The Best New Year’s Eve Resolution – Ever

Just in case you are among the majority of human beings who – even if they temporarily stick to New Year’s resolutions – eventually revert to their old behaviors, let me give you a bit of good news. There are some smart strategies that can help us do smart things that are good for ourselves and those we love. Even when it comes to long term care planning.

The Buddy System
When it comes to resolutions and behavior modification, enlisting the help of a buddy can be especially helpful. In the example of sticking to an exercise program, making plans to meet a friend at the gym and work out together 3 times a week can boost your resolve and compliance with your goal.

Since knowing that someone will hold you accountable makes it much easier to accomplish the behavior, use this concept to your advantage in long term care planning. When you call the agent to request a consult, tell them your timeframe for making a decision, and ask their help in pushing you to keep to your deadline. Better yet, ask a sibling or friend to go through the long term care insurance process with you…they probably haven’t done it yet, either!

Reward Yourself
If you know that you are the kind of person who procrastinates to avoid unenjoyable activities (such as long term care planning), set yourself a reward for finally crossing it off your to-do list. Imagine how great you’ll feel when your next birthday comes around and you haven’t procrastinated into a higher premium because of inaction!

Too Busy to Plan?
I sometimes imagine all of us who are so busy now – in 30, 40 or even 50 years. I’m calling this the ‘old me (or you).’ If our health has failed, we will, in a sense, have nothing but time on our hands. No more rushing to work or juggling the needs of children and parents – all that will be in our past.

What will the ‘old you’ wish that the ‘young you’ (read – NOW) had done? I’m guessing looking into – and probably purchasing – long term care insurance would be on the ‘old you’ wish list.

If Only My Parents Had…
Those of us who are faced with a parent(s) in long term care crisis or who has a chronic need for care can’t be faulted for thinking: “I wish my parent(s) had purchased a long term care insurance policy when they were younger and insurable.”

As we step up into the role of caregiver, whether hands-on or managing from afar, we might even think: “I’ll never put my kids through what I’ve gone through.”

In fact, we can’t help but focus on our parents when it comes to the topic of long term care planning. However, in most cases, their opportunity to plan was in the past. Unless they are still relatively healthy, relatively young (under age 75, generally), with comfortable assets and/or strong cash flow (coverage bought at older ages can be expensive), their long term care insurance horse has already left the barn.

Which brings me to you.

Start this year off right with a resolution that will finally put to bed one of the most important financial questions you will have for the rest of your life:

How will you (yes, you!) pay for long term care should it be needed?

Hope you are having a great holiday season, and wishing you a Happy New Year!