Wealth Podcast Post

Planning for Caregiving with Carroll Golden

George Grombacher June 16, 2023

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Planning for Caregiving with Carroll Golden

LifeBlood: We talked about the necessity of planning for the caregiving of aging loved ones, how caregiving has a financial as well as emotional and physical cost, who should be involved in this conversation, and how to have it, with Carroll Golden, Executive Director of the Specialty Centers for NAIFA, and author.     

Listen to learn a three-step process for having this important conversation!

You can learn more about Carroll at TheCaringConversation.com and LinkedIn.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Carroll Golden

Carroll Golden

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:02
Well, I’m lead for this is George G. And the time is right. welcome today’s guest strong and powerful Carol golden. Carol, are you ready to do this?

Carroll Golden 0:09
I am. And thank you so much for inviting me.

george grombacher 0:12
All right, excited to have you on let’s go. Carol is the executive director of the specialty centers, the National Association of insurance and financial advisors. She is a author of several times over her newest book is how to not tear your family apart a practical guide to caregiving and financial stability. Carol excited to have you on tell us a little about your personal life more about your work and why you do what you do.

Carroll Golden 0:39
Well, actually, I started out as a translator, French to English, but there was a lot of international travel involved. So at some point, I decided I wanted to be a mom. And that meant actually staying put. So I could date someone more than once every six months. So I decided to settle in I was in New York City, actually in Manhattan. And I did have two children. And I started to work with a law firm in translating, they were doing estate planning that led me to say, Okay, so we’re doing these plans, and lo and behold, one of them blew up, because the wife who was only 53 needed extended care. Well, now what was that going to do? We had arranged a lot of investments in a ladder. But as things progressed, we had to change the plan. And when you change the plan due to X, tended expenses, there’s tax issues, there’s legacy complications. So I started to look into what did I miss here? Well, over the years, I started to, to study a lot of contracts, etc. Long story short, the more I read, the more disillusioned I became. So I started to work more and more in the area of extended and long term care. And then I married, remarried. And now I had six children, and a wonderful mother in law, but she was older. So I said to my husband, we should plan something. Well, long story short, he and his brother to this day, do not speak. And the impact on the family led to the title of the books, how not to tear your family apart. And the version that I did for the consumer, how not to pull your family apart, which is just the story of a successful family that realizes that longevity is on us. What are we going to do? That is not going to tear apart? The physical, psychological and financial stability of a plan of a good financial plan.

george grombacher 3:22
I appreciate you sharing that. Did Did your husband and his brother not speak before? Or was it because

Speaker 2 3:28
it was because the the, my husband and I were in a different financial situation. And his brother didn’t have that kind of income. And he was looking to the inheritance as his my husband looked at this trust fund that we had for his mother. As for her. So everything that we did, in terms of situating her in an assisted living facility, etc. He talked about the expense, where as my husband felt it was her Fund, and the money should be used for her. She didn’t pass until she was almost 98. So a lot because she didn’t have any insurance. It came out to be 1.25 that needed to be spent because when you’re in a facility for 10 years, and you gradually need more assistance, the cost goes up but it was her fund

george grombacher 4:42
at the end of the day, but that was not the way that that your your brother in law saw it and I wrote down perspective and I’m so I’m so glad it’s such an interesting thing. There’s this money, but that’s supposed to be mine when when when my mom passes away As my inheritance, so therefore any money that we’re spending is these are expenses that are eating away at my eventual nest egg versus your and your husband’s perspective, which was, hey, this is mom’s money, and we’re going to use it and allocate it to, however she’s going to be most comfortable.

Speaker 2 5:19
Exactly. And that’s not uncommon to tell you the truth. When you start looking at planning for longevity, you run into all kinds of blocks, the older people, for example, in the book, Grandpa says, Hey, I have been handling this for grandma and I our whole lives. Now, all of a sudden, you want to insert yourself. So there’s, there’s approaches that I developed by working with these families over the years, what works, what doesn’t work. So I developed working with retirement, people like yourself, three steps, and it doesn’t matter which step they use. But you need to get the not only the conversation started, you need to get to continue it. And that’s the hard part. Even if you can say, Look, Mom, Dad, we love you. We want to know what the plan is. They’re going to say, a well, that that seems like it’s mind business. Or worse when you have a mother in law like I did. And she does want the help. But you see your two sons battling each other. She used to tell me and it’s in the book that takes all the oxygen out of the room. She said, I’ll go to my grave faster. If we can’t get the boys to work together. I realized we had started too late. Have to start early. Your advisor, your financial advisor, can act as a facilitator. Or if needed, he can be a mediator. But it’s really the financial advisor that the first book was written for the financial advisor because there’s 93 footnotes in there. If I’m talking about something, how do I research it in case it’s not my specialty? In the second book, there are no footnotes. This is just so you can understand how to work well with your advisor, because you need to get this done one way or another. Or, frankly, it probably will. Not only you run the risk of having your family torn apart, but the effects of the caregiver on the caregiver, I coined a phrase called the caregiving shadow system 61% of people who work are also caregivers. And that affects their productivity, it affects their career. Now, if they’re doing their 401 K, and they have to start pulling off the average is 7400 and change per year to help parents, that’s that’s going to change their ability to work with their advisor as they would like to. So it’s just got so many implications, the caregivers, lifespan is usually shortened the financial impact because we understand compounding, so if they have to stop investing, or pull out of an investment, their retirement is seriously impacted. Along the way.

george grombacher 9:08
There’s no doubt about that. So 60 something percent of working adults are also caregivers in some capacity. That’s That’s surprising. But once you think about it, that certainly doesn’t make sense. And on average of those people, they’re funding, they’re allocating $7,000 of their monies, some form or fashion towards that caregiving.

Speaker 2 9:35
Right. So if that’s the average, you can imagine in some cases, it’s very little, but in you know, other cases where no planning has been done, taboo topic, mom and dad don’t want to talk about this. Or frankly, what if you have a couple of sets of in laws, you know, for people or The complexity nowadays, of marriages and the types of marriage, I think it’s important, we understand that the definition of families now is very personal, and very varied. So this may be a brother or a sister that, you know, hasn’t been too lucky with their health. The Boomers aren’t the healthiest cohort we have ever had. So it could be that, or the caregiver could be caught as the sandwich generation. They have children they’re trying to put through college, they’ve started college funding. And then what did they say to their parents? I’m not, I’m not going to help take care of you. So it’s, it’s a very, very physical, psychological and financial problem, that if we face the challenge, early, when it’s not an emergency, it just seems to help in in so many ways.

george grombacher 11:10
Like most problems,

Unknown Speaker 11:11
isn’t that the truth?

george grombacher 11:14
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And certainly, if we’re not accustomed to having these kinds of conversations, or doing this kind of planning, they’re just going to get bigger and bigger and bigger. And we procrastinate more and more and more, and that exasperates the problem and yeah,

Unknown Speaker 11:31
so it does, it does

george grombacher 11:34
that carrying conversation, I think that that’s an incredible term. Thank you. And we build these things up on our head. And this is a difficult conversation. There’s no two ways about that. But if I just know I have to have it, it’s going to get bigger and bigger and bigger. I’m going to avoid it more and more and more. But it doesn’t have to be super complicated to to say, Hey, Mom, Hey, Dad, Hey, Grandma, Hey, grandpa, can we have a conversation? What does that what does that look like?

Speaker 2 12:05
Well, in a lot of cases, I think like in the book, Grandpa immediately gets defensive. So the granddaughter says to him, but grandpa, you’ve always been in control, you just said that you were always the one who took care. Well, if you don’t tell us what it is that you want to happen, well, then Mommy’s gonna have to make decisions for you. And that doesn’t sound like it’s something you want. So we’re going to put together the care guide. That of course is step one. And in the care guide, Grandpa, I’m gonna do it. Mom’s gonna do it. And you’re going to do it’s going to be a family thing. We’re not singling you out? No, that’s, that’s what I learned. And what I put in the book, don’t single out someone like, Oh, God, I don’t know what I’m going to do with you get sick, it’s going to interfere with my savings in my career. That’s not a way to approach it. Even if you feel that way. You know, not everybody has a great relationship with people. But longevity is here. So you have to think about, I’ve made this financial plan. Now, am I going to get my family involved? Well, you know, you do it inclusively. Are the wise exclusively. We all know, well, my husband’s brother still doesn’t speak to us, we lost contact with our cousins, family functions are they’re not as much fun because not everybody is there. So in step one, you include that in the book, there’s a list and it’s exhaustive. What are your passwords? What legal documentation do you have? That is what the care guide is about. It’s not just Grandpa, I want to know all your health history, although I’d like to know your specialists because if something happens, and we go to an emergency room, it’ll delay things for them to discover everything. It’s so for the younger ones. They did it electronically. There’s a lot of safe places to electronically store all of these things. Grandpa’s not having it. He didn’t grow up with it. He’s not doing it. So he puts it in an envelope and puts it somewhere sealed. Now he doesn’t feel people are invading his. So you have to look at ways to to be logical about it. And in step two, the care squad again This is a way to avoid what my mother in law called, all the air went out of the room. You say to people, look, there’s our brother doesn’t live anywhere near us. But he can be included, because most of the bills come in electronically. So he can handle that he doesn’t have to feel like we’ve excluded him, or he doesn’t have a role to play. When you assign roles to family members. It avoids them getting hysterical, they may get hysterical anyway. But then you can say, you’re supposed to start the tree, cool chain, you’re supposed to be looking at establishing the billing thing. It works for everybody much better. And then of course, the last step, or any step is the care planning team. And that’s the advisor, you want to work with them and help. In the book, we assigned each family member a role to investigate, because that allows financial advisors to be working with more than one generation. Because when something happens, they call you. And if you have a relationship with the daughter, or the best friend or whomever, it helps the financial advisor do a better, not a better job, but an easier role for everybody who is ultimately going to depend on the advisor to help them through so much of this.

george grombacher 16:50
That’s a really, really good stuff and extremely practical and, and, and thoughtful. So thank you, I wrote down, whether it’s true or not, when when there’s an emergency. You You’re I remember learning that you need to point to somebody and tell them you call 911. Because otherwise, you’re just sort of all assuming that somebody’s going to be doing something. And while this isn’t an immediate emergency, it is a very slow moving emergency.

Speaker 2 17:22
Well, sometimes it’s not so slow moving. Unfortunately, the if an elderly person falls, their chances of winding up in some sort of need position, whether a facility or someone coming in. But we all know from COVID, that there’s very few people coming in. Another statistic I’ll share with you is the cost for having a home health care aide, or a simple homemaker. In one year, it went up to over 10%. So the average when you look at the cost of care websites, the average is 27. Plus change dollars per hour. Well, you can’t find them for four hours anymore. They have charges for minimum six hours, they also you’re going to have to pay for their transportation, their meals. So you know if there is an emergency, probably the financial planners going to get a call because the first week or so? Well, okay, but then it starts to really add up. And if they don’t have a plan? Well, it’s much more difficult to do a plan when everybody is tense and upset.

george grombacher 19:07
That is the absolute truth. So I think that, again, thank you for this important book. And and I love a framework. So the three steps. I think that that’s extremely helpful and using stories to or examples to illustrate, to sort of give character to but it’s very, very abstract getting older and needing care, and it’s scary. And it’s all those things. So I think that this is really helpful. So thank you. And thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you and where can they get their copy of how not to pull your family apart and how not to tear your family apart Practical Guide to caregiving and financial stability.

Carroll Golden 19:52
I have a website WWW dot the caring conversation action.com Excellent. That’s it.

george grombacher 20:04
Easy peasy. If you enjoyed this as much as I did show Carol your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas, go to the caring conversation.com. And if you are a financial professional, pick up the guide or the book that is designed to help you and helping your clients. And if you are not a financial professional like most of us, pick up your copy and put it to work in your family and make sure that you’re going to avoid all of the major problems that Carol has been sharing with us today. Thanks, Carol.

Unknown Speaker 20:42
Thank you so much.

george grombacher 20:43
And until next time, remember, do your part doing your best

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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