If you are looking for someone to plan your estate, there is a new kind of financial advisor who incorporates both financial planning and elder care expertise into their practices. We found an interesting story that offers details on the trend.
Lauren Locker is a certified financial planner who established the ElderLife division of her practice to offer services related not just to traditional retirement planning but to elder-housing options and advanced End of Life planning.
“The impact was huge; it totally changed the practice,” Locker said, adding that “the more people understood the services, the more referrals came.”
Locker was one of the first to take a pioneering leap with her new division. “We noticed more people coming in with these types of issues, and we realized it’s time; there’s no one helping us; let’s do this,” she said.
The story interviews others across the country who are filling the need for a new breed of financial advisor who makes elder care planning a primary focus of their practice.
Barbara Steinberg of BLS Eldercare Financial Solutions says the demand has been formidable.
She provides assistance to families to help pay for elder care. Her services include financial analysis, setting up trusts, Medicaid planning and accessing Veteran benefits.
“I give clients peace of mind,” said Steinberg. “They’re in a panic about how they’re going to pay for care and I serve as someone to lean on who is not an attorney.”
Steinberg is a registered financial gerontologist and an accredited agent of the Department of Veterans Affairs. “The typical financial advisor does not have the knowledge of the (elder care) industry,” she said. “I network within the senior health-care community and they accept me because I’m not selling financial products,” she added. “We refer that out to other financial advisors.”
Ralph Robbins is a Certified Financial Planner who focuses his practice on “crisis Medicaid eligibility planning” and obtaining veteran aid. Robbins used to have a traditional practice where he developed an interest in elder care planning.
“Most of my clients were single women over 50, and more and more of their parents needed elder care,” said Robbins. “The issues kept coming up around how to fund it and how to access Medicaid.”
Robbins became an accredited agent of the Department of Veterans Affairs and now offers elder care financial planning and helps seniors combine their personal resources with public benefits to fund at-home care in either assisted-living facilities or nursing homes.
“There are very few CFPs doing this,” Robbins said. But “with our financial background, we’re able to look at a lot of moving pieces like highly appreciated assets, tax issues, annuities and life insurance policies.”
Chris Cooper is a licensed professional fiduciary that offers financial planning along with other elder-focused services like geriatric-care management and professional fiduciary services. Under the geriatric-care umbrella, Cooper has the expertise to plan for disabled adults and manage the affairs of individuals who cannot do so on their own.
He serves as a client advocate, outsourcing as needed to attorneys, trust companies, investment managers, social workers, geriatric-care managers, hospice and government agencies. “There are people doing parts of these, such as Medicaid planning or bill-paying, but not the whole kitchen sink,” Cooper said.
Read the story here.