Jim Lorenzen, CFP®, AIF®
When I was a kid, no one I knew had Alzheimer’s. Heck, no one my parents knew had it. In fact, I don’t think anyone even knew what it was!
There may have been a few special-needs children around, but I never saw one in either elementary or high school. Attention deficit disorder (A.D.D.)? Never heard the term.
What a difference a generation of changes make: changes in health care advances as well as in people’s lifestyles. People are living longer – that’s a good thing; but new challenges face us all.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s is now the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. Between 2000 and 2016, deaths from heart disease actually declined by 11%; but deaths from Alzheimer’s increased 123%!
5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s today. One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. 16.1 million Americans are providing 18.4 billion hours of unpaid care for loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. It’s not covered by Medicare, and all those politicians who want to “reform” health care are amazingly silent about solving this problem.
Virtually every family I know has been touched by Alzheimer’s (including my own) or special needs issues affecting children or grandchildren (again, including my own).
Many ‘baby-boomer’s’ have become known as the ‘sandwich’ generation – taking care of both parents and children or even grandchildren, due to the combination of increased longevity coupled with these new medical challenges families are facing.
It’s never been more important to have a long-term multi-generational financial plan in-place. Many parents, for example, don’t realize that may have created plans for their special-needs child’s financial security that will actually disqualify the child’s eligibility for government benefits in the future… and that their plan needs to preserve that eligibility while seeing that the child will be secure all the way through the child’s own retirement. Who pays the rent and utilities when the child is older and the parents are gone? Where does the child live? Who pays the rent or mortgage.. or property and other taxes? How about transportation – for life?
Indeed, the challenges today are greater than ever before because the issues are different. When should a person begin planning? Now. It doesn’t matter your age. Do it now.
It’s not about being an investment guru; it’s about having a strategy tied to a plan – and arranging assets to accomplish long-term objectives.
Do it now. Okay, I’ll shut up.
Jim Lorenzen is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional and an ACCREDITED INVESTMENT FIDUCIARY® serving private clients since 1991. Jim is Founding Principal of The Independent Financial Group, a registered investment advisor with clients located across the U.S.. He is also licensed for insurance as an independent agent under California license 0C00742. The Independent Financial Group does not provide legal or tax advice and nothing contained herein should be construed as securities or investment advice, nor an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment to the individual reader. The general information provided should not be acted upon without obtaining specific legal, tax, and investment advice from an appropriate licensed professional.