Pumpkin Spice, Holidays, and Long Term Care
Here are a few indicators that summer is over:
Labor Day, school buses out on the streets and pumpkin spice… in just about everything. I don’t remember this phenomenon of pumpkin spice infiltrating autumn 20 years ago, but I do know that today it’s inescapable. From coffee to air fresheners, to (believe it or not) Milk-Bone dog treats!
My guess about the appeal of pumpkin spice is that just when we are mourning the loss of summer, the scent evokes coziness and comfort—a kind of autumnal consolation.
If pumpkin spice were a holiday, it would be Thanksgiving, not Halloween—for good reason. Less than a month apart, those two observances couldn’t be more different: scary ghouls versus the familial table, full of the bounty of the harvest.
This train of thought has led me to reflect on another two adjacent but different concepts: retirement planning and long term care planning. In this context, retirement planning would be Thanksgiving, while long term care planning is all Halloween.
If retirement planning is planning for comfort, long term care is lurking in the shadows—among the scariest things to experience in retirement. The consequences of an extended care event can be physical and emotionally scary - plus financially jolting, since the need for care may derail all our other retirement plans.
We certainly plan for other scary possible outcomes. We purchase life insurance decades before we could reasonably expect to die, just in case. We add coverage for valuables to our homeowner policies because… well, you never know.
But we do know that the likelihood of needing help—with dressing, bathing, getting out of bed and moving to a chair—is high, when we consider how long we may live. Statistics show that most Americans will live a long time. One year, we may have been the young person buying and roasting our first Thanksgiving turkey but eventually, we aspire to being the elderly relative at the table— glad we don’t have to lift a 20-lb. turkey out of the oven!
The people gathered around your Thanksgiving table are the very same ones who are most hoping that you do your long term care planning. They’re the friends and family who will step up to help you in your hours of need—your contemporaries and the youngsters as well. Any planning, and funding, lifts the burden off all of your shoulders.
When you stop to think about it, you would most likely hope that the elders at your Thanksgiving table this year already have long term care insurance in place. They are the people who you may be called upon to help.
Could getting your own long term care insurance policy be the best thing you could do right now for those you care most about?
Brigitte Bromberg, MS, CFP®, CSA® is an independent insurance specialist who provides unbiased, consultative, solutions for long term care, life and disability insurance needs.
For more than 30 years Brigitte has worked diligently to provide clients the information and insight they need to make informed insurance decisions. President of Winning Strategies Group LLC, Brigitte loves speaking to groups, and she also loves helping people implement creative, smart insurance strategies.