FInding a good adviser for life insurance / long term care issues
October 28, 2014 11:54 PM   Subscribe

My spouse is about 50 yo and encountering some health issues (autoimmune and others). We're about 13 years through a 20-year life insurance term, after which the renewal premiums would skyrocket even for good health. We also have about 3 years of long term care benefits through her workplace.

So we may need more of both; but the sheer number of options and advice and car-salesman stuff has just been overwhelming. Yes, we could do this or we could do that.

What we're looking for is the equivalent of a really good financial advisor (which we don't have either :-) who can say "based on your needs, here's the way you want to go." And I don't know how to start searching for such a person. Do they exist? What are they called? Thanks!
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
[Note: for the purposes of answering this question, I believe we can assume Anon is in the U.S. ]
posted by taz (staff) at 11:55 PM on October 28, 2014

What we're looking for is the equivalent of a really good financial advisor...Do they exist? What are they called?

They're called financial advisors. You're framing it as an insurance question, but insurance is for things that might-but-probably-won't happen, not for things that will probably or definitely happen. When the worries you're facing are getting to be more likely than unlikely, you need a savings account more than you need additional insurance.
posted by jon1270 at 4:08 AM on October 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

You could search for "elder care advisor" or "senior care advisor." I know you're not "elders" but those are the people who know about long-term care. But I would definitely get a referral. If you don't know anyone who's used this type of service, I would call a trust and estate or elder law attorney and ask for a referral. You may already have a lawyer who drafted your will -- if not, even lawyers you don't know are generally happy to give referrals if you call them up and ask.
posted by chickenmagazine at 6:51 AM on October 29, 2014

I suggest you start by reading and posting about your situation at the forum at I've gotten advice on insurance there that has been very helpful. There are some highly knowledgeable posters that answer insurance questions, including some who work in the industry and could tell you, for example, which life insurance companies have the best policies for people with health issues and what kind of insurance would be best for you. I'm confused, for example, about why you believe you need more life insurance. The standard advice is that having term insurance that expires around retirement age (like you have) is a good idea because by then your retirement savings can take over and you don't need life insurance anymore. But it sounds like you're not in a standard situation.

There are also financial advisers who are members of bogleheads, and someone might be able to help you find a financial adviser in your area. Because yes, a regular financial adviser is probably what you want since you want to do overall financial planning, including insurance.

Bogleheads also has a wiki that has good resources.
posted by medusa at 11:47 AM on October 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

You could pay a fee-only Certified Financial Planner for a couple of hours of calculations to figure these things out for you. The website has a "find a planner" gizmo on it, and then you could search for fee-only. I am suggesting fee-only because it sounds like you aren't interested in finding someone to manage your money for you, but just to give you some clearer financial strategies.

This planner will probably want to know:

Is the long term care policy portable? Meaning, if she quits her job, will she be able to still pay the premiums herself if she wants?

What is the life insurance for, exactly? (paying off a mortgage/debts? just some extra cash for the survivor?)

Are your health problems likely to shorten your life? Likely to require retiring earlier than you'd planned? Likely to be expensive? (I mention this so you don't think they're just being ghoulish Nosey Parkers if/when they ask.)

Do you own a house? Is it paid off? Do you plan to live there til you die?

What does retirement mean to you? Travelling the world? Moving to Florida? Playing with the dogs in the backyard?

Besides those questions, they'll need the more obvious "assets, debts, expenses, sources of income (including your eventual Social Security income)" data.
posted by small_ruminant at 12:16 PM on October 29, 2014

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