In Honor of National Women’s Month

Today I celebrate National Women’s Month by honoring two unsung heroes: my mother and my wife.

My mother, now deceased, most notably raised five boys and was a caregiver for my father in their senior years.

The role of caregiver is a huge responsibility and takes a great deal of emotional and physical perseverance. For most families, taking care of a parent, sibling, or spouse creates stress and a financial burden on extended relatives. Easing the pressure requires ESSENTIAL family planning including asset management, tax planning, and long term care planning.  

My wife is extremely deserving of an award as well. Not only has she put up with me and raised my two great kids, but she cared for her mother as she was dying of cancer. When our kids were small and I was working out of state, she took care of her father, who had Alzheimer’s. Almost every day, she’d take the kids, drive forty minutes to pick him up, take him to doctor’s appointments and see to his needs.

If you’ve ever known someone with this ailment, you understand they unlearn something every day. They forget things, people, how to dress, and if they’ve eaten. Cognitive impairment is the leading cause of long term care claims and is an ongoing issue, so it’s crucial for families to have a plan in place.

I’m guilty of not giving my mom or wife enough credit for their accomplishments and never appreciating the sacrifices they made to look after others throughout their lives. One of the best things we can do for our relatives is to establish a strategy for care so that when we encounter tough times, we can focus on enjoying the time we have together.

Fact: 70% of people reaching 65 or older will have an extended care event. The other 30% are the spouses, children, and friends who will be taking care of them. That leads to financial and emotional stress on everyone.

Fact: 91% of couples past the age of 65 will have at least one partner in need of long term or extended care.

Preparing is a necessary step for your family, even if you are fortunate enough to have been very successful financially. Having a plan means knowing who to call when the need arises, and a properly planned long term care insurance policy can give you the comfort and satisfaction of having a team of people that can help you when you need it most.

Hats off to my wife and mother and ALL the CAREGIVERS! They are the hardest working and most unheralded people I know! They are the real heroes.

Neil Himmelstein
President of Main Street Planning Group

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