a hold of your company.


Brett Ringold  21:18

Sure. Thank you. Yeah, so our website is www.alongtermcompanion.com. You can find us on LinkedIn, my mother, Michele Kilstein, or our agency’s page A Long Term Companion, you can find us on Facebook, our phone number is 215-914-1800. We are there 24/7, 365. For you, if you should need us at any time.


Bret Elam  21:42

Awesome. Well, I appreciate you sharing with us in the first segment here, we’re going to take a commercial break. And we’ll be back in the next segment. This program is paid for by JAKIB Media Partners.


Joe Krause  21:50

And back here on Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show. We thank everybody for tuning in and being a part of our special broadcast today on the final weekend of June 2023.


Karen Bezar  22:03

Thanks, Joe. So before we dive into the specific examples you had for us, I have a general question. And either of you can answer this Brett or Michele is about A Long Term Companion. Do you do everything you know from skilled nursing, from there’s a situation like if somebody has to go to dialysis, it’s not always an easy thing. They don’t just jump out of the car, run in and then run out of dialysis. It’s a lot of work, and there’s doctor’s appointments. Sometimes they need help with just getting up, getting dressed, meal preparation, cleaning, things like that. So could you explain that a little bit more to me?


Michele Kilstein  22:43

Absolutely. So we will assist and go with our families that need dialysis, we help with bathing, meal preparation, cleaning, doing their linens, helping people shower, doing really any of the needs that they need.


Brett Ringold  23:02

And everyone’s different, right? Every family.


Karen Bezar  23:04

Right? Exactly. And it’s a lot of burden to put on even a spouse or you know, as a mother, I don’t want my children to have to do that for me. So that’s something I want to plan for ahead. But question. It’s a great company. It’s something that is definitely needed for sure.


Brett Ringold  23:21

Thank you! That’s why my mom saw the need from personal experience. And you know, our mission has just been helped to help families in the Delaware Valley. And it’s not just retirees. No, no, it’s adults. As young as 18. And most of our clients are in their 80s. We have clients that are over 100 years old. And we even asked about skilled nursing. We don’t perform skilled nursing services, there are home health agencies that do. We work in conjunction, there’s not a team approach there. Although we do have registered nurses on our team that do assessments and perform care plans.


Bret Elam  23:54

So you can quarterback that whole situation.


Karen Bezar  23:56

Right. And that’s what’s needed.


Bret Elam  23:57

So why don’t you share some of the stories that you guys have experienced over the last 13 years and be in existence, please. I think it’d be great and relative to our listening audience as well.


Brett Ringold  24:07

Absolutely. Mom – do you want to share a couple of stories?


Michele Kilstein  24:10

Absolutely. So in 2012, I received a call from a granddaughter whose grandmother was in a memory care facility. She wanted to take her grandmother back home because the grandmother actually raised her and her two sisters. Two weeks later, we were able to facilitate and the grandmother came home with around the clock living caregiver who spent six months living there with this granddaughter. Six months, later moved into the second granddaughter’s house and stayed there for six months with the same living. And I’m happy to say she was not in her own home. The woman that we were taking care of for over five and a half years. After one year she went back to her house. When we met her, she was actually in a fetal position. Could not eat, could not speak, and was only eating pureed food. After we got involved with the first granddaughter, and the second, a year later, she moved into her home. She was walking, being supervised, eating solid foods; her favorite food was Danish. Talking and laughing and living. And she was in hospice. And she actually came off of hospice, because of the wonderful care that she had. With us. 


Karen Bezar  25:35

Wow. That’s amazing, like psychological effects of being at home and being around loved ones makes a big impact on our quality of life.


Michele Kilstein  25:44

Then, I recently received a call about a year and a half ago from a husband. He was 70 years old, and his wife was diagnosed with early dementia in her 60s. He was her caregiver. He had to stop work. And he didn’t think his wife would accept having somebody take care of her, except for himself, who reached out to us. And we matched the perfect caregiver. She was there Monday through Friday, from eight to four. It was an instant match made in heaven, he was able to go back to work. Unfortunately, we were there for over a year and a half. He didn’t they didn’t plan for this to happen. And they had to, unfortunately move her into a facility because there was no planning for this to happen, early dementia.


Brett Ringold  26:46

And this is why you know, Bret and Karen, you asked us to join you today because this is something we see each and every day where families are unprepared. They don’t have a plan and people are living longer than expected. Even if you plan to care for your parents for six months or a year, they might end up living for another 10 years. So then what do you do then? I’m sure a lot of your listeners read the Wall Street Journal. In Wednesday’s article or addition, there was an article about a family in North Carolina, a brother and sister mom your age. Their father passed away, their mom had Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia. They’ve assumed that mom was probably going to pass within a few months after Dad. She ended up living for another 10 years. She ultimately knew that around the clock care, it cost $1.3 million to care for her over the next 10 years. Something they did not plan for but they were able to do. And this is really, it’s a big number $1.3 million scary, it’s scary. If there were in Philadelphia, it would have been one and a half or 2x that cost because Karen, Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley is more expensive. So you always have to have a plan that 47 year rule is important. And you know I read a story earlier this year that really was a wake up call for me and I had been in the industry for a decade. AARP senior family caregiving expert, her name is Amy. If anybody’s positioned to know what to do, how to plan how to execute that plan for care for a loved one. It was Amy, the AARP senior fair family caregiver expert. She ended up declaring bankruptcy after going through this, you know, she had to move across the country from Virginia to Phoenix to care for her parents, had to leave her job at AARP, move into her family’s home, take out a home equity line of credit on her parents home, went through her savings, borrowed money from friends and family, went to and credit card debt to the extent of $120,000 plus before she declared for bankruptcy. And you know, I’m going to paraphrase because I’m not reading the article. But she said something along the lines of I don’t regret anything. I want to do everything I can to help my parents. But if it could happen to me, it could happen to anybody. So that’s why we’re here. We want your listeners to just really, if you’re not currently planning, this is the time to start and to reach out to Bret, David and Karen.


Bret Elam  29:00

Yeah, and I love how Michele started her segment talking about the experience because I use the exact same line as we open up our workshops, talking about what we experienced, and knowing there had to be a better way I heard those exact words come out of her mouth. And so you hear the passion from the two of you because you’ve experienced it. And it’s something very similar to our company. We started in 2011. So very similar aged companies have just been able to advocate for the people that you are serving. So maybe speak to that a little bit because I know a lot of the frustrations that maybe people have around long-term care. Maybe if they went out and they were responsible enough to go out there and get a plan, they would say, well, no one ever approves it and it’s impossible to get the two. We’ve had to do it for some of our own clients saying you can’t just take that as the gospel. You need to now push back and say, like I’m looking at just saw you walk into the office like you’re not able to do it anymore. Like that’s ridiculous. You can’t perform two of the six ADL. So maybe, because these insurance companies, they don’t necessarily win by paying benefits, they’re good at saying no. So maybe speak a little bit about your experiences and just advocate for the clients that you’re serving as well, because that’s an important piece.


Brett Ringold  30:12

It’s very important. And it’s very frustrating when you see this, somebody has a long -term plan, they’ve paid their benefits, their premiums for decades, and when at times, when the time comes that they need to use that benefit the insurance company pushes back. Their job for many, many years, the insurance companies reinvested the premiums into long-term rates, they made a lot of money. And now you see less when we started back in 2010, we worked with 40 different long-term insurance companies. Now that’s in single digits, because they’re all being acquired by other entities. And when it comes time to use that benefit, they’re gonna put you through the gauntlet to be able to improve you. So to have you going above and beyond on your client’s behalf is really admirable. It’s something that we have to do time and time again, and help schedule the nursing assessment. And to really prove based on nursing needs, care needs, that this person is eligible. And it’s not always cut and dry or as easy as it should be. But you need somebody that will quarterback that situation.


Bret Elam  31:10

One conversation that we have with our clients, as we know what everyone’s looking to do in retirement as either be a part time financial planner, or be a doctor, and they don’t want to do that. So they’re just looking for who is that who in my life that can inevitably make my life easier. And it’s something that Karen, David and I continue to pride ourselves on is finding people in the greater Delaware Valley to partner up with for services that we know inevitably that our clients will need as well, because a lot of them are in the sandwich spot where they’re the baby boomers, where mom and dad are now in their 80s. And their kids aren’t necessarily there waiting for their handout for mom and dad still. And it’s like, well, what do I do and next thing, you know, somebody gets ill related to those things. So we definitely appreciate the time on today’s show. And just kind of talking about the services you provide cuz it’s real. I mean, in this last segment, Karen is going to share a couple of examples of what you’re chairing, related to hybrid policies about how you can start preparing for this, because there’s no better time than the present. Just related to that again. So as we start wrapping up this last segment, if you could just again, share with us if somebody wanted to reach out and just simply start with a conversation. What’s the best way to go about that? 


Michele Kilstein  32:26

I’m usually the one that the family calls, I tell them, my story, how I got involved.


Brett Ringold  32:33

And how did they reach you?


Michele Kilstein  32:34

They dial, everybody at my company, everybody that I take care of, since the start of this company has my cell phone 24/7, 365 days a year, there is no time if somebody needs care. And also, we’re very involved with all the hospitals and like you use the word quarterback. We deal with geriatric care managers, so we have a whole quarterback. So as Brett said, we don’t do skilled if we’re taking care of hundreds of people. And they need skilled, we have our own toolbox of putting everything together of what that particular person needs.


Brett Ringold  33:17

My mom from day one, you can reach her talk to her talk to our client relations team. We have somebody on 24/7 that’ll answer your needs. You can call us at 215-914-1800. And it’s 215-914 -1800. You can find us on Facebook, LinkedIn, www.alongtermcompanion.com. Look us up on Google over at five, five star reviews. You know, we want to make sure even if we can’t help you personally, if you live outside of the service area, you’re looking for different services, call us you’ll talk to my mom and she will spend time helping you make sure you get the care you need.


Michele Kilstein  33:49

I’ll spend hours even knowing if I can’t take care of them just to educate and tell them what to look for.


Bret Elam  33:56

I see the passion in your voice. Well, we want to thank the two of you for being special guests on today’s show. Looking forward to definitely having you back again to have this ever so pressing conversation. Joe, I think we’ve been doing this for 6 years, and we have yet to have that conversation. So I want to thank you both for your time. And we’ll be back on the other side of the break. Thank you. 


Joe Krause  34:14

One segment to go on this week’s edition of Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show. On the other side of the break Bret, Karen, and Krause to wrap it up on a Roadmap to Retirement. Back in a moment. Get educated and get your reservation for the final workshop during the month of June on Thursday, June 28 at Washington Crossing Inn starting time is 6 PM. Go to thrivefinancialservices.com. Get educated and get registered or call 215-798-9088. That’s June 28. At the Washington Crossing Inn, starting time is 6 PM. Get registered right now. 


Joe Krause  35:09

Back here on Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show has a really, really great segment with Michele Kilstein and Brett Ringold from A Long Term Companion. And boy, you didn’t hear too much from me during this broadcast. But it was really interesting, Bret, for me and Karen, for me to be able to consume what was being said. Because I often wonder, what will it be when we get there? You know, as you know, I’ve had five children, what will it be for them when we get there, and certainly one thing that was evident today, A Long Term Companion, as part of the plan is super important.


Bret Elam  35:39

It’s always about the plan. And we’ve talked about how, how you need to be healthy to be wealthy at the end of the day, and just what you just shared right there, Joe, is what I hear. And what we see from a lot of our clients is, again, ever since the pandemic is the mental health stuff, and you want to talk about anxiety being at a high and just with exactly what you just shared right there. Like, I wonder what it’s gonna look like. You don’t have to wonder! You can start putting the plan together today. So you can again, enjoy that time that you’ve busted your hump to get to that spot to go enjoy it. Because when it happens, so long as you’ve been prepared, and everyone’s on the same page, there’s no better time than to have that conversation. Again, my wife and I started putting plans into place at the age of 43 years old, just as we started seeing the beginning signs of what was happening with my parents and knowing that what we’re doing right now is just creating generational wealth for our family, and just hearing some of these statistics and Alzheimer’s becoming more prevalent and just knowing that that goes forever and ever and ever, and I heard $1.3 million? That’s significant. So imagine if that happened at the same time the market was going down. I get a lot of people saying, hey, you know, here in 2023, the markets are up 10 plus percent, the S&P 500, you talk to the news. Go, yeah, you’re right. You’re talking about the S&P 500. I got but did you know Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Tesla, Nvidia, that seven stocks out of 500 of them on the S&P 500. The S&P is actually down year to date if you pulled those seven stocks out of there. So if you are a stock jockey who figures out those seven stocks, you’re probably having a good year. But if you’re a lot of a lot like other people, you’re like, yeah, my vote counts, not up like that. But imagine at the same time that the market was going down, that you had a crisis of long-term care needs, and you needed to take money out at the same time, maybe one, maybe your spouse is healthy, but the other spouse is ill. And now you’re starting to have that rational emotional conversation of like, oh, my gosh, how are we going to do this? What kind of facility can we afford just for you, the anxiety is mounting at the end of the day, and you’re dying from the inside out at the end of the day, because you’re just killing yourself from a mental standpoint all over the map.


Joe Krause  37:55

By the way, that 1.3 million is today’s dollars.


Bret Elam  37:58

That’s today’s dollars, right? There’s this thing called inflation. And things go up and up and up. And Brett had talked about in the last segment about how so many companies are actually leaving the industry, or mergers and acquisitions. Because if you understand how these long-term care policies or insurance companies, they have to go to the state to actually get agreement to increase people’s premiums because of how drastically fast these facilities are and what just the cost of our wage inflation. I’m sure these guys could tell us what it costs now to bring it into a different place than where it was three to five years ago. I’m sure the pandemic so many of them even left the industry. So it’s like starting to just like everything else that there is a need, because 10,000 people every single day turned the age of 65. And so, this is not going to go away anytime soon. And one thing that I had brought up was talking about the two of six activities of daily living. I want to go through things such as bathing, getting dressed, eating, maintaining, toileting, transferring. If you can’t perform typically two of the six is where you can qualify for that need actually deriving a benefit from your policy. I know, Brett had shared typically, their clientele are three or more. But again, it’s just those two of six that allow you to qualify for that care. I’d actually just met with somebody who came in for their Roadmap to Thrive review session, where we felt pretty good about everything that we had chatted about. And again, we don’t try to overwhelm people and do everything at one shot, where this young lady and a couple come in, and she was passionate about it. And again, we were building their financial house and part of building that financial house because they were really concerned about legacy too. And I said, one of the ways that you can really get rid of a legacy is one of you gets ill, because all that money that you had earmarked again, they won’t throw you out of your house, but they will take your house after you’ve passed away with what you may owe for that care that you had needed. So this is somebody that was quote, unquote, deemed to be self insured. And it’s one of the policies. This young lady was 67 years old, and she had a fortunate situation that between their pension payment and their Social Security benefits, it was taking care of their everyday needs. But they had this bucket of 401k, IRA money that they are fortunate enough that they had earmarked that we’re going to give to the next generation. So what I shared with them, because they were very conservative, and they were not looking to grow their assets significantly, we really started highlighting and talking about risk mitigation. So what I had shared with them, I said, you know, what, what if we did it on a conservative basis, because again, everybody knows that we are tax planners, and we didn’t want to throw you into higher tax brackets and Medicare surcharges and all those other things were what we had done as we came up with a plan where we had taken $20,000 a year from her IRA, and funded a hybrid long-term care life insurance policy. And let me share with you what it did for them on day one. It was going to give them a benefit. And again, she was younger, nothing that was prevalent, but we were focusing on the future of what if what if what if happens, where it was able to give her a $5,600 monthly benefit. Now that was without inflation. We talked about the importance of having inflation riders on the policy, typically, they’re three or five percent to the most normal ones that we see out there in the industry. But a lot of people are concerned about long-term care, because we heard the statistics about how many people will need it. And some people are like, well, that’s not me, I’m going to be the one of the ones that don’t. And so the importance of these life, hybrid long-term care solutions that are out there, if you die in your sleep, and you never use a benefit? There’s a death benefit associated with it. And why we love the risk mitigation solutions with what we’re speaking about right here. There’s always an end game. You’re either going to use the benefit from a long-term care solution, because when I shared that $5,600 benefit, and the importance of Alzheimer’s running in the family, six year benefit, we almost doubled the normal time period that somebody needs that care. What did that do? It eases their anxiety, it gives them their peace of mind of whatever happens, it gives them the freedom to spend what they did not have to save for what if what if what if because we conservatively put a toll together. So again, we shared with them and then being conservative as well, as I looked at him in the eye being as conservative as they were I said, do you know your money would have to be guaranteed to grow? And I look typically their age, 80-85. So your money year in and year out, would have to be guaranteed to grow by 6.9%, every single year for the next 19 years for that $100,000 to be worth $402,000 at that age. And they’re like we don’t want to take that risk. I know I got well, what’s awesome is we can simply move money from the left pocket and move it to the right pocket, it will be used at some point in time, it’ll either become a death benefit that somebody will use because you are maybe fortunate enough to not have that long-term care need. But God forbid Alzheimer’s, whatever the situation may be, that it’s very real, and it’s very present. That’s when you say thank God I put those plans in place. One thing that we advocate and we tell our clients all the time, please, please, please do not become a “should have”. I should have done this, should have done that. We talked about the quarterback, you never want to be that. Fine. You never want to be that Monday morning quarterback at the end of the day saying looking backwards in your rearview mirror. So if you have any questions related to today’s topics, again, we want to thank our special guests, Brett and Michele, for joining Karen and I here today. But again, any questions. If you’re thinking about that topic, about how I can prepare for my family, there’s no better time than to call us here at 215-798-9088. Again, 215-798-9088 we’re more than happy to talk about that solution with you. Again, it’s something that is a need that a lot of us will have in the future. We just needed to make sure we’re prepared for it.


Joe Krause  44:05

Or you can go to thrive financial services.com and download the podcast of today’s broadcast. A Long Term Companion is the name of the company. Great stuff from Brett Ringold and Michele Kilstein. Great stuff and Karen Bezar and Bret Elam as well today as David Bezar takes the day off. He’ll be back next weekend as we finish up the final weekend here of June 2023. This is Roadmap to Retirement with David Bezar, Karen Bezar, and Bret Elam. See you next time everybody.


Announcer  43:50

Thanks for listening to Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show from Thrive Financial Services. If you’re like most Americans, you have more questions than you do answer about what to do with your retirement savings. If you have a question about your IRA or your 401k pension or other tax-deferred accounts, if you have a question about reducing taxes, generating income or filing for Social Security, whatever it is, David, Karen, and Bret are here to help and often your questions can be answered in a simple phone call, call 215-798-9088. And so you know no statements made during Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show shall constitute tax legal or accounting advice you should consult your own legal or tax professional on any such matters. information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investment or investment strategies investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated or not. Guaranteed Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed here David Bezar, Bret Elam, and Karen Bezar from Thrive Financial Services and Thrive Capital Management are licensed to offer investment advisory services through Thrive Capital Management LLC and SEC-registered investment advisory firm office headquarters located in Fort Washington and offices of convenience used exclusively for client meetings in Exton, Yardley, and Cherry Hill. Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show was a paid commercial announcement from JAKIB Media Partners. If you’d like to learn more about the power of the Radio Hour contact Joe Krause at 267-261-3428. Today’s program has been pre-recorded.

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