Help your clients plan for retirement by not only building savings, but by protecting their wealth for when they’ll need it most. As clients age, they’re more likely to face significant health challenges, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Without health insurance, retirement savings can quickly be used on paying for the substantial long-term care costs.

Your female clients are at risk

It’s important to speak with your female clients about including health insurance in their retirement plans. That’s because 72% of Canadians with Alzheimer’s are women. Your female clients are more likely to need long-term care in their future: help clients make sure they, and their loved ones, are financially ready for the cost. In 2011, caregivers in Canada spent over 444 million unpaid hours caring for family members with health needs, losing $11 billion in income.1

5 things to know about Alzheimer’s:2

  • Aging’s the biggest risk factor.
  • It’s the most common form of dementia in Canada.
  • Up to 15% of Canadians over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia; the risk of getting dementia doubles every 5 years after this age.
  • By 2031, 1.4 million Canadians are expected to have Alzheimer’s and dementia.
  • While there’s no cure, medication can help.

Long-term care costs can quickly add up. The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) suggests long-term care can cost up to $35,000 or more a year. Your female clients aged 65 can expect to live another 22 years, to age 87.3 If it’s not part of their retirement plan, can they afford the long-term care they might need in the future? And with women living longer than men, their fund for future care needs to last longer.

Long term care insurance can help

Long term care insurance protects retirement plans and gives clients choices about the care they receive. Clients might plan to pay for health care on their own. But it’s easy to underestimate health care needs, which can eat up savings unexpectedly. Using long term care insurance in retirement wealth strategies can help clients maintain lifestyles, protect estates and plan legacies.

Long term care insurance also protects loved ones from the stress of becoming caregivers. Up to 75% of family caregivers get psychological illnesses and are more likely to experience depression.4

Time’s running out

Start conversations with your female clients now, before it’s too late:

  • Alzheimer’s can start as early as age 40; up to 10% of dementia cases start before age 65.5
  • Without proper planning, clients might not have enough money for long-term care when it’s needed. Women have greater longevity risk and people can live with dementia for years.
  • It’s important that clients choose the care they want while they’re still healthy. Their mental capacity to make decisions reduces once dementia begins.

For your female clients over age 40, health conditions like Alzheimer’s can seriously impact their quality of life in retirement. Talk to your clients about the role health insurance plays in a retirement plan. It’s a conversation worth having.

1 Alzheimer Society of Canada, “Dementia numbers in Canada,” 2014.

2 Alzheimer Society of Canada, 2015.

3 Statistics Canada, “Life expectancy, at birth and at age 65, by sex and by province and territory,” 2012.

4 Alzheimer Society of Canada, “Dementia numbers in Canada,” 2014.

5 Alzheimer Society of Canada, “About dementia,” 2014.

Originally published on Advisor.ca