We all know the saying “you’re only as old as you feel,” but regardless of how clients feel today, there’s a good chance they won’t remain healthy forever. In fact, for a couple who are both 65, there’s an 82% chance that one of them will need long-term care.1

Expecting to remain healthy is a false assumption that can quickly undermine a financial plan, and 52% of Canadians have not factored long-term care into their retirement plans.2 As you build and review clients’ retirement plans, it’s important to help them recognize and consider their future healthcare needs. Long-term care insurance (LTCI) can help protect their plan.

Whether they’re making that last drive to accumulate savings or turning those savings into income, talk to clients about LTCI—they have options to consider.

LTCI for accumulators

The younger and healthier you are, the more accessible and affordable long-term care insurance is, just like all other insurance products. Talking about LTCI to clients who are actively saving for retirement, and are looking for solutions to protect their plan, is ideal. In this super-save phase, clients will likely have more options, such as taking advantage of the unlimited benefit period—giving them access to an unlimited stream of benefits when they need prolonged care.

For accumulators, it’s all about giving more options earlier to protect the future income their assets will produce.

LTCI and income decisions (retirees)

Just because clients are retired already doesn’t mean you can’t talk to them about LTCI; they can still include it in their retirement plan—in fact, they should. Features of long-term care insurance from Sun Life Financial can be adjusted to help with barriers like affordability and accessibility. Consider a combination of a shorter benefit period and a longer waiting period; you’ll see the difference it makes in the price. And, while it’s true, LTCI underwriting is different than other insurance, it’s not more difficult. Doing some up-front work helps to manage and set clients’ expectations and has a measurable impact on the successful placement of business. The underwriting resources available on the LTCI section of the Sun Life Financial advisor site can help you determine if you should submit an LTCI application, and help prepare your clients for the underwriting process, resulting in a better experience for everyone involved.

For retirees, it’s all about making careful decisions—about what they can access and afford when it comes to this important addition to their retirement income plans.

It’s never too early or too late to talk about long-term care insurance as part of a retirement plan.

1 Munich Re, 2011.

2 2012 Survey conducted on behalf of Sun Life Financial and CARP. 3,426 CARP members from 45-65 years of age responded to an online poll.

Originally published on Advisor.ca