Exploring Care Opportunities in Retirement

Our 2 Cents – Episode #152

Exploring Care Opportunities in Retirement

On this new episode of the Our 2 Cents podcast, Steve kicks things off by recapping his recent live interview about financial preparedness on WGN news. Then, he and Gabriel take a comprehensive look into Continuing Care Retirement Communities and how they are emerging as a noteworthy option for many retirees.

  1. Recap of Steve on the News:
    • We hear about having money for a rainy day — how much is a good amount to have saved up?
    • Should you prioritize saving or paying off debts?
    • What documents should you keep protected?
    • Why is life insurance important to have?
  2. Exploring Care Opportunities in Retirement:
    • Why would someone want to consider a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)?
    • What are the financial benefits and considerations with these types of facilities?
    • What kinds of amenities are offered at CCRCs?
    • How should the quality of care be evaluated?

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Podcast Transcript

Announcer: You are listening to Our 2 Cents, with the team from SGL Financial. Building wealth for life. Steve Lewit is the president of SGL Financial, and Gabriel Lewit is the CEO. They’re here to discuss all the latest in financial news, trends, strategies and more.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, hello. Welcome back to, Our 2 Cents. You’ve got Gabriel and Steve. Steve, say hello.

Steve Lewit: Hello, hello.

Gabriel Lewit: And we hope you are doing great today.

Steve Lewit: Well, the government is running for another week or two, so what could be bad?

Gabriel Lewit: Well, it hasn’t been shut down yet.

Steve Lewit: Right.

Gabriel Lewit: Although there’s more drama out there.

Steve Lewit: More drama ahead. Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: With the Speaker of the House getting kicked out.

Steve Lewit: Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: Basically, voted out. Has that ever happened before?

Steve Lewit: Never happened before.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, that never happened before, right?

Steve Lewit: And nobody knows what that really means yet.

Gabriel Lewit: So, a little bit of drama unfolding over there in Washington, as there usually is. So stay tuned on what kind of impacts, if any, that’ll have on us ordinary Americans out here.

Steve Lewit: Also working folk.

Gabriel Lewit: Working, exactly.

Steve Lewit: Working or retired folk.

Gabriel Lewit: Or retired folk, yes.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. Just ordinary people trying to get by.

Gabriel Lewit: Yes. Yeah, exactly.

Steve Lewit: We really are. We work hard. Most of our clients work hard, or they worked hard, they play hard. And we’re just trying to live a good life, and then we have the government that doesn’t understand anything about us.

Gabriel Lewit: Hey, well let’s not go there.

Steve Lewit: I’m going to get started here on a roll.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, so most importantly though, how are you?

Steve Lewit: I’m good. I am really good, as a matter of fact.

Gabriel Lewit: That’s excellent.

Steve Lewit: And how are you?

Gabriel Lewit: I’m good.

Steve Lewit: Really good, or just good?

Gabriel Lewit: I’m just good, good.

Steve Lewit: Just good, good?

Gabriel Lewit: Just regular good.

Steve Lewit: Good, good is good?

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, not very good. Not un-good. Just good.

Steve Lewit: Do you know sometimes when you ask people that question, they say, “How are you?” And they say, “Good, good.” And I always wonder why they repeat it.

Gabriel Lewit: Good, good? Because I think just saying-

Steve Lewit: Yeah. Good, good.

Gabriel Lewit: … good seems too brief. Like, “Good.”

Steve Lewit: “I should say more.”

Gabriel Lewit: Like, “I need to say more.”

Steve Lewit: Good, good.

Gabriel Lewit: I think they could just say, “I’m good.”

Steve Lewit: Or right. Right, right.

Gabriel Lewit: Right, right. Good, good.

Steve Lewit: Good, good.

Gabriel Lewit: Sure, sure.

Steve Lewit: Sure, sure.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay, let’s go. Let’s go.

Steve Lewit: Let’s go.

Gabriel Lewit: All right, well let’s go ahead and dive into our-

Steve Lewit: Well, let’s go. Let’s go.

Gabriel Lewit: … show here. We hope you are doing great, great.

Steve Lewit: In the second summer.

Gabriel Lewit: What’s that?

Steve Lewit: Our second summer.

Gabriel Lewit: It’s been nice and warm.

Steve Lewit: Yep.

Gabriel Lewit: Hopefully you’re taking advantage of that. Chicago Bears are of course still [inaudible 00:02:34] on the year.

Steve Lewit: Nice and warm.

Gabriel Lewit: And I’m a Bears fan, so I can make fun of my team.

Steve Lewit: Well wait, I’m a New York Giants fan and I can make more fun of my team.

Gabriel Lewit: I still think most of the power rankings have us worse than-

Steve Lewit: They do.

Gabriel Lewit: … the Giants.

Steve Lewit: They do.

Gabriel Lewit: I think you’ve won one game.

Steve Lewit: One game.

Gabriel Lewit: Yes, we’ve won zero.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. Right.

Gabriel Lewit: So, we win. Or win this argument, but we lose.

Steve Lewit: Yes. Go Bears.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. Well, we’re recording this on a Wednesday, they play Thursday night. And I hate to say this, but I kind of hope they lose so that the coach gets fired because I’m not a big fan of him. But we’ll see what happens. We’ll see what happens.

Steve Lewit: Yeah, kick the field goal.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay, so we’re going to kick off today here, speaking of kicking things off, with Mr. Lewis, who was recently on WGN, was it?

Steve Lewit: Yeah, they keep calling me back.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, they called you back to talk about planning for the unexpected. And since September, which we just wrapped up here, was National Preparedness Month. They had you on to talk about how to be financially prepared. And so, I thought it’d be fun, in case people didn’t watch the clip, or either way just to expand upon things, to have you lead us through this topic here of financial preparation, preparedness and see what kind of insights we could glean from this on our show here.

Steve Lewit: Yeah, so just a little backstep here is that Preparedness Month really came from, which I didn’t know, it came from preparing for all the hurricanes. Because people weren’t prepared, so they made the month and say, “Okay, you need to prepare.”, and it became National Preparedness Month and then it expanded into, “Well, why don’t we be prepared like the Boy Scouts?” Things happen-

Gabriel Lewit: Always be prepared. Right?

Steve Lewit: … Always be prepared. So, WGN called me and said, “Hey, how do we financially prepare for what we don’t know?”

Gabriel Lewit: Yes. Which is of course a foundational component of financial planning.

Steve Lewit: Exactly. Exactly. So why don’t you be the interviewer? I’ll be me.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, Steve, welcome to WGN News. Great to have you on the show.

Steve Lewit: It’s really good to be here.

Gabriel Lewit: Also, Steve, we hear about having money for a rainy day. How much is a good amount to have saved up? This is my TV impression.

Steve Lewit: I think we need Gabriel back.

Gabriel Lewit: All right. I know one of the questions that was discussed was having money for a rainy day. And how much is a good amount to have saved up for your rainy day fund?

Steve Lewit: And that’s actually a hard question to answer because there is no real formula. Typically folks in our industry, as you know, Gabriel recommends six months of income. But it really depends on your wealth. For some people, six months of income might be $200,000 of cash hanging around. Some people are comfortable having a lot of cash in the bank. You and I have clients that have too much cash, we think. And we say, “Why do you have so much cash?” “I don’t know. I just think I like having it there so I can see it.”

Gabriel Lewit: Well, not so much of a bad thing at the moment.

Steve Lewit: At the moment it’s not.

Gabriel Lewit: But two years ago, it was.

Steve Lewit: And for the 10 years prior it was not great. So, that’s a hard question to answer. But you should have, let’s say, use the six month income as the parameter, you should have at least six months of income.

Gabriel Lewit: Now, let’s say couple brings in together $10,000 a month. So just to do some quick math here, that would be saying that they should have $60,000 saved up in their emergency fund?

Steve Lewit: That is right, that is correct. Because look, stuff happens, there’s always something coming up. Couple, one of the working parties gets fired or downsized, and now it takes six months to find a job. Where does that income come from? Well, it comes from the emergency fund. Now, some people, we have clients at all different levels of economic wealth and some people can’t accumulate that much money. If you’re in the middle of, you know this, you got little kids and then there’s college coming and then there’s upgrading the house, and then there are some trips we want to take. It’s really hard to save money, no less have six month of income cash. So, it is something you have to really plan for, I think.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, I think it’s a very good goal. What would you say, obviously, you have an opinion on this, but if somebody has credit card debt that they’re trying to pay down, but they’re also trying to build up their savings reserves, what does Steve Lewit say should come first? I’m pretending to be the TV guy now.

Steve Lewit: Yeah, good job.

Gabriel Lewit: Fell back into my interviewing role.

Steve Lewit: You’d actually make a great TV host.

Gabriel Lewit: I don’t know about that. I’m better off on the podcast, I think

Steve Lewit: When you retire, I have a job for you.

Gabriel Lewit: Oh yeah?

Steve Lewit: Hey, look, if you got credit card debt, get rid of the credit card debt. That’s 22%.

Gabriel Lewit: Even higher now, I think.

Steve Lewit: It’s going up, right?

Gabriel Lewit: Mm-hmm.

Steve Lewit: So no, you got to get rid of the credit card debt. What I like to do is, I charge everything, but I pay it off at the end of the month. And by charging everything, you get a really good track of what you’re spending. I don’t know about you Gabriel, but I charge everything on our, we have American Express, which is what I use. And I’ll review my statement at the end of the month and said, “Really, I bought that?” Or, “Really, I have a recurring payment on that?” So, all of that, pay down your debt, understand what you’re spending your money on. It’s not hard to do, you just have to want to spend a half hour or 20 minutes doing it. And little by little you start putting money aside. Now, here’s the deal, if you put money aside into savings, you don’t touch it. You make up your mind, “Okay, I saved $500 this month. I’m not touching that money.” It’s untouchable money. You got to leave it there, otherwise you’re going to spend it.

Gabriel Lewit: For the emergencies.

Steve Lewit: For the emergencies, yeah.

Gabriel Lewit: Now what else did they talk to you about? I know they asked you more questions.

Steve Lewit: Yeah, they asked me about important documents, where to store those. Where do you store your… Do you have your deeded? So, if there’s an emergency or somebody passes, those documents, your deeded, your driver’s license, your Medicare cards, your passport, your insurance, your annuities, where is all that stuff? Because if your heirs don’t know where that is, they’re going to have a hard time settling your estate.

Gabriel Lewit: If it can’t be found, does it really exist?

Steve Lewit: Yeah. And there’s a lot of stuff that should go into, I like to have, I have at home a waterproof box, metal steel box, and I just throw everything in there. It’s a mess, but I just throw it in. And it’s fireproof.

Gabriel Lewit: Does it have a password?

Steve Lewit: It’s fireproof. Oh, that was another question they asked is, “What about passwords?”

Gabriel Lewit: I was going to say, what if all your stuff is in a safe with a password and nobody knows the password to it?

Steve Lewit: So, what I haven’t given you yet, which is I have a book that I hide that has all my passwords. If I passed away, you couldn’t get on my phone because you don’t know the physical diagram that I use on the connect the dots things.

Gabriel Lewit: You’re still using the connect the dots, you’re supposed to be using facial recognition.

Steve Lewit: Well, I also have thumbprint.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, if something happened to you, I could pick up your thumb and stick it on the phone.

Steve Lewit: If I’m still warm enough.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, wouldn’t the print work either way?

Steve Lewit: Well yeah, it might.

Gabriel Lewit: I’ve watched enough spy movies to know, I think that works either way.

Steve Lewit: So, you have to be around when I… So I have to pass away in your presence.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, preferably you can’t sink in the ocean or something.

Steve Lewit: Right. And then the first thing you do is, “Give his thumb.”

Gabriel Lewit: Give me his thumb. Well, you got to plan ahead.

Steve Lewit: That’s already sorted. Yeah. Preparedness.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, be prepared.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. So all those passwords got to go somewhere and they might be on your computer, but how do you get into your computer? So help out your husband or wife or your heirs and just note it down someplace, put it in a safety deposit box. Let somebody know where it is so they can [inaudible 00:11:19]

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, generally something fireproof, something waterproof, something locked for extra safety. But if that’s the case, you also have to make sure somebody knows how to get into that as well. So those are some pretty good ideas. How about… What else did they talk about being prepared? I know you and I would talk about being prepared for retirement. That’s much longer of a horizon for most as far as being prepared and having time to save. But I just wanted to touch on that, because I just had a meeting with a client of ours a couple of weeks ago. And quite frankly, she knows it, she’s not as prepared as she needs to be for retirement. And it’s putting a lot of stress on her because she’s getting to that age where she wants to retire and she’s behind the curve, and quite a bit so.

And obviously, the best that we can do as planners is help you see that, help you understand where you’re at, where you need to go, how much you need to save, the choices you have to make. But at the end of the day, it comes down to you, the individual or you the couple, taking action and putting that money away or making those smaller sacrifices when you’re younger to save more. But you don’t want to get into that point where you’re… Did you just… Hold on a second folks. Did you just… I think you burped on the show here.

Steve Lewit: No, I didn’t.

Gabriel Lewit: Yes, you did. I heard it.

Steve Lewit: No, I turned my head away. Folks, I had a moment where I had to… I’ll be honest with you.

Gabriel Lewit: I got distracted. I was mid-sentence.

Steve Lewit: This is ridiculous. This is a professional podcast, and I had a moment, I’m embarrassed to say this, that I had a burp. And I turned away from, I turned far away from the microphone and my son who has Superman hearing-

Gabriel Lewit: I do have good hearing, actually.

Steve Lewit: … could not ignore this opportunity to-

Gabriel Lewit: Sorry, it just-

Steve Lewit: … embarrass me.

Gabriel Lewit: … Well, it’s a small thing.

Steve Lewit: It’s a small thing. Yeah.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, so my point is, is it’s really important to be prepared, but not so much even just for those short-term things, but those longer-term things that you have down the road, right? You don’t want to be caught unawares and unprepared later on in the future.

Steve Lewit: I was disappointed that they didn’t ask me about being prepared for a volatile stock market. What do you do would? Be prepared for income, like you said, in retirement. Be prepared, we’re going to talk about it in a minute, for getting old and needing services or help or support in case of illness or just getting old. There’s so much going into being prepared that, I think Gabriel, that’s why we enjoy doing what we’re doing. Because I feel our clients are at least financially prepared.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. And the last one on the list here was also related to September because it was National Life Insurance Month?

Steve Lewit: Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: Or Life insurance Awareness Month.

Steve Lewit: Awareness Month, right.

Gabriel Lewit: Life insurance is a form of being prepared for, of course, the undesirable scenario where you pass away. But tell us a little bit about life insurance for people out there. What would you say about it, if you were on TV, which you were?

Steve Lewit: I don’t know exactly what I would say. It’s different when you’re live. I find it really hard and challenging, because you can’t hum and haw and say, “Well, let me think about that.” Or you can’t say, “Well, that’s a good question.” You just got to have an answer. But look, life insurance has two purposes. First of all, it has a death benefit, which is why most people buy it. You buy life insurance, husband dies, wife dies, income is missing, the remaining spouse has to hire helper, they got three kids. That’s what life insurance is for. For retirees, life insurance has a whole different use, and that has to do with taxes, either saving on or paying estate taxes, if your estate is big enough, the life insurance can pay for that. In other words, all your money goes to the kids instead of to the government. Or to develop tax-free income in the future. So, life insurance is very complex, but it’s not just for death benefit.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah.

Steve Lewit: How did I do?

Gabriel Lewit: That was an excellent interview.

Steve Lewit: Was it?

Gabriel Lewit: Thank you, Mr. Lewit. We really appreciate your time on the show here today.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. Will you invite me again?

Gabriel Lewit: Of course, we’ll have you back every week for a new segment.

Steve Lewit: Okay. Will you pay me?

Gabriel Lewit: Well, we are not done yet.

Steve Lewit: They don’t pay very well, by the way.

Gabriel Lewit: My fake radio, sorry, my fake TV persona is done interviewing Steve on this topic, but we are not done on our show here. And of course, if you have questions on being financially prepared or ready, you can call us, (847) 499-3330. Apparently, also on the last show I gave my personal number, again, as I often inadvertently do. So, you want to call the main line if you want to reach either one of us, (847) 499-3330, or go to sglfinancial.com. Now, our second part of our show here today is also in line with this theme of being financially prepared. And the basic topic here is something that a lot of people aren’t familiar with. It’s called a continuing care retirement community.

Steve Lewit: Or familiar, but not really familiar.

Gabriel Lewit: Right.

Steve Lewit: Yeah.

Gabriel Lewit: And so, producer Katie, if you will, can you pull up the, I just wanted to read the formal definition for you folks from Google because it does a good job summarizing this. But it says, “A continuing care retirement community also is known as a life plan community, is a type of retirement community in the US where a continuum of aging care needs from independent living, through assisted living, through skilled nursing care can all be met within the same community.” So that was just a better way of phrasing it than I probably could have from just what the definition is. But I have in fact helped a number of clients, I know you have too, Steve, to explore this opportunity for care in their plans and to see if it’s something that makes sense for them.

Steve Lewit: Yeah, absolutely. They’re very popular for part of the population. Some people will not even entertain them, but other people say, “Hey look, reality is I get older, and as I get older I may have these needs. And why go to one place and then have to transfer somewhere else and then have to transfer somewhere else? Why can’t I find the place that can take me from my current age, let’s say I’m 50 or 55, have a great time with folks there that are in the same position as I am. But if I get sick or if I need support or I need overnight help, they can take care of that too. If I need nursing care, they can take care of that. And if I need palliative care or…” What is it when you’re passing away?

Gabriel Lewit: Hospice?

Steve Lewit: Hospice, thank you. “… I’ve got that too, and it’s all in one place.”

Gabriel Lewit: Well, so the first thing that I’ve come to know just from experience working with people and talking through this is, it’s sort of like you either like this idea or you don’t.

Steve Lewit: Yeah, it’s kind of black and white.

Gabriel Lewit: Some people are like, “Oh, that sounds great.” And then others are like, “Ugh…”

Steve Lewit: “Not in a million years.”

Gabriel Lewit: “… Not in a million years would I go there.” And so, they’re very polarizing from that perspective. And maybe today we’ll help shed some light if you’ve not heard about them, if you’re not open to just staying… Sorry, if you’re close-minded to this idea, maybe it’ll open up some of the doors for you based on understanding a little bit more of how they work.

Okay. So why would somebody want to explore a continuing care retirement community? As we talked about, they provide different stages of care and you don’t have to go bouncing around to different places, it’s all done under one place. The other thing is, is they can be in some cases a good financial decision. We’ll talk a little bit more about the financial aspect here, dad. But sometimes they can be cheaper than… Because everything gets bundled in from a cost perspective, so they can be cheaper than maintaining your own home, especially if you have a bigger home. I will say, I’ve often found these to be of interest for someone that loses a spouse-

Steve Lewit: Yes, definitely.

Gabriel Lewit: … and is now on their own and sitting in a big old house by themselves saying, “I wish I had other people to talk to. I wish I had somewhere to be. I don’t want to have to take care of all this maintenance.” So it can be helpful from that perspective. And I think the third is also to that end, the social aspect. It’s a community, is one of the key phrases of the term, right? Continuing care retirement community. Because you end up spending time with other people in your age bracket, people that are going through retirement, maybe also on their own, looking for friends, there’s social activities, there’s a sense of community.

Steve Lewit: There’s everything. These communities are amazing. You can go there, and whatever you want to do, you want to work out, you want to swim, you want to play golf, you want to play shuffleboard, you want to play Canasta, you want to play Mahjong. Whatever you want to do. It’s like, “Yeah, we got that.”

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. So let’s dive into a few of the components here. Let’s talk about the first one, which is the financial side. Let’s get right to… What’s the phrase? Brass tacks?

Steve Lewit: Get right to the brass tacks? No?

Gabriel Lewit: No, there’s a phrase.

Steve Lewit: Oh, get right to the heart of the matter.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, that’s a phrase, but I’m thinking there was a brass something phrase.

Steve Lewit: Brass-

Gabriel Lewit: I don’t use it very often, it just popped into my head.

Steve Lewit: … We led to the brass. I had a different question. Did you ever play Mahjong?

Gabriel Lewit: I have not played Mahjong.

Steve Lewit: I did as a kid because my mother played Mahjong all the time. And it’s a really interesting game. This has totally nothing to do… And you’re still focused on trying to find a-

Gabriel Lewit: I was, but that’s what is Mahjong?

Steve Lewit: … Mahjong, it’s the little tiles that have Chinese characters on them and you play against three other people. It’s fun. It’s fun.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, cool.

Steve Lewit: Did you find the brass then?

Gabriel Lewit: No, I’m skipping past that. So anyways, we’ll get to the heart of the matter.

Steve Lewit: Press button.

Gabriel Lewit: It wasn’t that though. Okay, finances. What happens when you go into a continuing care retirement community? You have to pay to get in.

Steve Lewit: You got to pay.

Gabriel Lewit: And I’m not sure if everyone is exactly the same, but a couple of the ones that I’ve researched most recently for a client of mine had different entrance fees. And first and foremost, it was much like shopping for a condo or an apartment. There’s single bedroom units, there’s single plus dens, there’s two bedrooms. There’s even fully standalone houses in these areas. And the prices could range anywhere from $150,000 on the low side up to-

Steve Lewit: What do you want to pay?

Gabriel Lewit: … Yeah, what do you want to pay?

Steve Lewit: What do you want to pay? They go as high as you want.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. And it’s quite interesting. It just depends on what you can afford and also what you’re looking for. And then, when you get down to it, into more levels of detail, there’s also options called refundable and non-refundable. Meaning if you want, when you do eventually pass away, if you want your deposit, if you will, to go back to say a beneficiary, you pay even more. You pay a higher amount, but it’s a refundable amount. As opposed to if, let’s say you’re tight on money and you want to get in, you might have to pay for either a non-refundable or 50% refundable so that you can have a lower entrance fee to get into the retirement care community or continuing care community. Also, there’s generally, some of these have wait lists, some of the more popular ones.

Steve Lewit: Yeah, they do. And some of them are long.

Gabriel Lewit: And not that it’s kind of morbid when you think you’re waiting for someone to pass away for their house to be open.

Steve Lewit: Well, it’s morbid if you’re hurrying them up.

Gabriel Lewit: But that’s what happens.

Steve Lewit: It’s like if you say, “Hurry up, I wish somebody would…”

Gabriel Lewit: That’s what happens. And so you sometimes have to put a deposit down if you find a community you like, you have to get on the waiting list. That oftentimes locks in your prices and your rates because they go up over time. So that’s another component of the financial end, is an upfront deposit. And the third piece is generally a monthly expenditure budget that you’ve got to pay. And the one that I looked at most recently, for example, I think it was like $3,500, $4,000 a month. Depends on if you’re single or a couple. It goes up if it’s a couple. And that includes your maintenance, your food, it includes activities, it includes X, Y, Z, WTV, electric. So in many cases what happens is, if you sell your house to, say fund, going into one of these communities, you actually will lower your budget in terms of property taxes, utilities, cable, all these things get a lot cheaper for you and you can actually save money from a budget perspective too in some of these communities.

Steve Lewit: So Gabriel, did find, I think you have more experience recently than I do in this area, did you find the current deals have a lot of hidden fees in there?

Gabriel Lewit: They were more complicated or are more complicated than it might appear on the surface, because there’s so many different options generally. And I think that’s because they’re trying to appeal to a wide range of people. They got smaller units, larger units, singles, couples refundable. You have to know what’s included, what’s not included. So you really do have to get into the weeds.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. What I found when I did research, this is a few years ago, the people at the community were really, really helpful. I was surprised at how honest and helpful they were. They weren’t-

Gabriel Lewit: They’re in sales.

Steve Lewit: … But they weren’t trying to sell you.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. They’ll give you tours. You can go look around and check everything out and see what the situation’s like.

Steve Lewit: Guess what I get that you don’t get?

Gabriel Lewit: What?

Steve Lewit: I get invitations.

Gabriel Lewit: I do not get those.

Steve Lewit: Oh, you will eventually.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, and the other thing is, you got to keep in mind, this is something where they’re going to provide care for you. And usually what happens, is as you age, you end up needing more and more care. Some of those prices are already agreed upon, they’re already factored in.

Steve Lewit: And some are a la carte.

Gabriel Lewit: Some are a la carte. And also, you may not get in if you’re already too unhealthy, right?

Steve Lewit: Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: You have to actually plan. They don’t want to take you in if all you need is long-term care and you’re already needing full assistance.

Steve Lewit: Because that’s the most expensive part of their commitment to you.

Gabriel Lewit: Yep. There’s also some communities where if you run out of money while you’re there, they will, regardless of your finances, take care of you.

Steve Lewit: Keep you, yes.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay. I forget there’s a specific term for that that’s escaping my head at the moment but-

Steve Lewit: It’s called, they won’t throw you out.

Gabriel Lewit: … But there are also some that don’t. So that’s obviously a positive if you’re looking for a feature there. Different facilities have different amenities, different locations. Some have better meal plans. It’s kind of like going to college when you’re a little older and you’re checking out the facility, the campus, the housing, food.

Steve Lewit: No, it is-

Gabriel Lewit: The activities.

Steve Lewit: … very much like that.

Gabriel Lewit: It really is.

Steve Lewit: Checking out the girls. Everything.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. So yeah, there’s lots of different details here. You can get into the quality of the care, what’s the accreditations of the people taking care of you here? What’s the staff to resident ratio?

Steve Lewit: And like everything else, what you see on the surface isn’t necessarily what gets delivered in the product. So you really have to look in deeply to, talk to people there outside of the interview people. Just get to know the place and get to know the ins and outs. So why Gabriel would someone not go there?

Gabriel Lewit: Well, I think some people enjoy being, I think, in my opinion, very independent. They like the home that they lived in. They want to explore. They want to go new places. They just don’t want to be stuck on a small community and feel like that’s… Because what happens, I think, in some of these cases, people go to these communities and then they just stay there and they don’t-

Steve Lewit: They never leave.

Gabriel Lewit: … they don’t leave. They don’t branch out.

Steve Lewit: Well, it becomes so comfortable. Why go anywhere?

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. And I think there’s a whole other class of people that just are kind of like the opposite. They just want to go… At least, they want to deal that later on when they get to that point, not in advance. I think it’s a little bit of procrastination almost.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. I had one person tell me that he interviewed and he said, “No, I couldn’t go there.” I said, “Why not?” He said, “Well, when I went for dinner, they had one room which had all of the walkers in it, and there were like 200 walkers in it…”

Gabriel Lewit: Well, I’ve heard that comment from someone who feels like you’re just-

Steve Lewit: “… It reminds me how old I am, I don’t want anyone to remind me how old I am.”

Gabriel Lewit: … So I think there might be a target age range where someone gets to a point where they’re realizing they’re going to need care on the horizon and it makes good sense for them. And/or it’s financially more feasible on the money side. Someone could sell their house, free up the equity, downsize into a smaller continuing care community, have a lower cost on the monthly side and actually save money, which is the case for a couple of my clients that we’ve mapped out. And it is in the cards for them that they’re probably going to do it.

Steve Lewit: Yeah, mine did actually too. I think it’s like everything else too, it’s always a trade-off. Nothing is perfect. And if having fun and being in one location and having comradery and being around people instead of sitting in the living room watching TV, that becomes more important, then that’s the kind of community you want to look at.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. I think for someone that tends to be a homebody, that just if you’re a by, especially if a spouse passes and you just by yourself in your house. Here you have an opportunity to stay at your home, but your home is this nice campus with people and food and activities and stuff to do. And it can really just make you feel… I mean, being secluded and feeling isolated leads to depression and unhappiness amongst many elderly, and this would be a nice way to help get you into a social environment where you can feel more at home and really connect with other people.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. And it’s unfortunate because these places aren’t cheap, they are expensive. But for our clientele, which tends to have a home and some assets, it’s certainly something to consider.

Gabriel Lewit: Yes, indeed. Especially in the theme of being prepared for the future, because we’re all going to face aging and health issues.

Steve Lewit: We’re all going to face it at some point.

Gabriel Lewit: At some point, yeah.

Steve Lewit: Yes, we all have birthdays.

Gabriel Lewit: We do.

Steve Lewit: Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: All right. Well, I hope that was interesting. I’m sure if you were listening to the show and you’re 25 years old, you might’ve tuned out already. But for those of you that stayed with us for that, I know we haven’t talked about this before on the show-

Steve Lewit: It’s the first time.

Gabriel Lewit: … in 150 some odd episodes. I thought that was good to get that topic on here. And if you have questions on that, of course, or any other part of your finances, call us (847)-499-3330 or go to sglfinancial.com, click contact us. And we are always, of course, here to chat with you, share some strategies and ideas, and help you enjoy your secure financial future.

Steve Lewit: We sure are.

Gabriel Lewit: Indeed.

Steve Lewit: Indeed.

Gabriel Lewit: Have a wonderful day and we will talk to you on the next show.

Steve Lewit: Stay well everybody.

Gabriel Lewit: Bye

Steve Lewit: Bye.

Announcer: Thanks for listening to Our 2 Cents, with Steve and Gabriel Lewit. For any questions about your finances, give SGL a call at (847) 499-3330 or visit us on the web at sglfinancial.com and be sure to subscribe to join us on next week’s episode.

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