I love my work – assisting people with Life and Long-Term Care Insurance.
Life Insurance pays a benefit to a person’s estate when they pass, and there are different types of life insurance and nuances among the different types of plans. Long-Term Care Insurance pays benefits to a person when they experience cognitive decline and/or problems safely performing any 2 of the Activities of Daily Living. Medicare is great, but it is limited to medical services. Long-Term Care Insurance helps people cover the costs of staying at home or living at an Assisted Living Facility without completely draining their finances. The personal connection and fulfillment I get from solving a problem and putting people’s minds at ease is satisfying.
Working as an independent insurance agent for 28+ years with a specific focus on LTCI and LI in California and now Colorado (I’m also licensed in NC, TX, and PA), I find this is the sweet spot for my skills and personal interests.
After majoring in East Asian Studies and receiving my BA from UC Berkeley, I lived in Tokyo for 2 ½ years. Nobody could have foreseen me making a career as an Insurance Broker. Once I returned from Japan (which was a great experience!), I landed in San Francisco. I was given the opportunity to become a Registered Representative with Kemper Securities and obtained my Series 7 and 63 licenses. I enjoyed and learned a lot about investing, but I became more intrigued by Financial Planning.
I THOUGHT I WAS PREPARED when I left my job at Kemper and realized I needed to secure my own health insurance. As part of my Securities work, I had my insurance license to sell annuities. Discovering that I was licensed to sell something I didn’t understand was quite a revelation. I was my first customer.
I took professional financial planning courses through UC Berkeley Extension while working part-time in a law office (to pay the bills) while selling health and life insurance. Gradually, I realized that I enjoyed explaining how different plans worked and finding the best unique solution for clients. During that time, I made friends with classmates who became Certified Financial Planners. That was the beginning of how I approach my business relationships today. I lead with education with business partners (Financial Planners and Estate Planning Attorneys) and my clients, which is why I’ve been able to build my business by referral.
In 2005, I expanded my insurance practice to include Long-Term Care as both an opportunity to learn about the new innovative and creative LTCI products aimed to serve the aging US population coupled with my own personal experiences with my elderly grandmother and aging parents. LTCI policies are different and cover expenses that enable people to live independently for longer while preserving their finances. As one of my mentors explained, it’s like shifting the financial risk so that the insurance company helps finance your long-term care expenses. One helpful resource I like to pass along to others, discusses activities of daily living (ADL’s). These are used to help define and access the need for proper care support. When I speak with people, and even financial advisors, they are always surprised to learn about the different types of Long-Term Care plans that are available, that they can be customized, and that there are potential tax benefits.
Benefits are always received tax-free, but many businesses can deduct the premiums, and individuals who itemize can likely deduct part or the full premium.
This fall, I’ll be offering an educational webinar: Long-Term Care Insurance – An Overview. Please let me know if you would like to be notified about the dates/times.
If Life and/or Long-Term Care Insurance is something you’re curious about, I hope you’ll contact me. There is never any pressure to purchase a policy, and I don’t charge for my time. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 510.342.2670.
Photo attribution: Carly Ebenstein