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The Long-Term Care Conundrum
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF WITHOUT BREAKING THE BANK
Long-term care is not something we’re often comfortable discussing, even with our family members, so it’s no surprise we’re not eager to talk about it with a financial advisor. Some adopt an attitude of, “I’ll take my chances because I’ll never need it,”while others worry about the high cost of care. And look, I get it. Premiums increase constantly, and long-term care coverage can be expensive, but, if you do need care and you’ve decided to forego insurance, you’re going to be in a tough spot. First, let’s address the “it won’t happen to me” point. If I go back and look at my own family tree, my maternal grandfather was a long-term care recipient for 10 years, my paternal grandmother for two years, and my father for seven. Over those two generations, 50% of my family needed care. Nationwide, the odds are even greater. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of people age 65 and over will end up needing some form of long-term care. Nearly as many people will need care for five or more years (20%) as will need no care at all (30%). The numbers don’t lie, and betting you won’t need long-term care coverage is a very risky gamble. When designing a complete retirement plan, you must include health care considerations. When it comes to long-term care planning, our focus needs to be on achieving two strategic goals. First, we want our premiums to remain the same throughout our lives. In other words, what we pay when we’re 65 is what we’ll pay when we’re 85 for monthly premiums. Second, we want our benefits to be transferable to our spouse or possibly other
loved ones in the event we don’t end up using them for long term care. Meeting these two criteria accomplishes a bigger goal: preserving our quality of life. Isn’t it nice to know if you get sick, you have the option to stay at home and get the care you deserve? Unfortunately, traditional long-term care insurance is wanting in both areas. Premiums most certainly go up, and benefits are rarely transferable. In the case of Federal Long-Term Care Insurance program FLTCIP, the insurer John Hancock is allowed to raise the rates as much as 100% every seven years. That adds up in a hurry. Let’s say, for example, they only raise the rates by 65% every seven-year cycle. If you were paying $135 at age 57, here’s how it would escalate:
There are better ways to provide for your long- term care. One is through life insurance with a long-term care provision. Under this arrangement, your death benefit represents the total amount of LTC coverage, too, and can be accelerated for a percentage per month to cover these costs of LTC. Monthly death benefits are usually between 2–4% monthly. When determining how much of a daily benefit you want to insure yourself for, be sure to account for inflation. Two decades from now, $175 per day will have a lot less buying power. You’d likely need twice the amount for a daily benefit in 20 years. You also want to make sure you preserve the option of in-home care and allow unused care coverage to be transferred upon death in the form of tax-free life insurance. Another route is to opt for asset-based long-term care. Under this plan, you put aside money, which will then be multiplied, and subsequently used, if needed, for long-term care. If the money is not used for long-term care, it can be taken back, often even with interest added. Again, if no one uses it, it will transfer upon death to the beneficiaries you have designated. Okay, so we can guarantee stable premiums and transferable benefits. More importantly, we can preserve your right to have an active say in your care and quality of life. Isn’t that what it’s all about? We’re not just talking about your lifestyle; we’re talking about your life. Now let’s get talking. -Charles Dzama
57–63 64–70 71–77 78–84 85–91
$222.75 $367.53 $606.44 $1000.62
Note that the average age someone starts needing care is 84. At that age, it may become an excessive strain on your monthly expenses. It’s noteworthy to mention these rates can be more favorable than in the private sector, where rates can double in as short as 4–5 year increments.
We need to get off that train.
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THE SPORT THAT UNITED A COUNTRY
The 1995 Rugby World Cup
ENGAGE YOUR KIDS THIS FALL With These Gratitude-Themed Games
In early November, the 2019 RugbyWorld Cup will wrap up in Japan. The international competition brings out world-class athletes and entertainment. While matches are certainly intense, respect for the competition and for referees is a core tenet of rugby culture. After going head-to-head with an opponent, you’ll still shake hands, and maybe have a beer together, at the end of a match. This principle was on full display nearly 25 years ago at the 1995 Rugby World Cup final in South Africa. The South African Springboks were up against the New Zealand All Blacks, and a number of factors made this an exceptional match. Just a few years earlier in 1991, apartheid legislation had been repealed in South Africa. The policy had left a deep cut, and the country still had a long journey toward healing and reparation. Nelson Mandela, who had been elected in 1994, was set on championing a “rainbow nation” in this new postapartheid era.
Teaching kids about gratefulness can be a struggle sometimes, but there are plenty of ways to engage them. By planning some fun, gratitude-themed games, you can impart a valuable lesson and spend some quality family time together. Get your kids in the grateful spirit by adding a twist to these classic games.
Rugby started in England in the late 1800s, and colonizers took it to South Africa, where South Africans of every color
Want to bring out your kids’ creative sides? Pictionary is the perfect way to encourage artistic expression and grateful thinking. Try adding a rule where players have to draw something they’re grateful for. This will get your kids thinking beyond turkey and stuffing and give them an imaginative way to express their gratitude. Plus, who doesn’t love a good art contest?
embraced the game. It was controversial because of its connection to the architects of apartheid, but Mandela saw rugby’s potential as a symbol of hope and unity for a country that desperately needed it. Springboks
captain Francois Pienaar (played by Matt Damon in “Invictus,” the film adaptation of this event) thought the president’s support of the team was a brilliant act. “During those six weeks, what happened in this country was incredible,” Pienaar said.
To play gratitude-themed Guess Who?, have each participant write down their name and something they’re thankful for on a slip of paper and put it in a bowl. Then, at the dinner table, have each person draw a random slip and read what it says without saying the name while everyone else tries to guess who wrote it. While Pictionary may get your kids talking about what they are thankful for, Guess Who? will tune them into what others around them are thankful for, too. Like regular pick-up sticks, the goal is to remove a stick from a haphazard pile without disturbing the others. However, by using colored sticks that represent different kinds of thankfulness — such as places, people, or food — you can make players think outside the box. This will ensure you get a wide range of creative, thoughtful answers whenever the kids pick up a stick. These modified games are great for helping your kids realize how much they have to be thankful for. Use these to spend some fun, educational, quality time with your family this fall. Pick-Up Sticks
Just before the final game that would decide the 1995 World Cup winners, Mandela sported a Springboks jersey and stood behind the team. Through a hard-fought match, South Africa came out on top, and, after receiving the trophy from President Mandela, Pienaar explained the atmosphere of the event: “When the final whistle blew, this country changed forever.”
If the 1995 World Cup was any indication, the camaraderie inherent to rugby can transcend all kinds of barriers. Meet a fellow rugby player or fan in any part of the world, and you’ll likely forge an instant kinship. In 2021, you can look forward to cheering on the women’s teams during the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
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THE GREATEST AMERICAN WAR HORSE The Legend of Sergeant Reckless Animals have acted as companions to humankind for thousands of years. They’re a near-constant source of companionship, comfort, and aid. Unfortunately, military animals don’t often get the recognition they deserve. One horse, in particular, was essential to the success of her regiment during the Korean War. Meet Sergeant Reckless. Bought for $250 in 1952 by a U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant at a Seoul racetrack, Sergeant Reckless was trained to carry ammunition for the 5th Marine Regiment. Her name was a play on the “recoilless” rifle ammunition she carried and a nod to the daredevil attitude of the soldiers who used them. Reckless was pivotal for her regiment in more ways than one. As Robin Hutton notes in her book “Sgt. Reckless: America’s War Horse,”“Because horses are ‘herd’ animals, the Marines became her herd. She bonded so deeply with them that Reckless would go anywhere and do anything to help her adopted family.” Sergeant Reckless’ greatest achievement occurred during the final stages of the Battle for Outpost Vegas. During the bloody five-day campaign, Reckless made 51 trips to resupply guns over the course of a single day. By the end of the battle, she had carried 386 rounds of ammunition by walking 35 miles through
rice paddies and mountain trails.
After dropping off the ammunition, Reckless would then bring wounded soldiers back to safety. Reckless was trained to lie down when under fire and avoid barbed wire, and her ability to do so without needing human command saved many lives during the battle. Reckless would close out her war career with two Purple Hearts and the rank of staff sergeant. She spent the rest of her years at Camp Pendleton in California. To learn more about this legendary mare, be sure to check out “Sgt. Reckless: America’s War Horse” by Robin Hutton.
THE BEST LEFTOVER TURKEY SANDWICH
TAKE A BREAK
Inspired by FoodNetwork.com
2 slices sourdough bread
1/3 cup leftover dressing or stuffing
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp leftover gravy
2 slices Swiss cheese
• 1 tbsp butter, room temperature Note: Don’t worry if you don’t have all the leftovers required.
1/3 cup shredded leftover turkey
3 tbsp leftover cranberry sauce
1. Coat inside of each bread slice with mustard and a slice of cheese. Place turkey and cranberry sauce on one slice and dressing and gravy on the other. 2. Combine sandwich and spread butter on both sides. 3. In a panini maker or large skillet, grill until crispy and golden brown. 4. Slice and serve.
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INSIDE 1 30270 Rancho Viejo Road Suite D San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
The Trouble With Long-Term Care Insurance
Gratitude-Themed Games for Kids The 1995 Rugby World Cup The Legend of Sergeant Reckless The Best Leftover Turkey Sandwich
Adventure Like a Scandinavian
THERE’S ‘SNOW’ PLACE LIKE SCANDINAVIA Embrace Winter Like a Pro
Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Denmark have long topped lists of the world’s happiest people. This may seem
anymore, give Nordic skiing a try. It’s less stressful on your body but still a challenging, fun way to enjoy a beautiful day outside.
Dress for Warmth There’s no such thing as bad weather, only poor gear. The Fins embrace this mentality wholeheartedly by trekking in subzero temperatures. The key is proper layering. Start with warm base layers that retain heat while allowing air to circulate. Skintight spandex isn’t very effective, so try thermal underwear or wool instead. On top of your base layer, add fleece and then down. If you’ll be somewhere with a lot of moisture, make sure your down is synthetic and waterproof. Your extremities get cold the quickest, so keep them warm with a buff, cozy gloves, hats, and wool socks, layered as needed. OneWord: Sauna Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean you need to be too. A day on the slopes would not be complete without a sauna. In Finland, Sweden, and other Nordic countries, taking a sauna is considered a daily ritual for its purported health-boosting and mood-boosting benefits. Age and Ageing health journal has found evidence linking sauna use to a lowered risk for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
strange considering these countries can spend half the year in darkness; dusk sets in around 2 p.m. for some Nordic cities in the wintertime. The Scandinavians’ positive outlook on winter likely contributes to their happy demeanors year-round. Instead of looking at the winter months as something to endure, these folks embrace the season and find ways to enjoy it. Here are a couple ways to emulate their attitude.
Try Nordic Skiing If you’re a seasonal runner but it’s too cold to enjoy your go-to activity this winter, it’s time to
diversify. Skiing isn’t the only wintertime option, either. There’s ice skating, ice climbing, and snowshoeing, to name a few. If your knees can’t take downhill skiing or snowboarding
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