November is Long Term Care Awareness Month – Time To Reflect!

LTC Month November-reflection- 2015As we approach yet another November Long Term Care Awareness Month, it’s time to reflect on how we can do a better job as insurance agents and financial advisors. The U.S. Congress declared this annual campaign to urge people to recognize and plan for the potential risks and costs associated with long term care.  The Congress wanted to encourage citizens, insurance agents, and financial advisors to discuss the subject.  The main motivation was to get citizens to insure against this huge risk and save Medicare and Medicaid billions of dollars in the future.

But has this initiative been successful? Not very. Only a small minority of consumers have discussed long term care with their financial professional, and even far less have purchased a policy.  This is despite the fact that we all know how great the need for protection is.

Shame on us!  We’re not doing a very good job.  Long term care insurance should be one of the five core products in anyone’s planning.  These products are:  life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, a retirement plan, and a long term care plan.  Yet it still seems that a family has to experience a significant long term care scenario in order to understand the need to protect themselves.  Far better if we move them to action before a loved one gets sick.

So what can we do?  We can get the word out.  The carriers have plenty of marketing materials for us to utilize.  We can feature long term care in all our internet communications, including a blast email to our clients.  We can use testimonials of our clients, 100 % of whom will tell you at claim time, “Thank God you sold me that long term care insurance policy.”  We can rededicate ourselves to the marketing of the product.

But most important, we can take a moment to realize what a great value we are selling, even with rates becoming as high as they now are.  We can find ways to be even more appreciative of the worth and value of what we do for a living.  We can give ourselves a shot of confidence.  We all need to get newly motivated from time to time.  Isn’t Long Term Care Awareness Month a perfect time to do this?

We know how great a risk long term care is to one’s savings and retirement plan.  .  Many of us have seen how severely a long term care scenario can affect entire families.  Our plans help to mitigate this trauma.  We know that a plan can make a long term care scenario tolerable for the client and for the client’s family

What are we really talking about here?  We’re talking about how people are going to die.  Are they going to die without assets in a facility where they feel neglected, or are they going to die in the comfort of their own home, surrounded by family and friends that may even still love them despite their current condition?  How do YOU want to die?  Do you believe that it’s important to help others in this time of need?  It sure is.  Together, we can have a very positive affect on many people at this most critical period in their lives.

So sell with conviction.  Be fulfilled from understanding the value of what you do.  Have fun with Long Term Care Awareness Month!

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Louis H. Brownstone is the Chairman of Northstar Network Insurance Agency, Inc. and is a certified Long Term Care specialist. Louis is recognized as an industry leader, with articles appearing frequently in California Broker Magazine and other industry publications and events.