george grombacher 0:00
Hey, what’s up? This is George G. And the time is right. welcome today’s guest strong and powerful Kelly Augsburger. Kelly, are you ready to do this?
Kelly Augspurger 0:08
Let’s go, George.
george grombacher 0:10
Let’s go. Kelly is a CLT. C C. S. H is a long term care insurance specialist she is the co founder of steadfast insurance has been named a top 10 Woman of Distinction and insurance working help people create a plan for extended care. Kelly, tell us a little about your personal lives more about your work and why you do what you do.
Kelly Augspurger 0:32
Yeah, George, thanks for having me here. Really excited to chat with you. What do people need to know about my work? Well, the majority of my time is spent helping clients prepare for the future, prepare for the possibility of extended care, also known as long term care. And so what does that look like? When I help clients? I help them really come up with a comprehensive plan of who’s going to provide care, where do they want to receive care? And how are they going to pay for that care. And as an insurance agent, a long term care insurance specialist, I help in that funding of the plan with long term care insurance. So I help them come up with a plan to fund really how they’re going to provide that care and who’s going to provide that care. Got it. Yeah. And a little bit about myself, my husband and I have an independent insurance agency, steadfast insurance in Westerville, Ohio, just outside of Columbus. And I work nationwide, helping clients all over the country, and oftentimes partnering with their financial planners and advisors, and really helping them get these plans in place. But it’s really near and dear to my heart, George, because I have a lot of family experience with extended care, all of my grandparents needed to care, either as they aged, or all of a sudden due to an illness. And so I saw firsthand, and was a part time caregiver to one of my grandmas for a couple of years. And I just saw really the devastation that can happen. Right. I think probably anybody that has experienced a long term care situation in their life, they probably know it’s not easy, you know, it can definitely be very difficult. But it’s more difficult when you don’t have a plan. And that was my family’s experience. It was very difficult. No one talked about it beforehand. It was really all scrambling it was crisis mode. And we really saw everything from self funding to Medicaid, VA benefits all of it. And none of it was really pretty George. And so really, when my husband and I started our agency, I really felt called that this is my area where I need to spend the bulk of my time, right, I want to help families, I want to help people to prepare for the future. So they’re not in crisis mode. And it’s a little bit easier.
george grombacher 2:46
I appreciate that. Yeah. So watching both sets of grandparents are all all the grandparents need care, not having a plan, not necessarily having a mechanism, like an insurance product of some kind to pay for it. It’s devastating. Financially, it’s devastating on relationships, it’s devastating on the caregivers, it’s all these things.
Kelly Augspurger 3:13
Oh, absolutely. Yeah. financially, physically, mentally, emotionally. I mean, I saw not only their estates and their retirement dwindle from the care if you know, because some of them actually did hire care, but then others that provided the care, maybe they started out providing the care. And then they went to the professionals, but it physically caused so much burden on that caregiver. I mean, we see caregiver burnout all the time, in my industry, we have over 50 million caregivers nationwide, 41 million caregivers, to people over the age of 50. And so you think about that number, those caregivers out there that are providing care day in and day out to care recipients, what is that doing to their physical, their mental, their emotional health and financial too, because most often, they’re probably giving up time from work or maybe quitting their job to provide care for their loved ones. And so the consequences are definitely great if you don’t have a plan in place. And so that’s why it’s really important, you know, the younger and healthier you are to get a plan in place, the better off you and your family and finances will be in the future.
george grombacher 4:18
Yeah. Consequences. Yeah. There’s this behavior gap, right, that says, I intellectually understand I’m supposed to be spending less money that I earn. I’m supposed to be saving money for my future. yet. I still don’t necessarily do that. And thank people who are listening. They’re like, Yeah, wow. I actually do know somebody who went through needing care or provided care. But that’s not going to happen to me. And or I’m going to do that later. How do you find what what is it that actually motivates people to take action and start thinking about a plan?
Kelly Augspurger 4:57
Yeah, I think personal experience is the number one reason For my clients, they’re very motivated because they personally experienced this in their family or maybe a close friend. And so they’ve seen an experience that that difficulty, those burdens, and they’re thinking, No way. I’m not doing this to my spouse, my partner, my kids, my grandkids, you know, whoever’s in their life that’s important to them. They don’t want to do that. They don’t want to be a burden. Again, physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, all of those things. And then second, I think longevity, clients of mine that maybe don’t have that experience, but they have longevity in their family, maybe their parents lived into their 80s and their 90s. And, you know, they’re seeing that their retirement is going down. And so they’re concerned about outliving their money. Well, gosh, you know, my financial planner says that I’m going to be okay, until age 90. But what if I need care? How does that change my plan? Well, you know, if you need, you know, couple years, three, four years of care, that’s, that’s definitely going to affect your retirement and affect your portfolio in a negative way. So longevity and personal experience, those are the two two big reasons.
george grombacher 6:07
Yeah, I think that those make a lot of sense. Yeah. How has how has shifting, I guess, demographics, family structure impacted. This strikes me that years ago, we would be living in the same time we grew up in our parents were probably nearby. And now that’s not the case anymore. There’s fewer kids?
Kelly Augspurger 6:30
Yeah, yeah. With people, you know, parents living probably in a different state than their adult kids. This is I think, becoming even more. I think they’re understanding the need to plan, especially after having a conversation with them. When I when I’m doing my fact finding. I’m talking to my clients. I’m asking them questions, personal questions, and financial questions, but personal questions about their kids and their family where everyone is in the country? You know, do they want to be involved in the care process? Most often, those kids are not nearby. And wouldn’t be, you know, they wouldn’t move back to wherever mom and dad are. And so logistically, and realistically, it’s not an option for the kids to be able to come home and take care of mom and dad, nor do they want to, nor do the parents want them to. So you know, it’s like, okay, well, if our kids aren’t going to provide care for us, who’s that going to be? Okay, are we going to pay professionals to do this? Are we going to hire somebody to do this? Maybe a friend? How are we going to pay for them to do that? You know, where do we start in this process? But yeah, I definitely think there has been a shift, you know, we don’t see as many family members living together anymore. You know, we used to see even grandparents all living in the same home. I mean, I There were times in my life, like I said, my grandparents needed care. We had my grandpa lived with us for several years after my grandma passed, and we had to watch over him and care for him. And so he got on his feet again, and got better and out. But, you know, that’s not really common anymore, is it? You know, people are kind of living their lives independently still communicating, of course, right. Thanks to technology. Bye. But yeah, we definitely are seeing a big a big shift there.
george grombacher 8:06
Some other shifts. When I started in the in the financial industry in 2000, or one, I can remember going out and meeting with people and then putting proposals together. And I worked with New York Life at the time and the company. Our premiums were like twice as expensive as as everybody else. And now fast forward today. 20 Some years later, there’s very few carriers that are even still offering long term care insurance products, just stand alone, like you buy long term care insurance policy. How is how is that changing things?
Kelly Augspurger 8:41
Yeah, so we do have fewer carriers in the market, then, you know, back in the early 2000s, but the carriers that are in the market are very committed to the market, George okay. They they are in it for the long haul, they are really giving high quality products and pricing their products now much more realistically and stable, which is why we see premiums much higher than they were years ago because we have more data and the carriers really know how to take into consideration you know, people hold on to their policies, they’re going on claim more, you know, we’ve got a lot more data so yes, fewer carriers, we’re really have three main like independent carriers in the traditional market. We also have a growing market in the linked benefit hybrid asset based market, really a few different names for it. But the idea is, carriers are coming up with products where you are combining traditional long term care insurance with an added benefit. Now that will be life insurance right in the form of a death benefit or cash value from an annuity. So we are seeing more carriers offer those types of products versus the traditional standalone pure, long term care insurance was George I will say we even have options like short term care insurance, which I think is is less known than even long term care insurance but we have a couple of companies that do offer like a year at home a year and a facility. And it’s more affordable, but the underwriting is much more lenient. Okay, easier to get policies. We even have home care plans where you can buy hours of service for home care specifically. So it’s not technically insurance. It’s really a service contracts. But there are really a lot of different products available today, George, it’s really a matter of, you know, what financially can they afford? What are they going to help qualify for? And what’s best for their family situation? What are their goals?
george grombacher 10:33
Yeah, I, I bring up the product thing, just because to kind of give evidence of how, how the industry has shifted in a relatively short amount of time. And as we live longer, we’re going to have probably a greater need for this when there’s probably less of an appetite from young people who are interested in taking care of aging parents, and like you mentioned, I don’t want my kids to necessarily take care of me when when I’m older. So this, this really goes to planning. So it’s not just buying a product that’s going to pay for it. And he talked about, we need to figure out where it is that I want to receive the care home some kind of facility, what city what state who is going to provide it, and then the mechanism of how we actually pay for it. But tell me a little bit more about that kind of planning process.
Kelly Augspurger 11:26
Yeah. So when I meet with clients, really, I have them fill out a health preschool form. That’s one of the first things I have them do. Kids on my website, easy to access, and I tell them, Listen, be brutally honest with me, you know, I need the good, the bad, the ugly, because I want to do what’s in your best interest in the best interest for myself and the carrier, right? We want to find the right fit for you. It’s just data, right? There’s no judgment here. It’s just data. So fill this information out. So I look at their health. And we set up a meeting and we talk and I ask questions, right? I ask questions about their family about their finances, what their preferences are, do they have family experience to get an idea of what recommendations to make? Right? And so based upon that conversation, and their health pre screen form, then we talk about, okay, let’s build the right plan for you. Right, let’s come up with a good solution for you. And then from there, I will start quoting, right, since we’re independent, I work with lots of different companies. So I go out to the marketplace, I find the right fit for them, I come back with a few solutions, I create a one page summary. And we compare the options side by side, I keep it really simple. And say listen, you know, here are a few good options for you. This is what I would recommend. Sometimes we make tweaks from that sometimes. Okay, well, actually, I’d like to see a different monthly benefit or a different benefit period. No problem. We’ll come back. And we’ll you know, we’ll look at some other things. Other times, it’s no that yeah, no, I don’t like this option. Let’s go with option A that that seems like that, that’s going to be a good fit. And from there, then it’s its application. And most most places now our E applications online, really easy to fill out, do an application, the clients will do a phone interview then, right? They’re going to much like a life insurance. If anyone’s ever gotten life insurance, you’re answering questions about your health, your lifestyle, those types of things. And from there, they’re older medical records, right? They want to see what’s in your health history, what’s in your medical history, they may or may not require a medical exam, it’s all you know, up to the underwriter. And if they think that’s appropriate, and they’ll make a decision, do we want to offer coverage, I will say I have a very high placement rate because I do very heavy pre screening upfront, to make sure I have as much information as I possibly can get to be able to make sure we’re gonna get coverage in place, right. But we do have we do have backups, like I talked about, you know, we’ve got short term care, we’ve got some home care options. And even if insurance isn’t even an option for you, at least having that conversation with your family. And that’s what I tell my clients listen, if you choose not to get an insurance policy, happy to plan, again, who’s going to provide care where you want to receive care? How are you going to pay for the care talking about these preferences with your family and loved ones, writing it down? I have a roadmap that I give my clients and advisors I work with. And it’s like a 40 Plus page document that helps them plan, right filling out those care preferences, filling out contact information for important people, giving them tips on what to do what to look for how to talk to your family about long term care, because that can be awkward. So you know, that’s really all a part of the planning process. And then you know, if, hopefully, there’s an approval and they’ve got now a policy in place, peace of mind for the family, and it’s a policy that’s going to fund pay for their long term care plan.
george grombacher 14:40
Nice. And I knew that that underwriting for me and for everybody else can be a frustrating thing for like, Oh, they’re asking for more and more stuff from the doctor, the insurance company, they are going to be insuring potentially a very, very, very costly event. Should you care.
Kelly Augspurger 14:59
That’s right. right, that’s right. This is putting in and I think it’s good to remember to the insurance company has one shot to offer you coverage one time, right? They’re not coming back to you in five years and reassessing your health. This is a one time shot for them to offer coverage. And so they’re doing their due diligence to see, okay, is this Do we want to take on this risk? Because you they could potentially be paying out hundreds of 1000s of dollars, right, maybe even over a million? I mean, depending on what the policy looks like, if it’s lifetime benefits. There’s a lot on the line. And so they are doing their job to make sure Okay, yeah, that we want to take this risk on. And so you know, there are some carriers that are more lenient than others. Some that are, they’re going to be a little stricter in their underwriting, traditional policies are going to be tend to be more strict in their underwriting and link to benefit hybrid policies are tend to be more liberal in their underwriting. So you know, again, that’s why I pre screen upfront, that’s why if you are considering any type of long term care insurance policy, you need to work with someone that does that upfront. And if they don’t run, because they’re not doing their job properly, and they’re setting the wrong expectation. So working with a long term care insurance specialist that, you know, this is what they do everyday, they know, you know, they know their stuff, that that’s really what you want to look for.
george grombacher 16:15
Yeah, I think it’s such an important thing, because there are so many different nuances. And, you know, working with a financial professional, I think there’s certainly there’s always going to be value there. And, and working with a financial professional that understands this, this this part of your financial world, because it is so specific. And there’s so many different small little nuances and important details that you do not want to do incorrectly, because the last thing that anybody wants is to need care, and then you’re not getting what you expected, or you thought that you had.
Kelly Augspurger 16:50
That’s right. And, and I’m really big on setting expectations, George so and I lead with education. So I consider myself an educator, a teacher, I’m explaining to my clients, listen, these are the concerns. This is the product, this is the solution. This is how it works. So they know what to expect, right? There’s a waiting period, this is what this means service day versus calendar day elimination period, what are the differences? What do you prefer, you know, going through these details, so you know what to expect come claim time. And so your family knows what to expect come claim time, because that’s really important. At the end of the day, it’s, it’s going to probably be your spouse, or your kids or a loved one that’s going to be doing this on your behalf because you probably won’t be capable of doing that on your own.
george grombacher 17:33
Yeah, that’s a pretty, it’s a weird and scary and abstract, but very real thing is, when you need to use this financial product that you purchased 2030 years ago, you may no longer be of sound mind or health to be able to be communicating. So that’s another reason to be looping in your family and your loved ones to say, Hey, James, and Jack, my kids, your dad’s got this policy, and here’s how everything’s gonna work. But you’re probably going to be in charge of this.
Kelly Augspurger 18:05
So that’s right and telling them, Hey, I have this and this is the location. This is the agent, you know, that’s why my roadmap so important, because it’s contact information, if it asks for location of documents, who’s your financial plan? Or how do I get a hold of them? Who’s your estate planner, you know, these other important people in your life? Your family needs to know how to contact these people. And if you haven’t told them, you don’t have it written down. If something happens, oh, my goodness, what are they gonna do? They’re gonna start, you know, going through filing cabinets and tearing the house apart looking for these important documents. So it’s important to let the people know in your life where these things are who the people you need to contact are
george grombacher 18:43
so many details, Kelly. Yeah,
Kelly Augspurger 18:47
yeah, there are there are, but it can be done, it can be done. That’s why it’s helpful to work with a professional that that knows the ropes.
george grombacher 18:55
Yeah, I can’t stress that enough. I told Kelly before we started talking that I have completed the certification years and years ago, to be certified long term care, but I don’t do it. So I would never, at this point in my career counsel somebody through this process, it’s just not something that I would do. Even though I have more expertise than 99% of the population, it’s important that you do work with people who constantly do it. And that’s all that thinking about. So with that, Kelly, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? And how can they engage? Yeah,
Kelly Augspurger 19:28
thanks, George. Well, you can find me at a website steadfast agents with an s.com or on LinkedIn, I’m on LinkedIn quite a bit if you if that’s a platform that you enjoy. Kelly Augspurger with a P, and I’m sure George will have the spelling of my name in the show notes somewhere. But yeah, happy to connect with you there. I also have a podcast myself. It’s called steadfast care planning. You can find me on any of the podcast platforms and I talk to people. I interview people, much like George does, but really helping people plan For the future plan for extended care, comprehensively,
george grombacher 20:03
excellent. Well, if you enjoyed this as much as I did, she’ll kill your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend that also appreciates good ideas this has been on your mind. Or it’s really on your mind or the back of your mind. Go to steadfast agents.com as T ad fast agents.com And check out the great resources that Kelly has get in touch find her on LinkedIn and then also check out the steadfast care planning podcast wherever you enjoy your podcasts. Thanks,
Kelly Augspurger 20:31
Nick. Thanks starts take care.
george grombacher 20:33
And until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best
Transcribed by https://otter.ai