Helping customers feel confident as they retire each year


Northwestern Mutual executives are eyeing a need many advisers overlook.

Interestingly, listening to and learning from other people’s experiences often gives us clues about what’s to come in our lives.

When I was in college, I remember learning about careers and jobs through the stories of friends who were several years older than me and in the workforce.

When our first children were born, my wife and I tried to learn from parents who had children older than us.

I have treasured these “Future Stories” because they have given me time to think about how I would approach similar situations and stages of life.

More and more friends are talking about their retirement plans and experiences these days.

Of course, conversations often focus on the times we’ve been active: traveling, golfing, volunteering, spending time with family and friends, but we all want to grow old with dignity. We will also discuss the aftermath.

all phases

It is important to consider all stages of retirement.

After all, about half of Americans who live to age 65 will need long-term care services and support for the rest of their lives.

The high cost of long-term care means that proper planning for this stage will take time, and rising inflation has made it even more difficult.

According to Northwestern Mutual’s Cost of Care Calculator, the average cost of a home care assistant today is $27 per hour, and this cost is projected to rise to $49 per hour by 2042.

On average, nearly one-third (31%) of current caregiver’s monthly budget is devoted to providing care.

These costs include not only professional support, but also the cost of services provided by caregivers themselves.

For me, these “stories from the future” highlight the fact that life stages wait for no one, and that the advice people receive along the way can meaningfully shape the outcome. .

Advice-based planning can make a big difference, especially for long-term care.

Professional “future storytellers,” financial advisors can deepen cross-generational client relationships by being a valuable source of advice and guidance on long-term care planning. .

Planning creates more opportunities.

When it comes to long-term care, there are many factors to consider.

For example, would you prefer to live in a nursing home or receive care at home? What features do care providers offer? How far is the facility? What are the costs? How are the costs covered?

For clients who feel the need to answer these questions immediately while also dealing with the emotional stress of a loved one in need, the situation may feel overwhelming.

By pre-planning their own long-term care needs, advisors can help clients ensure that their loved ones are never in such precarious situations.

And clients have the freedom and power to consider every opportunity for care and make these decisions for themselves while they are able, rather than placing the burden on others’ shoulders.

Planning gives you flexibility.

Responding to long-term care events on the spot can be difficult.

Despite this, 2 in 5 caregivers said they were not given prior notice of taking on the role of caregiver.

The day may come when your clients or their loved ones will not be able to eat, bathe, dress or get in and out of bed.

Also, the day may come when the person suffers from a cognitive disorder such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia that makes them unable to recognize their home, their family, or even you as an advisor.

When that day comes without any planning, it often has serious ramifications for the person and their family.

That is why planning early is so important. Because you can consider a wider range of suitable options.

When encouraged to take the time to think ahead and prepare, clients find more and more ways to help them navigate these difficult situations.

Notably, the last few years have seen the emergence of new products that are flexible enough to meet the needs of individuals and families as their stories unfold.

This includes hybrid insurance products designed to meet multiple goals, such as helping customers pay for long-term care costs when needed, but also achieving goals such as retirement financing. We offer all the key benefits of a whole life insurance policy that can support Or leave a legacy.

Planning makes you more certain.

Above all, the greatest gift of planning is increased certainty and less anxiety about the future.

That’s because comprehensive financial planning helps people free themselves from financial worries.

Comprehensive planning allows our clients to address a wide range of risks and be flexible when life gets complicated.

This includes managing long-term care costs, along with other challenges associated with financially secure retirement such as inflation, longevity, taxes and market turmoil.

Customers who have a complete retirement plan are also the ones who tell others the “future story” and the steps they have taken to feel confident and prepared for the years ahead.

Including working with you as their advisor.

John Grogan is Executive Vice President and Chief Insurance Officer of Northwestern Mutual.




(Image: Adobe Stock)

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