Instead of Pitching Numbers, Try Talking Consequences
- By Warren Yancey
- July 26, 2016
While there are an endless amount of statistics showing the need for Long-Term Care, these numbers often wash over clients when presented. For advisors, this can be a large point of frustration. 70% of those over the age of 65 will need extended care at some point, but it seems not nearly that many are willing to consider buying coverage. Many, particularly males, refuse to believe such an event could happen to them. They view themselves as the exception rather than the majority. Some may simply see themselves as impervious to impairments, while some may be unable to bear the thought of not being the provider for their family. Others still have simply been conditioned to mistrust insurance agents who have their own motivations.
Instead of relying on numbers and logic, a more effective approach may be to try and forge an emotional connection with a client. Shifting the focus from them to their families may open their eyes to the pitfalls of not having a LTC plan. Questions like “What is important to you?” and “What responsibilities do you have to others?” can help uncover the consequences that are much larger than just the client needing care.
Let’s look at a three-step approach to pivot from risk-based selling to emotional engagement:
1. Lack of Planning Can Tear Families Apart
Not having a Long-Term Care policy doesn’t mean that a client won’t get care. What it does likely mean is that instead of getting care from a professional, a family member will be tasked with either providing the care themselves or potentially paying for it out-of-pocket. As you can imagine, children rarely share this burden evenly. As an alternative to having the client think about the monetary cost to them, have them concentrate on the cost of a daughter tasked with caring for them or a son having to finance care expenses on his own. Not only will this force the children to make sacrifices, but it can cause a rift when one child does not receive adequate support from their siblings. In other words, the client is not at risk, but their family is.
2. No Money Earmarked for Care Means That ALL Money Is
A classic financial planning mistake is double counting money. Savings set aside for vacations, a grandchild’s education, charity, tithing, etc. may seem like discretionary income that can be cut out if necessary, but no client wants to be faced with the difficult decision of choosing what financial commitments cannot be kept. Further, not having a true plan for funding care can create unnecessary tax consequences, expose the client to unnecessary risk due to market timing, and limit the ability to choose how and where care is delivered.
3. A LTC Policy Mitigates These Consequences
Owning a Long-Term Care policy means a client maintains independence and protects their assets. But more importantly, it preserves families and can ensure that a client used to protecting those he loves does not have to worry about spending their final years as a burden. Once cold numbers are replaced by thoughts of actual relationships and values, the barrier to a sale becomes much thinner. This isn’t purchasing a product, instead it is designing a plan to help make later life more predictable. There is no what if.
Please contact Kandi Williams with any LTC opportunities at 1.800.926.9206 ext. 110.