Coping With Loss

Coping With LossI don’t know exactly how you feel.

But I have worked with dozens of people that recently lost the person they truly adored.

All of the flowers, visitors, and letters in the world could never replace the warm embrace of a loved one.

No amount of people saying “I’m so sorry for your loss” will make you feel any better. They know this, and so do you.

I’m not here to tell you it will be easy. But I am here to tell you there are ways to make coping with loss a little easier.

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Long-Term Care Costs and Planning

Long-Term Care Costs and Planning

At some point, 70% of people over the age of 65 will need some form of long-term care and support.

I get a lot of questions from clients about long-term care insurance. And long-term care costs.

Yet, I find many people are more willing to discuss their estate planning (and their mortality) than the possibility of finding themselves in a situation calling for long-term care.

Typical objections to insurance for long-term care include:

  • It’s too expensive,
  • My kids/spouse/family will take care of me,
  • I’ll pay for it myself out of my savings and investments,
  • or something else.

And let me mention the fact that I don’t sell long-term care or any other type of insurance, so I’m not sharing this information to motivate you to buy something from me.

In fact, long-term care insurance isn’t necessary for many, despite many insurance companies’ and agents’ best attempts to use fear-based tactics to sell you policies.

Typically expensive policies. They have to build those commissions in there somewhere.

I’m interested and motivated in helping my clients live their best life and make smart financial and lifestyle decisions, and that could include a need for long-term care coverage at some level.

Or it might not.

This article isn’t the place to make that kind of recommendation or decision.

To put this in perspective, let’s consider the potential costs of a long-term care need.

You can go to Google and find websites to see what average costs are in your specific area. And Mutual of Omaha has a PDF guide on the cost of long-term care services.

Just remember, many of these websites are presented by less-than-objective insurance companies that want to convince you that you need what they want to sell you.

Many of the women I work with are involved in caring for their aging parents or other family and friends as well. So this need might arise sooner than you think, even if it’s for someone else.

Long-term care coverage is a decision that should only be made in the context of your broader financial situation and planning, but whether you elect to purchase coverage or not, it’s something that is certainly worth your consideration so you can evaluate the costs and benefits.

And remember, it doesn’t need to be an “all or none” situation. Based on the estimated costs in your area, you could buy a policy to cover 50% of a projected need. This way you could think of it as co-insurance, where you pay part of the cost and the insurance picks up the rest.

Or instead of a high cost long-term care policy, many Medicare supplement plans include the cost of home health care for much more reasonable premiums. This might be the best solution for many of you.

If you have questions about long-term care needs, or want to evaluate long-term care as part of your comprehensive financial plan, let me know. I would be happy to introduce you to a couple of expert resources that I know and have worked with for years to help evaluate long-term care needs.

Often, the recommendation is that your money is better spent elsewhere, but it’s worth having the conversation and making sure you understand your choices. And the trade-offs among them.

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Animal Companions:
A Truly Special Bond

animal companionsWhen times are tough, just getting through the day can be a monumental challenge.

Depression and anxiety can fill your hours with sorrow if you don’t try and focus on the positive. But at times, the ability to be positive can seem like an unattainable goal.

The threat of depression for women is very real, and unfortunately, it is under-reported and under-treated.

The sudden feeling of loneliness can be a real threat to those experiencing loss and should be treated immediately.

While some people choose therapy and medication as their form of treatment, a growing trend is emerging that is a true depression killer.

Meet the companion animal

Companion animals can range from cats and horses to birds and rabbits. But it is the dog that is the most common and there are many reasons for this.

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Should Versus Must In Your Life

Should Versus MustHow much of your life is directed by what you feel you “should” do versus what you feel you “must” do?

If you’re anything like me, there’s probably a lot more “should” impacting your daily decisions than “must.”

These can be expectations from family, friends or the world around you.

Why in the world would you rent?

You’re throwing money away. You should buy instead.

Give up your well-paid, “secure” job to go back to school for a creative degree like photography or fine arts?

You’re kidding, right?

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Money and Happiness

Money and HappinessMoney. It’s arguably one of the most divisive, controversial ideas ever concocted by humanity.

A necessary evil if you will.

A life without money – a concept dreamed about by many and accomplished by very few – is an unrealistic fantasy, a short-winded epiphany that appears during times of uncertainty. Just a common college-aged argument made in the face of indecision, when the real world is knocking on the door and one is too scared to answer.

But with time, along with the brutal realization that money is, in fact, a necessity, people accept that there is no way around it.

To some people, money is the end-all, the light at the end of the tunnel. And those unable to achieve their fair share suffer greatly in its absence.

But why is that?

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