The Later in Life Planning Show

by Patrick Cawley

The Middle Class faces specific threats in the later years of life. Long-term care expenses will attack and consume your savings. Know your threats and build a shield.

Podcast episodes

  • Season 1

  • What Would You Do If You Knew for Sure?

    What Would You Do If You Knew for Sure?

    A fascinating study in England has found a significant link between performance on a simple visual exam and the eventual diagnosis of dementia. With emerging treatments to halt the progression of dementia being dependent on early detection, the most astounding part of the English study is that it detected patterns of dementia twelve years before a memory test would detect the disease. If the future will bring testing for dementia a decade or two before the symptoms become life-altering, an important question arises: what would you do differently if you knew for sure that you will lose your memory, your identity, your independence, and your ability to interact with people? Given the rates of dementia diagnosis and the number of people who will need long-term care, what should we be doing as citizens to prepare for this inevitable demand for resources? This episode examines some personal and philosophical questions and the difficult decisions that policy makers are facing about a future with dementia.

  • Figure It Out Now.

    Figure It Out Now.

    Planning for the later years of life is building a shield for yourself and your family. Building a shield necessarily means that you think about a threat or a challenge coming your way, you think about how you would like to protect yourself from that threat or challenge, and you take action to build something that will protect you. The costs and challenges of the later years of life are mostly predictable. There are tools in the legal toolbox that you can use to build your shield against these predictable challenges. But there are some challenges that are unpredictable. That is when you reassess your shield and ask whether it will continue to offer the same protection. What does this look like? It involves spending a short amount of time to think creatively, especially about the obstacles that could show between you and the achievement of the goals you have for your family. When a family member's health changes or their availability to be a key decision-maker changes, you ask whether everyone would be better off if you re-built part of your shield. Some shields are stronger than others. Yours will be stronger if you figure it out now.

  • An Overview of Medicare

    An Overview of Medicare

    For most of our lives, we have employer-based health insurance. It's how we pay for doctor appointments, hospital visits, and labs. When you approach the end of your working years, there are some very important factors to consider because Medicare becomes your health insurance. The timing of your enrollment in Medicare is critical. Even after enrolling in Medicare, there are times during the year when you may wish to make a change in your coverage. The type of Medicare plan you choose may depend on where you intend to live, how much you intend to travel, known health problems, or the cost of prescription medications now or in the future. Bob Pease from the Alera Group returns to the show to break down these factors to consider.

  • The Political Courage We Need

    The Political Courage We Need

    In challenging times, personal responsibility and political courage can prevent a catastrophe. What challenges are we facing? The population of people over the age of 65 is swelling. It is very likely that older adults will need long-term care. Long-term care is expensive and generally not covered by Medicare. So the hard-working Middle Class faces a financial disaster if a member of the household has a stroke, dementia, or any number of mobility-limiting conditions. Medicaid is the social safety net, but few people understand its rules. People lose their homes to Medicaid estate recovery, a program that further sets the Middle Class back from forward progress while doing little to recoup costs for the government. If the depressing statistics are accurate, most people do no estate planning, let alone the kind of planning that protects the hard-earned savings of the Middle Class from long-term care costs. Until the political class demonstrates some courage and creativity, this is the system we have. So personal responsibility becomes essential. Challenging times are upon us. Build a shield with good planning.

  • Enrich Your Life with Service

    Enrich Your Life with Service

    Psychologists call it "role theory." For every role you have -- parent, coach, friend, coworker -- there is a source of purpose and meaning in your life. Older adults tend to lose roles as they see children move out, they retire, and they become less involved in their community. Volunteering not only provides a new role and a new purpose for older adults, but also research shows that volunteers report lower levels of stress and greater amounts of life satisfaction. Volunteers report less discomfort than non-volunteers in the population of people dealing with chronic pain or illness. But where can older adults find their new role and their new purpose in service? Enter the United Way. A long-standing pillar of service, the United Way vets every nonprofit organization to determine that funds will be well spent and volunteers will provide impactful service to those who are truly in need. In this episode, Jason Maddux of the United Way of Carlisle & Cumberland County discusses the wide array of service opportunities that are available.