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Insurance essential as long-term care costs spike

The average private nursing home room currently costs $8,000 per month. And the question many rapidly aging baby boomers should be asking themselves is, how am I going to pay for that?

I’m a little dismayed that the financial advisor industry, often, gives only lip service to long-term care planning , and I’m surprised at how many successful financial advisors do very little with long-term care insurance,” said Randel Blake, ChFC®, RIPC, principal of Blake Financial Services. “It’s similar to having liability insurance; for those who have assets, it’s asset protection insurance.”

blake400x300Asset protection is right. The Genworth 2017 Cost of Care Survey, produced by Genworth Financial, listed the costs of private and semi-private rooms and both can give even the well-heeled sticker shock. For a private room, Genworth estimates $97,455 annually (hence, $8,000 per month). And a semi-private room runs for almost as much at $85,775 per year. A one-bedroom assisted living room provides some relief but will still cost $45,000.

Blake Financial Services, based in Crownsville, Maryland, provides retirement planning, asset building, and insurance services to clients – most of whom are in their 50s or turning 60 – intent on protecting their money into retirement. The firm does not require a minimum to sign on as a client.

In a recent interview with “Advisors Magazine,” Blake described himself as a “big believer” in long-term care planning which he feels is often a woman’s issue. He also sometimes makes use of annuities to insure clients’ income into their later years. The artificial “wall” many advisors place between insurance and investment harms clients by depriving them of the best tools for their financial situation, Blake said.

“There are insurance people who look to insurance first when they should be looking at asset management, [and] lots of people in wirehouses who will sell their products and pay no attention to what happens if the client dies early or becomes disabled,” Blake said.

Blake believes in building trust with clients the old-fashioned way, face-to-face. Blake Financial Services only takes on clients who are kind and easy to work with, he said, and the fiduciary firm puts clients’ interests before the bottom line. That often means translating complex financial jargon into plain language.

“I tend to agree with those [clients] who are confused. Our industry engages in a lot of “inside baseball talk”. Clients don’t know the difference between wealth management, financial planning and asset allocation,” Blake said. “I try to keep it simple and bring it down to, ‘What do you want accomplished?’ … I try to put it into more common vocabulary than our industry tends to use.”

That friendly, “dollars and cents” approach to money management is how the boutique advisory keeps its clients on track to meet their financial goals, especially in relation to aging. Helping clients tackle the “longevity challenge” facing the boomer generation is a firm specialty.

“Our clients are more concerned with the return of their money than the return on their money, and want to make sure they don’t outlive it later,” Blake said.

For more information on Blake Financial Services, visit: blakefinancialservices.com

Randel Blake is a Registered Representative offering Securities through The O.N. Equity Sales Company, Member FINRA/SIPC, One Financial Way Cincinnati, Ohio 45242 (513)794-6794. Investment Advisory services offered through O.N. Investment Management Company.

 

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