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A Client’s Life Insurance Policy Can Help Pay for Their Care

Jul 30 2019

Healthcare and long-term care expenses can be significant as we age. An article in the May edition of The CPA Journal explained that “50 percent of individuals over age 85 will need assistance with daily functioning because of medical problems (both physical and cognitive), and chronic care at home, in an assisted living facility or in a skilled nursing home can cost anywhere from $60,000 to $180,000 per year.” In addition, a sample survey of Aging Life Care Assocation (ALCA) membership indicates that 50 percent of clients can afford $2,000/month, 30 percent can afford $5,000/month, and 20+ percent can afford $10,000/month for products and services related to long-term care. Clearly, funding for care is a major issue. But what is the solution?

One solution that very few people think of is their life insurance policy. Life insurance is an important financial planning tool. But many times, especially as we get older, the reason we purchased the policy five, ten, twenty or even thirty years ago, is no longer an issue. The house is now paid off, client is retired and no longer needs the income replacement, a policy purchased for estate tax purposes is no longer needed due to tax reform, a term policy is coming to an end, a business or other asset has been sold, a policy may be too expensive now, to name a few examples. Whatever the reason, the policy is no longer needed or wanted. 

Life insurance policies can be sold, just like a house. There are investor groups willing to purchase these policies for a lump sum in cash. The process is called a life insurance settlement, and can be an additional healthcare funding source for clients. A life insurance settlement generates, on average, three to five times the cash surrender value of the policy. Yes, even term policies can be sold! And, life insurance settlements are highly regulated by Departments of Insurance across the country.

An Insurance Studies Institute survey estimates 500,000 older adults a year lapse their life insurance policies, walking away with little to nothing. Ninety percent of surveyed older Americans indicated that had they known about a life insurance settlement, they would have considered it. Life insurance settlements convert an asset that a client no longer needs or wants, into cash, which can be used for anything…including cost of care.

Lisa Rehburg is a life insurance settlements broker and has been in the insurance industry for 30 years. She can be reached at (714) 349-7981 or lrehburg@aol.com. More information is also available at www.rehburglifesettlements.com.