A Webinar in Review: Elder Care Planning

Contributed by: Clare Lilek Clare Lilek

What do you think of when you hear the term “elder care?” Well Sandy Adams, CFP®, who also has a Masters in Gerontology, thinks about how that term doesn’t exactly explain the type of planning involved and meaning it’s intended to represent. Instead, as Sandy discussed throughout the webinar, she suggests that elder care isn’t about the frail, but instead, it’s about longevity or long life planning for an active and engaged population. Sometimes this can be a sensitive topic, but really it’s about planning contingencies for potential risks as you or a loved one age, in order for that person to retain their dignity and remain in control. Elder care planning emphasizes the social and personal requirements for older adults in order to age in their desired manner.

Sandy emphasized the importance of starting to plan for yourself or your family as early as possible because you don’t want to be in a crisis situation guessing what your parents would have wanted, or perhaps you don’t want to cause your loved ones the stress of making a decision in case of an emergency. Having a well thought out plan with contingencies is the safest and smartest way to successfully age, especially as the “silver tsunami” is looming and the aging population increases and the question of “Who will care for us?” becomes top of mind.

Since these discussions, as important as they are, can be uncomfortable at times to initiate, Sandy provided some helpful tips, as well as resources, to help you start the conversation. Tips included creating a non-threatening environment, engaging the assistance of a professionals (like Sandy herself), including all the family, and having older adults in question do the majority of the talking—it’s their life, listen to what they want! Important topics to discuss are: home maintenance, transportation, and socialization. Sandy suggests framing these conversations using the C.A.R.E. framework: identify the Challenges, think about Alternatives, acknowledge your Resources, and stay true to the overall Experience you or your older parent wants to have.

Overall, Sandy suggests having an open and honest conversation about you and your family’s needs, discuss contingent plans for possible futures, start creating a plan early, and don’t be afraid to enlist the help of a professional team for support and guidance. For more tips on how to go about Elder Care Planning for you or your parents, check out the entire webinar below or feel free to contact Sandy for further guidance.

Sandra Adams, CFP® is a Partner and Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc. Sandy specializes in Elder Care Financial Planning and is a frequent speaker on related topics. In 2012-2014 Sandy has been named to the Five Star Wealth Managers list in Detroit Hour magazine. In addition to her frequent contributions to Money Centered, she is regularly quoted in national media publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Research Magazine and Journal of Financial Planning.

Five Star Award is based on advisor being credentialed as an investment advisory representative (IAR), a FINRA registered representative, a CPA or a licensed attorney, including education and professional designations, actively employed in the industry for five years, favorable regulatory and complaint history review, fulfillment of firm review based on internal firm standards, accepting new clients, one- and five-year client retention rates, non-institutional discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered, number of client households served.

Any opinions are those of Sandy Adams, CFP® and not necessarily those of Raymond James.