23 November 2022

When I think about caregiving, I think about my grandparents and I’m reminded of how much caregiving and long-term care have changed and evolved over the past few decades.

My maternal grandmother was blessed to live to 98, surviving her husband, my grandfather, by 36 years. She was a fiercely independent woman, but when she began to need support my mother willingly took on the responsibility of providing care for her with a goal of helping her stay in her own home for as long as possible. This was only possible through my mother’s dedication and sacrifice; she would often spend nights away from her own family. I wonder, what if my grandmother had purchased long-term care insurance? My mother could have taken a role as her mother’s care manager and supervised others providing the day-to-day care while also spending more quality time with her before she passed.  

Recent Lincoln research shows that roughly 50% of Americans already are caregivers or anticipate becoming one within three years.1 While many caregivers may find the work rewarding, it is also a time-consuming and emotionally taxing role.1 Not surprisingly, 79% of caregivers surveyed said they had no idea how demanding long-term care would be until they had to provide it. 1

While caregiving is often a labor of love, it takes a toll on caregivers and my mom was no different. My mother felt significant stress and pressure during her time as my grandmother’s care giver. My mother never complained but felt responsible to be her mother’s caregiver instead of making a choice to play that role. This is precisely what long-term care planning is designed to do —provide options that allow loved ones to determine their roles in someone’s care while considering what it best for everyone involved. 

My paternal grandfather also lived to 98. His wife, my grandmother, required care in a nursing facility, which was emotionally and financially stressful for my grandfather. As his own health declined, the situation worsened. My father and his siblings never had a conversation about who would be responsible for their father’s care or what resources were available to help. At that time, many families did not have these discussions. When my grandfather retired, no one anticipated that he would have over 30 years in retirement and outlive his wife who was 10 years younger. While my dad and his siblings are very close and on great terms now, my grandfather’s long-term care experience added a great deal of stress in their relationships for a number of years.

Most Americans agree that long-term care planning is important, and that families should have conversations about care preferences. In practice, fewer than one in five Americans have made plans for their own long-term care, and only one in ten have decided on how to pay for this care.3  Looking back at my parents’ situations, I’m certain my grandparents never intended for the care they received later in life to be a challenge for their children or spouses. Having a family conversation before care is necessary can alleviate much of the stress and produce more effective long-term care plans.

My wife and I have already started developing our long-term care plans and we’ll be sure to include our children in the conversation. I’m grateful that as I look to the future, there are many solutions today that can help cover some (or all) of the costs. We hope to be lucky enough to live to 98, with a long-term care plan developed today that makes for an easier tomorrow — for everyone we care about. 

VerstaResearch, “2020 LTC Marketing and Thought Leadership Research, Findings from Surveys of Advisors and Consumers,” August 2020 http://visit.lfg.com/MG-VRST-PPT001


About the author

Bill Nash is senior vice president and head of Lincoln MoneyGuard® solutions at Lincoln Financial Distributors. He is responsible for the MoneyGuard wholesaler team, sales desk, business management, and executing the Lincoln MoneyGuard distribution strategy.

Bill brings 30 years of diverse industry experience to his role. Prior to joining Lincoln, Bill spent more than nine years with Merrill Lynch in various sales and leadership roles, including service as divisional sales manager of the Client Solutions Group. Before joining Merrill Lynch, Bill held positions at ING Investment Products, Evergreen Investment Services, Dreyfus Service Corporation, and John Hancock.

Bill earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. He currently holds the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC®) designation as well as FINRA Series 6, 7, 24, and 66 licenses.

Bill resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife, Teresa, and their three children, Braden, Dawson and Reagan.

About Lincoln Financial Group

Lincoln Financial Group provides advice and solutions that help people take charge of their financial lives with confidence and optimism. Today, approximately 16 million customers trust our retirement, insurance and wealth protection expertise to help address their lifestyle, savings and income goals, and guard against long-term care expenses. Headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania, Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) and its affiliates. The company had $270 billion in end-of-period account values as of September 30, 2022. Lincoln Financial Group is a committed corporate citizen included on major sustainability indices including the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America and FTSE4Good and ranks among Newsweek’s Most Responsible Companies. Dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion, we are included on transparency benchmarking tools such as the Corporate Equality Index, the Disability Equality Index and the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index. Committed to providing our employees with flexible work arrangements, we were named to FlexJobs’ list of the Top 100 Companies to Watch for Remote Jobs in 2022. With a long and rich legacy of acting ethically, telling the truth and speaking up for what is right, Lincoln was recognized as one of Ethisphere’s 2022 World’s Most Ethical Companies®. We create opportunities for early career talent through our intern development program, which ranks among WayUp and Yello’s annual list of Top 100 Internship Programs. Learn more at: www.LincolnFinancial.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Sign up for email alerts at http://newsroom.lfg.com.