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With 30 years of experience, I’ve learned that being frank with people is a requirement of my job. Being frank is not always easy, but it is necessary in order to have an open, effective and results-driven relationship with my clients
Not too long ago, I came across an article that proposed using one easy phrase to spark a “frank” discussion about long-term care. The author, a financial advisor, recommended the following phrase as an effective approach: “I feel it is my responsibility to help you plan for all three phases of your retirement – the go-go, slow-go and the no-go years.”
Since seeing the article, I now put this in practice to help me start a dialogue with clients and prospects about the need to plan ahead for a decline in their health and income. For those not yet retired, just knowing these stages are coming can help you plan your spending accordingly. The Go-Go years are typically more expensive, the Slow-Go years the spending tends to level out, and in the No-Go years the end-of-life costs can be high. It’s important for me to proactively communicate to my clients and prospects the importance of planning early in preparation for these three phases.
Phase One: The Go-Go Years
According to the article and as the name implies, the Go-Go years represent the most active retirement years – when people are physically and mentally capable of enjoying the things they’ve aspired to do. These people have worked hard and look forward to living the retirement dream, whether that’s traveling, volunteering. and hitting that bucket list. This stage is also called the decompression stage.
Phase Two: The Slow-Go Years
The Slow-Go phase is when people have gotten through the decompression stage and may still be in the experimental phase, yet life is slowing down to a pace where they can relax and enjoy. They now have time to read, contemplate, putter around the house, and visit with loved ones. Health reasons are now also a reason for the Slow-Go. As, health issues begin surfacing, it becomes more difficult to attain long-term-care insurance and benefit options and choices become limited. During this phase, investment become even more conservative and most people become more frugal.
Phase Three: The No-Go Year
The No-Go phase is typically the last stage of life, where your health has deteriorated, and your circle has gotten very small. Usually, people at this stage are staying close to home and focusing on the day-to-day activities, or in a nursing home or senior residence. Hopefully, those in this stage can say, “I’ve had a good run, life’s been good.” At this point, expenses have decreased but medical costs are quite high, and it may be difficult to pay for this care. However, if your financial or insurance advisor had the foresight to put a long-term-care insurance plan in place, you can receive benefits from your policy during this final phase.
Managing these uncertain expenses and planning appropriately is one of the principal challenges of a successful retirement. If you plan appropriately, you can, hopefully, live the life you have always imagined during each exciting stage of life.
If you are interested in discussing plans for your care during all three phases, please contact Fahmy & Associates today at 703-760-4630.
— Ken Fahmy
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® CHARTERED LIFE UNDERWRITER CHARTERED FINANCIAL CONSULTANT
Source: 1 Easy Phrase That Can Spark a Discussion about Long-Term Care by Debra C. Newman