Retirement Planning

Financial Planning for Those With Dementia - and Their Caregivers

Helping families navigate long-term care

Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the nation $355 billion in 2021, the Chicago-based Alzheimer’s Association estimates. For sure, the financial ramifications of providing long-term care can be staggering for individuals afflicted with the disease, as well as their families.

Leslea Stock-Lopez, CRPC®, president of Star Group Wealth Management, is deeply involved with the Alzheimer’s Association and has been a volunteer since 1995. In honor of her grandmother, Grace Stock, who had the disease, Stock-Lopez established the “Walking With Grace” team dedicated to raising funds for Alzheimer’s awareness and research.

“I am now on the steering committee for the new financial program for caregivers and those who are in the early stages of the disease. We make sure that key issues that come up during this illness are addressed, planned for, and put into place,” Stock-Lopez told Advisors Magazine in a recent interview.

Her goal is that the individual with the disease can stay at home as long as possible, and that their family is aware of all financial resources and entitlements.

“I’m very proud to be on the steering committee for this new financial presentation that is available nationally,” Stock-Lopez added.

Long-term care, in general, is a key part of her Houston-based practice. “I make sure clients understand that if they do have a long-term care incident, that we’ve done rigorous studies on how that will impact the portfolio, and if we need to add long-term care insurance, we do so,” she said. “If they are able to self-insure, I show them what the impact will be on their portfolio.”

The financial plan is squarely at the center of Star Group Wealth Management, and it’s the favorite part of the business for Stock-Lopez.

LisaLopez“I act as sort of the quarterback for all of a client’s financial needs,” she said. “I guide them through all those major life decisions—retirement, educating the children, buying and selling a business, when to start social security, how to navigate Medicare, estate planning, tax, everything.”

The firm charges for a full financial plan. For money management, the minimum investment is $500,000. A core value at Star Group is education. Stock-Lopez hosts “Lunch and Learns,” shares market reports, and every client meeting has an educational element to it.

Now in the industry for over two decades, she has always understood that it’s a people business and not just about transactions and returns.

“We do a lot of talking in our industry and not enough listening,” Stock-Lopez said. She suggests that when an individual is first looking for a financial advisor that they listen for a lot of “yous” in the conversation.

“’What do you want? How will getting there make you feel?’ are the questions a client should be hearing,” she explained. “If you hear a lot of I’s, ‘I know what clients need’ — ‘I do it this way’ — that tells you the advisor might be more interested in fitting you into their plan.”

Stock-Lopez maintains that every advisor, at a minimum, should have the fiduciary mindset—always putting the client’s best interests first—and that clients need to hear that from the outset.

For more information on Star Group Wealth Management, visit: or call 713-783-3400


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