Episode 08: Allee Hu - The Long and Short of Long Term Care
Self-care involves so many things, but the object is to enable quality of life.
When I was a new teacher, we frequently had insurance salesman offer a variety of products, one of which was long term insurance. You don’t think about it when you’re 25.
Many years later, my family was faced with caring for my mom, and fortunately my dad was quite capable of making those decisions. Now, I am the senior and quite aware that I may be totally on my own one day, in need of some care but still hopeful to lead a quality life of choice.
That is the topic of my podcast today, and it is not just for seniors but for anyone who anticipates being the caregiver or possibly needing care themselves.
Allee Hu was a former corporate accountant who turned entrepreneur in 2015. After experiencing life-changing events due to illness in her family, she realized that she was lacking knowledge of traditional financial planning tools and was introduced to World Financial Group. There she learned how to help her family get on the right track.
She became passionate to help others clear up the confusion and negativity from the lack of understanding about how money works and how financial products and industry work. Through her work, she devoted herself to bringing the same opportunity to other people.
Allee says “One of the best feelings to have in life is living a life of purpose, I become better through helping people to live a life by design versus life by default.”
Thanks for listening.
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Welcome to the Live Your Bloom podcast where I interview people stepping out of their comfort zones to fulfill either old dream seeds, or those who are planting new ones, regardless of their age. And I'm always interested in the challenges and successes of these people. I'm also here to interview people who have specific interests, or programs and things that could benefit us on our journey to our Bloom. So today, I'm thrilled to welcome Allee Hu from the World Financial Group. Ali believes that no matter what income level, if you feel like a fraud because you might be projecting confidence, but really, you might be dealing with financial challenges, or you're not happy with your career path, but stuck because of the paycheck, imagine how would you feel if you could redo your financial house and build it on a solid foundation? That is Allee's expertise. Welcome, today.Allee Hu:
Thank you. That was beautiful.Sharman Nittoli:
Oh, my pleasure. I'm looking forward to hearing your story. And I know my listeners are as well. So could you tell us about your background and how you chose this particular path?Allee Hu:
Great, how much time do I have? (laughter) So my background, I used to be an accountant for over 20 years. And I've worked for actually one of the companies, and my first first job was at a movie studio. I was an accountant for them. So I relate to what you're saying by your hubby. And then I transitioned into my own business doing accounting for small business owners. Then I was introduced to financial service only as a person who, you know, somebody was in the grocery store,odd enough, said, "Do you want to learn some financial knowledge?" And I went through 20 plus years to be financial advisors, you know, did a real estate, did the investment, everything you name it. And so I felt like I was in pretty good shape. And then when she said, I'm a very curious person, so I said, "Oh, sure, you know, I'll come check it out." So I came and I took the first class with the company, which is a World Financial Group in our division, not everybody is the same. And I was blown away by all the things I did not know about financial service, all the problems I did not know, I was like, "How is it that I don't know these things when I had all these previous experiences. So I got really intrigued. And so I came in to learn and then really fell in love, because I just felt like so many of us are not done justice by never having been taught in school, never been properly educated. So I just felt like, that's where I really wanted to grow.Sharman Nittoli:
And those are the kinds of things that we want to hear about, we can talk about everything, but what do you think would be the most important things to cover for, let's just say, my whole audience, which are people of all ages.Allee Hu:
Right. And I think, you know, for every financial advising or, you know, financial consulting, there're are many areas, you can talk about taxes, talk about college funding, everything right? But I think the one of the most missing components of all the people is a long term care. There are a lot of misconceptions about long term care - what it is, what's not, it's too expensive. I can't afford it. So they're just, that area, I think is really where I really want to lend my help. Because a lot of times I didn't know know.Sharman Nittoli:
Okay. And and some people like myself, now I remember when I was teaching, a guy came around, I did get the insurance, the life insurance, but when he talked about long term care, when I was younger, I was like, "Well, this is got nothing to do with me. I don't want to hear about it". And of course, here I am, at this point in my life saying, "Geez, maybe I should have listened". Because had I bought it way back then it would have been really, really cheap. However, here I am now, and here are many people like me, that might be thinking about long term care. Can you tell us? Is it too late? And how would you advise people to get into it?Allee Hu:
Great question. I love that question. So first of all, is it too late? You know, first thing is not everybody needs it. Right? So their long term care insurance or any insurance really for that matter is, one is you could do nothing. So meaning that I don't do anything, but the consequence of not doing anything is, are you well enough financially, and so that you can be self insured? And so you need to know what that number looks like. Right? Right now, long term care costs about $100,000 a year if in a senior facility, or if your home is about $50,000 a year. So if I if I, let's say a woman, right, I'm talking to you. So let's say a woman, for a 4 to 4 1/2 years that needs care, then do you have you know between $200,000 to $500,000, net cash? So if I don't have that kind of money, then I need to consider to do something about that, right. So it really depends on the situation. And I think that's really important to know that not everybody needs it. But the majority of us do.Sharman Nittoli:
Yeah, I think, for me would be quality of life. So if I want to really live alone, and I do, maybe I need somebody looking after me. I would like somebody looking after me now, because I don't want to do all the work. But nonetheless, I if I wanted to preserve my way of life and be independent, then I would be interested in looking into it. Ultimately, what would be cheaper, getting long term care? Or hiring someone to come and care for you in the house? What the trade off? I don't even know what the numbers would actually be.Allee Hu:
Okay, so I think first thing, first, we need to figure out what Long Term Care is. There's a lot of misconceptions, right? So long term care is, first of all, not covered, make sure we understand people are like, well, government supports it. Health insurance supports it. No health insurance - there's a reason why it's called health insurances, when you have a health issues, they take care of you. For long term care, the word is long term, you need anything longer than a certain period of time. So typically, it's is a 90 day period of time. So health insurance doesn't cover the "at home care" . So that's when Long Term Care kicks in. So what is long term care is very simple. Like, if I cannot do two of the normal things I can do, let's say go the bathroom, I cannot do by myself, if I cannot go from my bed to the bathroom, you know, if I cannot eat by myself, I cannot bathe by myself. So transferring, transporting anything that you normally would do, if you cannot do two of the six things that's considered long term care. So now, you know in terms of cost, right? You know, I always think my mom used to have a friend who had a long term care need, like it's super expensive. It's a few $100 dollars a day. And we did not know how expensive that was, like 15 years ago, you know, it's really, really costly. So that's one of the biggest things like, Do I have the money to have someone come to my house is not cheaper, and you go into facilities even more expensive. So it comes down to the amount of money you want to pay dollar for dollar for the care, or you want to pay $1? Get $5 benefit?Sharman Nittoli:
Oh, interesting. Yeah. So you're saying that if you were to purchase long term care for somebody, just say you are caring for your mother? And I have been there. And I know, I researched it. My father researched it thoroughly. If you were going to purchase long term care for someone that you think you might be in that position for ultimately, that particular policy would be cheaper than hiring somebody to come in and care for that person.Allee Hu:
Yeah. Correct. Because we don't need it. Because my mom's ADA, I take care of her. Right, yeah, because I didn't know anything about this until five years, six years ago. So she's already way past the time to buy long term care, right. So you know, and then I'll become the caretaker. So, first of all, I need to, you know, spend the time. And second thing is, you know, the time I cannot do anything else, it becomes a very much aware and tear on the body of the caretaker. Right. So, you know, it's really important that we think about is you want to spend quality time, not necessarily the quantity of time that you end up spending, especially more and more people having dementia, Alzheimers? You know, each type of thing is very taxing on the person's mind.Sharman Nittoli:
It is. What, what is the cutoff age to purchase long term care for your parents?Allee Hu:
Another great question. So really, there's not it we I represent about 70 insurance companies, so we're broker dealer. And that really gives us a lot of options, right? So there's really not so much a cut off unless you're like a 75 - 70 years old, some, some companies like cut off as past 70. Right. So it's really well, how are we healthy enough to get it? And then the longer you wait, the more costly we'll be? Right? So today is always cheaper than tomorrow.Sharman Nittoli:
That's true. Yeah. Yeah. I know, I did purchase some benefits for funeral expenses. And that's what I found out. Like, when you get older, if you haven't done it every every year becomes quite costly. So yeah. I there such a thing where Long Term Care involves people staying overnight with you?Allee Hu:
So, so then maybe I can talk about different types of long term periods of progression, right. So if you think about life, I guess normally when people get older or get sick progressively getting worse and worse, right? So at the beginning, I need someone to stay hourly, maybe just a, you know, clean me or take me to grocery, to the doctor. So I can be hourly. But eventually you will need enough care that you either will be staying over or going to a facility. But that long term care insurance will cover all of that. Yeah, that's another thing. I love the way you said, right? I want quality of life. Because for me, I don't have kids. And even if I do have kids, I survey all my clients. I said," Do you think your kids would wipe your butt and do all these things?" So people say "No, they're not going to do that. Right? They don't even do that now". So it's really important that we have that now, that control.Sharman Nittoli:
Yeah. And we always have the choice. That's what I try to tell people, it is always a choice. It's always a choice. And even when you say "I can't afford it, I can't afford it". If you tell yourself, this is something I want, once you research it, I want to include this in my life, then you go back to your budget and you start you know, adjusting and what can I let go? What can I keep? What do I need in order to ensure quality of life for as long as I am breathing, and living a quality life? There are still things you want to do, you know,Allee Hu:
What you just said? You know, that's so important work. First of all, I always tell people say, if I cannot afford right now, a life insurance, which is maybe like, let's say I pay $500. Right? I definitely cannot afford to get sick from long term care, because it will cost you $1000s. Now, what's a trade off? Couple $100 or $1000s of dollars per month? Right? And that's really where the trade off becomes. And usually if you look at any cost goes with the benefit, if that benefit outweighs the cost, right?Sharman Nittoli:
Yeah. And it can also be something that a family can pool efforts to say, I think that would be reasonable. Because in a family where there are several children, my experience is that it usually falls on the back of one, possibly two, but there's always one or two that are too far away or can't handle it or whatever it is, that's just life. That's the reality. And if you can make a determination that we want to provide quality care for our mom or our dad, and let's make this a family expense, and we'll share in it, and I will agree to do this, or, you know, whatever I will need support. But I want to know that mom is covered. I think that would be something a family could sit down and discuss and handle, you know,Allee Hu:
you know, you really hit the nail on the head, right? It's sometimes we don't realize it that it becomes why money always become a struggle for the other people. Because one is, we don't talk about it, we avoid a subject, which always comes up, we don't talk about it will come up, right? And then you want to come up when you are, you know, more planning stage versus having to fight the fire stage, right. And I think really also to know options, because a lot of times in our head, it's much more expensive than in reality. In reality, long term care has all kinds of options. If you like, I can talk about the different types of long term care. So people know their options, because people out there, they know, they're not well versed in the long term care. So they've been sold on long term care, right? Yeah. So it's, it's very expensive, you hear all kinds of news is really not the case. There are lots of options out there.Sharman Nittoli:
That's good to know. And I would like you to speak on several of those options. I just don't want to forget this one question. I have this. So I have heard, I haven't experienced it that, excuse me, say I am home taking care of my mom, and that I would be able to be paid to be the long term care person. Is that something you you've heard?Allee Hu:
You could, you could. It just depends, right? There are policies that will not allow it unless you are a certified person. Right. Um, but there are some also, you know, can do that. Yes,Sharman Nittoli:
That's something that's something to think about especially and some families they do have, I'm relating to my own family where there would be someone who is a nurse or someone with medical background, and then that might be something to consider there. Could you share some of the options for long term care with us?Allee Hu:
?Sure. Sure. And I just think that's so importan, right? Because long term care, you know, we just kind of stuck, like everything else we progressing in terms of our cell phone, we think of the smartphone, right? Nobody's using flip phones. but Long Term Care, or any insurance really for that matter, has already progressed just like the cell phone, but we stuck in the 1950s. So we need to progress, right? So let me kind of share a little bit. So, the beginning there's a term policy, right, the term policy usually doesn't come with any kind of living benefit. There are some now, with living benefit. So they will benefit many like chronic illness, critical illness, that type of thing. But then they progress to be like more permanent insurance. So in the long term care space, at the beginning, is just life just long term care by itself that's sustainable. So kinda like a term insurance, it's only for my long term care use. Now, the problem with that, that's where you see a lot of negative news, right, is that recently, they just increased the long term care costs of 94% on the bill, on the high end bill, right. The reason for that is because long term care costs becoming more and more expensive, 10,000 people per day are retiring, needing some kind of care, so they cannot control the costs. So that's why they increase in costs on the standalone long term care, right? Now, the stable long term care is a traditional or long term care. But if I die from like heart attack, hit by bus, and that cost I paid into the care is no longer coming back to me. Right? No, that's benefits. So that's the standalone, they still exist, I don't sell that much at all, unless they know there's a need for but most people don't go with that. There's also the hybrid. Hybrid is one little bit of that benefit, and long term care. So, let's say somebody who has $100,000 sitting there, somewhere, maybe it's an in an IRA or in the cash account, they can convert that into a long term care, then, if I die, then some of the money will go to my beneficiary, so I don't lose all of the money I paid to. But if I need long term care, I can also use it. So that's like, usually depending on the ages, between $100 to maybe a $100,000 to like a three to three and a half $350,000 benefit, which is great. Now, there's the other kind, which is the long term care as a rider on a life insurance on a permanent life insurance. That's really great. Because that also give people the flexibility, if I don't die, right 70% people need long term care. But what about a 30% who don't need it? Then at least I have a life insurance with a bigger death benefit. If I do need long term care, let's say I buy a two to $50,000 like life insurance, then 250 times 2% is a $5,000 a month, I can have someone come to my house taking care of me 4 or $5,000 a month, right? So it's it's a great way, but in that just those three times the advantage of a little bit of nuances. Like you know, some people wait 90 days, some it's like a collect receipt, some don't collect receipts, you know, so that you vary in that.Sharman Nittoli:
Yeah. Well, so lots of things think about there. ButI think two things I was thinking after this particular year, I have lost a lot of people, some from natural causes some from COVID. And I am aware of life, the value of life. And not only that, but your concept of life. Some people I hear when they retire, they do not pursue their dreams or anything, which could just be so simple. And so I've heard it said, jokes are made, "I'm just waiting to die". And clearly, I'm not and I know many, many people, we are not waiting to die. It's gonna happen. It's gonna happen. But I am not waiting to die. The next 10 years a very, very, very valuable to me, I hope that I'm living healthy. I hope that it's quality life, I feel myself slowing down a little bit. So I gotta' do what I got to do. However, I have an interest in this and I'm probably gonna be contacting you. So that leads me to the next thing is how do people contact you? And what kind of support do you offer? Do you have a group? How can you support them?Allee Hu:
Love it, love it. My biggest thing is I do not want to be in the same position as a lot of advisosr just selling products. I'm good at it because I love it. And I enjoy teaching it, but what I love about my platform, which is my company, my division, I shouldn't say my company because not everybody in my company does it. But my division which we're good at, is that we educate. We have free classes that we educate people on because unless you understand the differences, unless you understand the benefit to you? Why we don't buy it is because we don't see the benefit for ourselves, right? So once you understand it, then you know solidly why I'm paying this premium for the next 10 years, 5 years, whatever the time period, just like buying a house, I don't want to just buy a house, I buy a house because I know I'm going to get a benefit, right? Same exact thing is that people, it's not because they don't want to, as they are not educated. There's nobody out there teaching it. So we teach every subject, including long term care, then you really understand, oh, these are the options, I can customize it to my solution to my budget. And then when you are moving forward, you have that peace of mind what you're buying, what comes with it, you know, what's are the pros and cons of that. And then that's the support that you get. So you get from either, you know, you can join the company to learn, or you can have me privately coaching you to just share some stuff, but join the company to learn you have a period of time of nine month to learn everything you need to learn about, everything, like retirement 401k. You know, how college works, and how do you reduce taxes, everything that the financial industry offers to people that we don't know about. Right? So yeah, contact me, I can show you options. There's no right or wrong way. Everybody has time. "I don't want to know" some people, like just do it. "I can do that". Some people," I want to know everything before I buy anything". You can do that.Sharman Nittoli:
Well, nine months is certainly a generous amount of time. I think that's wonderful. Yeah. And I also like the the fact that I've talked to you a couple times, and you never make the other person feel that their question, there is no question too small or too silly. Because when I'm dealing with this kind of stuff, I always say, give me the Sesame Street version. Break it down, break it down for me. I need it like, because it's not my field, you know, talk, talk music, play the blues and C sharp, I have no problem. But you know , with this stuff, all of a sudden my mind shuts off. And that has a lot. I think other people might be like that, to our minds just become overwhelmed. And we have this basic distrust of insurance. Yes, you know, so I don't feel that with you. I also know you have a Facebook group.Allee Hu:
Yes, yes, I have a private group that I coach people. Because I really think it's, you know, if we understand that this is what I think right. And that's why I really resonate with you, you know, if I come from a family of rich, right, then I probably have a little bit more understanding of money. And where I come from, my family struggled, I struggle, my next generation stru ggled that's a life. Why we need to do that we don't need to do that? So if we can all benefit each other learning these things implement a little bit of basic foundation of discipline, saving money, putting the right place for our money, this generation will not have to suffer as much the next generation of generations after that. So for me, it's not about just educating you, I'm thinking about educating you so you can educate your kids. Now we don't have to do this cycle of struggling with money. So that's my big mission in life is just, I hate struggling, I hate struggling with money or anything else.Sharman Nittoli:
Right. And and, you know, for a lot of people, they have tackled subjects and things that are much harder to understand than this particular topic. But, but once the wall is up up there, they may not do it, because they just don't want to break down the wall. And I just love the fact that the way you explain it makes me have confidence that I could understand it, number one, I could make a wise choice, number two, and number three, I could afford it. And I'm not a rich person, believe me, I am not a rich person. But I'm weighing that statement with the statement "I want to have a quality life". And I really can't count on anybody to take care of me. You really can't, you really can't, you know. And you don't know that until you're you're older. And you have you been through loss with your parents or your relatives and you see, you know, a couple of things. First of all, what happens during that unfortunate time. And the other thing is the effect on families because I've seen families really be torn apart over this. So to those who are listening who feel like oh, this has nothing to do with me. It might. It might have something to do with you and the younger that you think about it and get started on it, the more affordable it actually will become. Because when I'll tell you a quick story before we go, my husband didn't want to have this conversation at all. But we have a dog we adore. And the dog's name is Gaetano, which happens to be my husband's middle name. He has a Family Plot. One day he comes home and he said "I did something I think you're just gonna love it". and I'm looking at the family tombstone and it says the names and you know and then up the middle it says 'Gaetano' he has 'Gaetano' put right up the middle. Because to him that was that was impressed And of course, you know, my name is like scratched on the bottom somewhere, just, you know, I'm joking. But, but that was my opening to say, "Well, since we're having this discussion, now we're going to have this other discussion, which you're very uncomfortable with, but we do need to have it". It does not, it does not mean it's so depressing. And, you know, it's not that it's being real, it's just being real quality of life.Allee Hu:
Yeah. And that's so key. Because, you know, I believe why we work so hard, we work hard, so that we can have in life that, you know, I know, I'm in control. I've seen so I've seen a friend of mine who is in a nursing home, didn't have the money, didn't plan, super great guy. But then when he died, it was not very pretty, right? Even back then I was naive in the business, I always wanted to say that I need a better life. I do not want to work all my life being a good person. And then not really having that quality, it was really depressing. So you know, visitor, you know, you visit what the government can provide for you visit what you if you could do yourself, how can you provide that little bit of more control, to design a life, I really believe in designing a life. I love your stuff, right? Bloom, design the life you want.Sharman Nittoli:
I love that design the life the life, don't let that life design you or tell you what's going to happen. You have control, we have choices. And it's really not that far out of our reach. And that's what I want people to know, even if you feel like "I couldn't possibly afford it". I think you could, because there's so many choices. There's just so many choices. And you're not only doing it for yourself, but you're doing it for your loved ones also to take the burden off of them because it's difficult. I've been through it. It's difficult.Allee Hu:
Yeah, we can shift around. I used to call myself the reallocating people's money not not finding new money. Right. So,Sharman Nittoli:
Ah, that's, that's great. Remember that reallocating people's money, not finding new money. I do play the picket a couple times a week. And in that case, there may be newfound money, but I'm not counting on it. So, Ali, thank you so much. This is really an interesting topic to me. And I'm sure to a lot of people listening, I'm going to definitely have your contact information on right on the podcast at the bottom. You can say it now if you wish just so....Allee Hu:
Well. I will say join you know, look at my profile in the Facebook, you know, join me in get to know what I do ask me questions. We don't charge anything consultations free, you know, find out your options. So you know, contact me via Facebook is the best way because all my stuff is very transparent. I whenever I do I do in that right? So it's a Facebook under Allee Hu. A-L-L-E-E. That's fine.Sharman Nittoli:
Okay, so people can join without having a policy or committing to the your company which offers the nine months of education.Allee Hu:
Right? Yeah, they can join just to learn. Yeah, for me for my private group, well, then the company you have to pay for the membership fee, which is very cheap, that 100 bucks.Sharman Nittoli:
Okay, well, that really demonstrates your commitment to this cause and I so appreciate it. Thank you so much for coming today. Thank you. Thank you for the wisdom and your insight.Allee Hu:
Thank you. Thank you Sharman.Sharman Nittoli:
Thank you and happy blooming everybody.