Most surveys of investors show that rising health care costs are a major concern, frequently surpassing "running out of money" as the biggest retirement-related financial fear.
In fact, according to a Merrill Lynch retirement survey, 75% of investors view help with health and long-term care costs as the most valuable service an advisor can provide beyond core financial advice.
But many of these investors also say that their advisors are not providing meaningful advice on how to predict and manage health care costs. Which means that advisors are not addressing one of their clients' greatest needs. Add in the anxiety factor around health-related issues, and for many families, assistance with health care costs is the #1 priority.
Carolyn McClanahan offers several useful suggestions in an article that she recently authored in Financial Planning.
Two keys are picking the right health insurance and learning to use the health care system effectively.
Most importantly, start having conversations about health care with your clients sooner rather than later. You may be surprised how receptive they are. While talking about health-related issues doesn't make them any less likely to occur, it does help you and your client prepare for what you both know is the inevitable.