eorge grombacher 0:00
The left was George G. And the time is right. welcome today’s guest strong and powerful, Larry. Nice and sent. Larry, are you ready to do this?
Unknown Speaker 0:22
I am absolutely ready, George.
george grombacher 0:24
All right, let’s go. Larry is the chief growth officer with assured allies he is a 25 year insurance industry leader, veteran focused on long term care, insurance and annuities. He’s a committed community, man and family man. Assured allies is a company working with insurance carriers to provide products and services related to aging in place. Larry, excited to have you on tell us a little about your personal life more about your work, why you do what you do.
Unknown Speaker 0:54
Absolutely. Thanks for having me, George. First of all, I am a father of three, and married my college sweetheart, who, incidentally, I met literally, on the first moment I was on campus, we wrote up in the elevator together on the way to our dorm. And I’d love to say it was love at first sight. But it took a little bit longer than that. But I did indeed, woo my college sweetheart to marry me, we have three adult daughters who are spread out all over the country. And nothing makes me happier than seeing them turn into these incredible people and credit all my wife for it. So that’s, that’s my personal story. And I am also super fortunate that I get to blend my personal passion with my professional work. And I know there’s not a lot of people who can say that. And then I am a caregiver, I’ve spent the better part of 25 years talking about caregiving, what I call the financing of aging, help people pay to grow old, which sounds odd when you think about it, but you are paying to grow old one way or the other. And my job and my passion has been around helping people figure out how to proactively do that. And again, it’s super cool to be able to blend what I’m passionate about, into what I enjoy what I get paid to do.
george grombacher 2:14
Damn, that is a that is an awesome thing. You mentioned that we were sort of joking how it’s sometimes it takes us as human beings a little while to find our way and find our path. The the net, you’re trying to crack the problem you’re working to solve. Tell us a little bit more about that.
Unknown Speaker 2:35
Look, there are at this point, there are 65 million people over the age of 65. We know the numbers around baby boomers, there’s 10,000 a day turning 65 through the end of the decade, that’s going to leave us somewhere in north of 80 million people over the age of 65 50% of them are going to have a long term care event, meaning they’re going to need to bring in professional caregivers to help them deal with life if they want to stay on their own, or they’re going to move into a nursing home. And I don’t know about you. But I’ve spoken to hundreds 1000s of people and not one of them ever said to me, George, I cannot wait to move into a nursing home I’ve ever heard that. What everybody ends up doing is they’re reactive to this. So we have this 6575 80 million people who are going to be over the age of 65, half of them are going to need professional help. And almost none of them have prepared for this. You know, we we talk about the three phases of planning during your life. There’s the accumulation, and Tom hegner talks about this all the time. He’s one of the great speakers on this, he talks about the accumulation phase, right then there’s the income phase. And then there’s the distribution that hurted that the inheritance phase of a leave a legacy phase. People work their entire lives to do that. But what they fit what they really fail to do is to plan for what happens if a long term care event occurs, the average Long Term Care event not only does it have an effect 50% of those I just described, the average cost is almost $250,000 A year nationally. That’s not an insignificant amount of money. Right? Since so, so my passion has been around building products and helping people recognize that that problem exists, how they solve it. There’s a variety of ways and we love to talk about those two, but my initial work my passion is around really awareness, education and the discussion of that fourth, but most important point of how will you cover an audit anticipated expense around your long term care needs.
george grombacher 4:58
So at million folks, roughly speaking, half going to have some kind of an event 40 million people, it’s a lot. And this is not something that has been prepared for or planned for. So what are you going to do? And these can cost upwards of $250,000? I don’t know if there’s? Well, I do know, I know that most American people are probably at every age, but certainly at that age don’t have that kind of cash sitting around. So what are the options?
Unknown Speaker 5:32
If there are cash, there are so many options. And that’s it. I will say this, that the options get smaller, the older and less prepared and healthy you are, right. So starting young is the key for all of this, let’s just start with that basic premise, right. So if you’re still employed, you’re relatively healthy, you’re in your mid 50s, to early 60s, where you’re healthier into your late 60s, you have better options than when you’re in your 70s, mid 70s. And your health is declining. Let’s start with that basic premise. One of the easiest solutions is long term care insurance coverage, right? It’s, it’s been around for 40 years, we’ve sold 7 million policies roughly in 40 years. So I wouldn’t say it is the most popular product. And there’s lots of reasons for it. But most of it is because financial advisors aren’t positioning this need with their clients. And so therefore the clients aren’t aware of it. But long term care insurance covers non medical health needs. Do you need to bring in somebody to help you get dressed in the morning, it’s centered around the six activities of daily living, which include things like getting dressed and getting showered and going to the bathroom? Are you able to get out of bed and transfer yourself to get up and down and move around? This has nothing to do with healthcare costs. This is all around physical limitations or severe cognitive impairment, do you have dementia? Do you have Alzheimer’s, long term care insurance protects you and helps pay for those for the coverage that you need to bring in professionals to help take care of you in those situations. And the earlier you start, the lower the cost of that coverage is and you can get it many people buy individual policies to urge many people buy them through work, there are ways to buy that attached to investment or insurance products that sort of blend annuities, or life insurance with long term care. So they sort of covered two different buckets. There’s lots of ways to solve it around long term care insurance. My goal is just to help people recognize that there is an issue they need to contemplate, and to work with their advisor to really figure out what’s the best way for them to cover the potential need for that long term care coverage.
george grombacher 8:06
So 40 years is selling these these products, 7 million policies sold. That’s a lot. But it’s really not that many. So it’s it’s fascinating. So it’s combination of awareness, it’s also probably a combination of I’m not really that interested in thinking about, you know, needing care when I’m 50 years old, you know, are at 40 or 50. Thinking about when I’m 70 or 80. So that’s, that’s pretty tricky. With a shirt allies would because you’re not actually selling product.
Unknown Speaker 8:40
That’s That’s correct. So we’re an innovation company, we’re really an insurer tech company. What we do is we work with insurance companies that want to offer these types of products, but they just don’t have the expertise to be able to create what I would describe as modern consumer centric programs like we do at a short ally. So we work with carriers to really design these innovative products. And I’ll give you an example of the first one we just launched on November 15. This product is an annuity. So it’s a tax deferred growth vehicle. It allows somebody to put money into the market into a mutual fund like funds to try and grow that money as best they can for their retirement. So that’s a very common product that’s out there. We don’t have to talk about what an annuity is. For your listeners that are interested, there’s 1000s of them out there. What’s unique about this one from an equity trust is that in addition to buying this investment vehicle, it comes with an embedded long term care insurance policy. So if you have a long term care event, and you need to have access to dollars to be able to cover that care Are you have it, it’s included in the product, if you don’t need it, if you’re one of those 50% that don’t have one of those events, it’s no worries, you still have this insurance product that’s growing tax deferred. And it really does both of these things. But it does something even better. The never stopped wellness program, which is also one of the creations of a short allies, really aims to help people recognize that small incremental changes in in their wellness can drive better outcomes. And what I mean by that is this, there are 30 areas of individual wellness that people can can latch on to, they go from, from things like let’s stave off cognitive decline, let’s help you fight off dementia. By helping you take an online class, maybe you want to do something as simple as the New York Times crossword puzzle or your word old person, or you want to go take a master class and learn how to be a neuroscientist, it doesn’t matter. We want to help you engage and figure out how to use cognitive programs to keep yourself living healthier. Maybe you’re somebody who wants to start to get up and do a little bit of exercise, but you don’t know how to do it. What the never stopped wellness program does for the people who buy the Aqua trust annuity that we described, is we pair them up with a wellness coach who helps them identify which of these 30 areas of wellness today want to work on. We’re not talking about turning anybody into it to carefully I’m not talking about making anybody a marathon runner in their 70s, we’re talking about coupling them up with a partner of ours called SilverSneakers. SilverSneakers helps people over the age of 65, figure out how to just get a little bit of exercise, and then maybe they walk in the mall in this group in the winter, or they do stuff at home, our goal is to just help them get a little bit healthier, so that they can age in place and stay at home a little bit longer. And what’s cool about what we do is as they participate, as they stay active, we actually take real dollars and put them into their long term care bucket. So when they need to use that money for long term care, their active participation in the never stopped wellness program, gets them more dollars to use in any way that they want to our goal is just to show people the correlation between living slightly healthier, and having more dollars to use later in life when they need those dollars.
george grombacher 12:41
That makes a lot of sense. And I’m so fascinated by the behavior gap between the things I intellectually know that I should be doing and what I actually do. And that’s something that I spent a lot of time thinking about as a 44 year old, you know, getting older, I have kids. So it’s like, okay, how do I remain as as strong energetic as as I can be for as long as I can be? So I can do a good job and have fun with these kids. And I imagine I’ll be thinking those thoughts when I’m 55 and 65. And hopefully 75 and 85. And on and on and on. So there, there are a lot of things we can be doing. You mentioned 30, how did how did you arrive at that number probably could have been 1000. But you probably said, well, we don’t want to do 50 Because it’s too many.
Unknown Speaker 13:36
Yeah, if it was left up to me, the non scientist, I would have picked it in exactly the way you just said that. We went in a different a different direction, we have 85 or so employees at a short allies, about 45 or 50 of them reside on our clinical science, data science, engineering research teams. And all they do is pour through research accepted research. They drive primary research, meaning we do our own clinical experiments. And they determined that these 30 areas of successful aging are the ones that are directly correlated to living independently. Right? They not only did they determine what those 30 are, they’re broken down into three categories. They’re broken down into how do we help people prevent premature aging? How do we help people that are already in premature aging, we’re starting to age how do we treat them? And then finally, at some point, people no matter what we do are going to be in decline. And then it’s how do we help them adapt to that? And I’m going to give you one simple example of why the clinicians that are researchers are so valuable and a differentiator for us. So through our research, we know the following that 8% of all All dementia patients in the United States, a percent have a direct correlation to early onset untreated hearing loss. So said differently, people under the age of 65, that experience hearing loss that don’t do anything about it. 8% of all dementia patients in the United States come from that group. It’s a crazy statistic. And it’s easily solved, right. But you have to know how you have to use behavioral economics, we use gamification to show people why it matters. And then as our wellness coaches do, what they do is they take them, they bring them through an online hearing test, they show them that, indeed, they have an issue, we then bring them we schedule, we work with their insurance company, their health insurance company, we get them a physical hearing test. If it turns out that they need hearing aids, or sound amplifiers, right, they were just recently approved from the FDA that you don’t need $5,000 hearing devices, there’s now non prescription non medical hearing devices that they can use for people who don’t have coverage, right, we then help those folks either through our national network of vendors, or through their insurance company get the hearing devices that they need. But it doesn’t end there. Because they could be like my uncle, who has them, but leaves them on his dresser doesn’t work if you don’t put them in your ear, right. So our wellness coach works with them to make sure that they’re in their ears, that they’re using them correctly, that they’re calibrated, today’s hearing aids actually calibrate to your phone. So they help them use their phone, set them up correctly, and then we follow up to make sure that they’re complying with them. Because just knowing about the hearing aids isn’t enough. Our job is to make sure they not only understand why, but that they’re using them. And then when they do, here’s where it gets cool George, then we’re going to give them two rewards. One is like a little incentive, maybe it’s a subscription to Spotify or audiobooks, to say thank you, thank you for participating in your health. But then when we realize that they’re sticking with it, then again, getting back to what I said earlier, we take those dollars and put it put real dollars into their long term care bucket. So when they need help, they’ve participated in earned more money for themselves. Very innovative, and it’s driven from our clinical and research team helping us to correlate what are the things that matter, this bucket of 30 of you.
george grombacher 17:33
I love it, just me doing healthy things for the sake of being healthy oftentimes isn’t enough, but a little bit of money to to motivate me is uh, you know, that’s very, very again, human thing to, to get me to follow through on a lot of these things and to, to do the work. And I mean, like to wave a magic wand or take a pill and get healthy and better. But the reality is, it’s it’s done a little bit at a time over long periods of time. So the more you can help people prevent premature aging, treat any symptoms or conditions you have, and then slow down the decline. That sounds like a winning thing to me.
Unknown Speaker 18:16
Yeah, look, it’s one of the cases where the ends justify the means, right? Nobody was parents were taught, you know, bribe your kids to really bad condition. This is one of those things that if we have to bribe people to get a little bit healthier, and the outcome is that they have a better, right, a better quality of life. This isn’t about necessarily extending their mortality, but really giving them an enhanced morbidity, the quality of that time, what we call the disAbility free life expectancy is really what we’re looking to change.
george grombacher 18:47
Yeah, I appreciate that. One of the things I value most about my life, and the things I’m able to do is having the freedom to be able to do the things that I want physically. And that’s not going to change 10 years from now, 20 years from now 30 years from now, four years from now. And that’s what everybody wants. We don’t want to be stuck, not being able to move around or get dressed or feed myself or go to the bathroom by myself. So I appreciate I appreciate that that never stop program that you’ve been talking about.
Unknown Speaker 19:21
Well, thanks, George, I appreciate it. You can say I get a little passionate, a little bit enthusiastic about what we’re doing. I feel like I tell my team all the time. You know, we’re not necessarily preaching the gospel to people, that’s for sure what we’re not doing but we we want to shout it from the top of the mountains. We want people to proactively plan to age, you’re going to age, wouldn’t it be great to be able to do it on your terms, and that’s what we’re here to do.
george grombacher 19:49
Well said. Well, Larry, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you and how can they engage? Be it if you are for you individually? or if you have a parent, or grandparents somebody that you love and you want to help them age better, and do so in place, where can we learn more about that?
Unknown Speaker 20:12
That’s, that’s great. Thanks for asking me, George. So the first thing they can do if they want to learn more just about the never stop program, they can go to never stop one word, never stopped.com. And you’ll see lots of information about our product. You can’t buy at retail, we build it embedded into insurance products. But we talk a little bit about how to find those insurance products on the site. They can find me on Twitter, I tweet a lot about aging and caregiving and life. You can find me on LinkedIn at Larry, nice Hinson. And you can do a Google search. And you’ll find lots of articles that I’ve written, I spend a fair amount of time talking about this, my team will tell you, I probably spent too much time talking about it. But again, we’ve got 65 to 80 million people we’ve got to get in front of. And that’s a big job, and we’re happy to do it.
george grombacher 21:07
Love it. If you enjoyed this as much as I did, share your appreciation and share today show the friend who also appreciate good ideas go to never stop.com and dig into this a little bit deeper. You’re like most people just not really aware of this big problem that that that we’re facing and something that God willing that we’re all going to face. You can find me on Twitter and LinkedIn as well. And I will link all of those in the notes of the show.
Unknown Speaker 21:35
Thanks. Good, Larry. Thanks, George for having me. Really appreciate it.
george grombacher 21:38
And until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best
Transcribed by https://otter.ai