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Nancy Simm, CLTC, LTCP, CSA
Director, LTC & Longevity Planning
Highland Capital Brokerage
Benjamin Franklin once remarked the only certainties in life were death and taxes. But America’s most beloved patriot could never have foreseen a third possibility — caring for a rapidly aging population — because average life expectancy in 1776 was only 35 years of age.
Average life expectancy now hovers around age 79 in the U.S. and age 84 in Japan, and it’s rising fast worldwide. By 2030, one-fifth of the U.S. population will be 65-plus. In South Korea, life expectancy is expected to reach 90 years of age.
What does all this mean for clients and their advisors? Nancy Simm, our Director of Long-Term Care and Longevity Planning, has spent most of her adult life working in this field and thinking through the ramifications. The upshot? When it comes to long-term-care coverage, everyone should have a plan for it.
A Health Care Perspective
Nancy began to see firsthand how financial ability affected the care residents received while working in a nursing home during high school and college. “Nobody wanted to be there as long as there were other options,” she remembers.
Today, she’s a licensed life and health agent in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York, and has earned the designations Certified Long-Term Care (CLTC) specialist, Long-Term Care Professional (LTCP), and Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) and is CT Partnership, NY Partnership, and NAIC Partnership certified. Nancy also has a deep understanding of both Medicare and Medicaid programs as well as traditional LTC insurance and Life with LTC/Chronic Illness riders.
After working in the insurance industry for nearly 30 years and specializing in long-term care for the past 20 years, Nancy is dedicated to helping people get covered while they can. One thing she knows for certain: people who plan on spending down and going on Medicaid will have nursing home care as their primary choice.
“If you have long-term care coverage you can get home care or go into a high-quality, assisted-living facility,” she says. “It could be you’ll be 95 years old and frail. Or you’ll be 65 and just had a stroke. Or you’re 40 and had a car accident. We don’t care when or why, just that you have a plan to fund the kind of care you would want and need.”
How to Start the LTC Conversation
Nancy understands long-term care is not top of mind for most financial advisors. Wealth advisors, for example, tend to focus on managing someone’s money while insurance agents concentrate on life and health insurance, or property-casualty. She also knows clients tend to associate the phrase “long-term-care coverage” with nursing home care and traditional LTC policies rather than newer Life/LTC policies, some of which have tax advantages.
To start a long-term care conversation, she suggests simply adding it to a client’s overall financial planning analysis or annual review. “Mr. Client, have you thought about planning for your future health care needs? If so, we’ll need to get some numbers and have a deeper conversation about it.”
At that point an advisor can set up a conference call and introduce Nancy as a member of the advisor’s overall team. She’ll run with the ball after that, working with agents and clients to find carriers, decide on options, and determine what piece of the puzzle fits.
Financial advisors find having an experienced and knowledgeable LTC specialist on-call invaluable. Many who have tried to go it alone discover a somewhat impenetrable marketplace, with a myriad of differences between products and carriers and confusing references to coverages and terms that no longer exist.
Advisors also are surprised by how many clients want to have the conversation once the subject is broached. It’s usually because the client has already dealt with a friend or family member who needed long-term care, such as for Alzheimer’s.
These kinds of daily conversations would seem depressing, but not to Nancy. She’s seen all too often how quickly and easily one’s fortunes can change. “Life doesn’t always work out the way you hope,” she says. “My goal is to guarantee your client can have the best life possible, no matter what the future holds.”
To find out more about how Nancy Simm can help with your LTC and longevity planning services, call (860) 470-0220 or send an email to email@example.com.