Categorized | Business

Is There a Piece of Your Financial Puzzle Missing?

By Yvonne Marsh, CPA

I love puzzles… always have. All kinds, too – jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, logic puzzles, and numbers puzzles. When I was growing up my mom would always have a jigsaw puzzle spread out on a side table, and we would labor over it for hours until we all gathered around for the final triumph of putting the last piece in place to see the whole, complete picture. So maybe that’s why I love working with my clients on a daily basis, helping them think through their unique financial puzzle to make sure they’re not missing any pieces in their retirement picture.

As an example, a lady in her early 60’s came to my office last week and wanted to talk about retirement planning. We worked through the major topics we are all familiar with – investment choices, income strategies, tax minimization, and legacy planning. We then began discussing healthcare in retirement and what plan she had for expenses that Medicare doesn’t cover, especially long-term care. She knew firsthand the cost of long-term care, watching her own mother deplete her assets throughout the years. She had looked at long-term care insurance and was not happy with the expense of the annual premiums, nor the fact that those premiums would continue to increase as she got older. Then there was the possibility that she might never use it, and it would just be money down the drain. She had decided to hope for the best and rely on the money she had saved. Sound familiar? It is definitely a familiar refrain in my office.

Ah, I thought, I had found her missing puzzle piece! I was glad to explain that there is an alternative to traditional long-term care insurance that does not require monthly premiums – a concept called asset-based long-term care. You simply reallocate a portion of your existing assets into an investment that provides a multiplier effect of long-term care benefits, should you need care. If you never need long-term care, your investment either passes to your heirs, or you can cancel the policy and get your money back. It’s as simple as that. In her case, reallocating $50,000 provided her with $249,000 in tax-free long-term care benefits and a $72,000 death benefit if she never used it. Plus she had the choice to simply cancel the policy and get a return of her investment if she changed her mind in later years.

Easy, yet powerful, right? But still, it’s human nature to procrastinate. I could fill this article with stories of clients who never thought of long-term care protection until they needed it but no longer qualified because of ill health. Or stories of adult children asking me about the tax consequences of selling their parent’s house to pay for long-term care. Or stories about both of my own grandparents using up every asset they owned to pay for skilled care before being forced to turn to Medicaid, thus losing their ability to choose where they would reside. It is today’s reality, yet so easily solved. Having a plan in place to protect you, your spouse, and your financial legacy from the cost of an unexpected health event or elder care is priceless. It provides you peace of mind now and choice of care later, and you needn’t burden your extended family members with your physical care or financial assistance in later years.

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss your “financial puzzle” and fill in any missing pieces. Simply call me at 865-622-2162 to schedule a complimentary conversation today.

Marsh Professional Group, LLC
404 Ebenezer Road
Knoxville, TN 37923

Financial Planning & Investment Advisory Services are offered through Prosperity Capital Advisors, an independent, SEC Registered Investment Advisor located in the State of Ohio. Yvonne Marsh is an Investment Advisor Representative of Prosperity Capital Advisors in the state of Tennessee. Marsh Professional Group, LLC and Prosperity Capital Advisors are separate entities.

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