Throughout the years I’ve heard some doozeys from people about why they didn’t think planning for a long-term care event applied to them. Here is a sampling of some of those classic excuses:
· “I’m in good health, I’m going to live a long time and I won’t need it.”
· “My family has a history of early deaths and poor health. I’ll die first.”
· “My family has a history of longevity and I won’t need it.”
· “I’ll have my wife call Dr. Kevorkian.”
· “Aunt Nellie is 100 years old and she’s doing great. Her faculties are like that of a 20-year-old.” (But they forgot to mention that Nellie, like most people her age, is in a nursing home.)
· “I’m a veteran and the VA will take care of me.”
· “I can give away my assets and have the government pay for it.”
· “I’m not interested in home care or assisted living. Just stick me in a nursing home and Medicaid will pay the bill.”
· “My daughter is a nurse so I don’t have to worry about it.”
· “I raised my kids, it’s time for them to take care of me.”
· “I’ll put some extra money into my retirement savings plan and that should cover it.”
You might think that some of these objections seem perfectly reasonable, and you may wonder why I list them as an excuse not to plan. The answer is, as we analyze further, none of these excuses are realistic.
People who use these objections to long-term care planning typically have only a few basic, underlying, real reasons for rejecting the concept:
- Either they don’t think it’s a problem, they’re convinced it won’t happen to them, or they don’t want to think about it.
- They don’t think the gravity of the problem warrants their time or attention, and they can put it off until some future date.
- They truly believe that when their health changes, they will be taken care of.
- If it’s something that requires spending money, it’s not a good use of those funds for the reasons above.
Those who actually do embrace planning are very likely to have gone through a long-term care event with a loved one, and therefore see the value of a plan. On the other hand, people who refuse to do planning are more likely to have never experienced the consequences, and are prone to deny that their health can change on a dime – changing their life and their loved ones’ lives as well.
I work with clients to help them see through the excuses.