4 years ago

Alabama financial-guru Jeff Roberts discusses long-term care for yourself and loved ones

Birmingham, Alabama-based financial guru Jeff Roberts, who was recently named one of the top private wealth advisors in the nation by Barron’s®, came on Yellowhammer Radio to lay out the facts so people can decide for themselves.

The full conversation with Mr. Roberts can be heard on the Yellowhammer Radio podcast or in the video above, and a lightly edited transcript of his interview with Yellowhammer’s Andrea Tice and Scott Chambers can be read below.

Subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio Podcast on iTunes. Learn more about Jeff Roberts’ private wealth advisory practice at JeffRobertsAndAssociates.com.


Scott Chambers:

What is on your mind today, Jeff Roberts?

Jeff Roberts:

Today as you all recall, I like to talk about things that I see and experience with clients from week to week. And so a lot of our themes and conversations are things that I’m taking away from client meetings. This week we’re going to talk about long-term care. It’s a common concern or planning issue that we address with clients both in retirement and before retirement. So I wanted to hit on some of the big picture concepts that people need to be thinking about. First, of course you have to ask the question, what exactly is long-term care?

Scott Chambers:

I was just about to ask that. What is long-term care, Jeff Roberts?

Jeff Roberts:

It’s basically a range of services and supports that you may need to meet your personal care needs often times in retirement. For example, most commonly it’s when someone is retired no longer working and they have a need for medical assistance. They could be disabled for a period of time and most long-term care isn’t necessarily medical care, it’s rather assistance with the basic personal tasks of everyday life. Sometimes they’re called activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, using the toilet, transferring from a bed to a chair, caring for incontinence, or eating. Those daily living activities if someone gets to the point where they need help with those that’s when long-term care can kick in, or the need for long-term care kicks in. We see that most commonly with people in retirement. That’s kind of what long-term care is.

Andrea Tice:

So it’s primarily medical issues to plan for?

Jeff Roberts:

What it usually is, it’s an issue of a medical condition that causes someone to not be able to function independently or on their own. That’s where the rubber hits the road. You have skilled care which is basically if you’re injured and you’re going to recover from it then you receive skilled care. Custodial care is typically what I’m describing where you need care with daily living activities that you simply can not do on your own. What happens is, is when you need care of that type there are different places or resources that you can go. I’ll generalize them for you, for example you can have care that you receive in your home. For example I’ll use my grandmother who is now passed away but before she passed we had in home care provided for her where we wanted to keep her in her home as long as possible. That was her familiar surroundings so we provided assistance where people would come in and help her with those daily living activities. Then at sometimes it gets to the point where that can become too expensive as more around the clock care is needed and sometimes you have to consider what is called an assisted living facility. Which is residential care setting that combines housing as well as support services and care for often times elderly individuals. When you’re looking at things like assisted living one important part of that might be making sure that a facility has memory care services which is what is provided to people often times with Alzheimers and memory conditions. Not all assisted living facilities provide memory care services. The third option is a nursing home which is a place of residence for people who require constant nursing care with significant deficiencies with daily living activities. That’s the most extreme scenario and there are now examples of things called continuing care retirement communities which can be a living community that combines all of those services into one where you can matriculate from one service to the other all within a certain type of campus. So that is what long-term care is and those are the facilities that are available to provide that or the way that you can receive that care but then a big question is, what are the costs?

Andrea Tice:

And the first steps are engaging in that and planning it, correct?

Jeff Roberts:

Correct. For example, and these numbers that I’m giving come from a couple of different sources. The most common is the US Department of Health and Human Services and they’ve got a website called LongtermCare.gov that provides some really great resources. Some of the numbers that we’ve seen show home care in Alabama costing somewhere around $40,000 per year. And that’s per person, so if you have a husband and a wife and they’re both living at home and they have a household income. Well one of those people is going to need $40,000 a year just for their care and that doesn’t include prescriptions and medications. About $17 a hour is the rate but it often times it’s more than just Monday through Friday. It can go into weekend or continue into the evening. Assisted living facilities are about the same price. We see on average around $40,000 roughly a year. Nursing home facilities in Alabama average more like $68,000 a year per person. We generally see those costs are increasing each year somewhere between 5% – 6% per year. So they’re increasing typically much faster than inflation is so costs can really be impactful on a particular couple. Those are some of the stats are far as the costs are concerned, then the question becomes, what’s the likelihood that I’m going to need this? This is what’s interesting, the duration and the level of long-term care will vary from person to person obviously and they often change over time so what I’m about to share with you is on average numbers from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Someone turning 65 today has almost a 70% chance of needing some type of long-term care services and support in their remaining years.

Andrea Tice:

So one of those three options that you presented?

Jeff Roberts:

Just almost a 70% chance. And then women typically on average need it for a span of 3.7 years on average and the DHHS showed that men needed it for only about 2.2 years on average. Women need to care longer than men. 1/3 of today’s individuals 65 years of age may never need care in their life. So if just short of 70% do need care then a 1/3 do not need care. Remember, 20% of those at 65 years of age will need it for more than 5 years on average as well. To summarize, about 70% need care, women need it for about 3.7 years on average, men for 2.2, but about 20% of the individuals over the age of 65 are going to need it for as much as 5 years which is a long period of time. When you do the math you can see it can be substantial. When I describe it talking to clients, they say what’s the percentage that I’m going to need it? I say, for you personally it’s 0% or 100%. You either need it or you don’t. So the analogy that I use is, what’s the likelihood that if you take someone who is 50 years of age driving a car and you take a 16 year old boy driving a car and you look at the insurance rates on those guys there’s a huge difference between a 50 year old male and a 16 year old male driving a car. Because the likelihood of a 16 year old getting in a wreck, as we know, is much greater, right? The cost of that 16 year old’s insurance is going to be a lot higher because the likelihood of a car crash, we all know, is higher. Well long-term care is kind of the same way and we can talk now about solutions but before I do I want to give a quick example. If you’ve got someone who has a $1M hypothetically, and remember back in October when we did a workshop talking about retirement planning and I used a scenario that said people in retirement should try and carve off no more than 3% of their nest egg to live off of. So if you’ve got $1M you’re safely going to carve off $30,000 a year. Well, you can see how quickly that’ll get spent with long-term care facilities. It goes super fast. People have two options, you can self-insure which means you assume all of the risk and say that you’re going to save as much money as you can in a big nest egg and hope you have enough money to cover the cost that you’ll need to cover yourself and your spouse in your lifetime.

Scott Chambers:

That sounds like a big hope though.

Jeff Roberts:

It can be risky and it will be a bunch of money. The next option is that you can transfer the risk to an insurance company and that’s where a lot of the questions just begin when people say “yeah you get long-term care insurance.” I’m telling you, we get so many people that come in with these preconceived ideas of what it is and how it works and what it costs. And there’s different types, there’s traditional long-term care insurance where you pay a premium and you get a benefit in your lifetime for a defined period contractually. Now there’s policies where there’s a life insurance policy that has not only a death benefit but also a living benefit that provides long-term care dollars to use for long-term care in addition to life insurance. So there’s all these different hybrids and my statement to people is this, if you’re concerned about long-term care and you have preconceived ideas of what it costs or you heard someone say these policies, don’t pay or they do pay or they’re too expensive. My comment to anyone is sit down with an advisor to walk you through your unique options and the products and services that maybe available to you to customize something. Because to ignore long-term care overall is literally burying your head in the sand and is like looking at a 16 year old boy and saying “You don’t need auto insurance.” The statistics show that there’s a much greater likelihood that someone needs long-term care than a 16 year old is going to be in a wreck. And we know how likely that’s going to be, right? All kids bump and ding their cars. The message is, seek help, ask questions and get somebody to have a conversations unique to you about options, services and long-term care. Very important.

Scott Chambers:

Very phenomenal here because I had a relative who needed long-term care following a stroke and I know what it can be like. The stress and struggle it puts on families.

Jeff Roberts:

It’s tremendous and if you have a family member in another state where the cost of living is much higher like New York, those numbers I gave you could literally double. It’s unbelievable.

Scott Chambers:

Well Jeff if people want to find out more they should definitely talk with you. You would be a great start.

Jeff Roberts:

We would love to help. We deal with long-term care protection strategies all the time and feel free to give us a buzz at 313-9150 or look us up online at JeffRobertsandAssociates.com

7 mins ago

Alabama Wildlife Federation continues mission of conservation and stewardship

For nearly a century, the Alabama Wildlife Federation has been on the front lines of promoting environmental stewardship, wildlife and natural resource conservation across the state. The federation’s important work includes educational outreach that has informed generations of Alabamians about the state’s natural beauty and incredible biodiversity. It is why the Alabama Power Foundation supports the federation.

“Our priority is to deliver programs and projects that promote conservation of Alabama’s world-class outdoor resources,” said federation Executive Director Tim Gothard. “We appreciate the Alabama Power Foundation and our partners for supporting our efforts to educate and build the type of projects that will enhance the quality of life for future generations.”

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Alabama Power Foundation supports the work of the Alabama Wildlife Federation from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

The federation has taken the lead on a number of significant, ecologically focused projects in recent years. Last year, it teamed with Alabama Power to deploy an offshore, artificial reef in the Gulf of Mexico near Dauphin Island, using repurposed tanks from the company’s Plant Barry in Mobile County. The reef will help expand fish habitat while supporting recreation and tourism.

“The Alabama Wildlife Federation continues to be a leader in stewardship and conservation,” said Tequila Smith, president of the Alabama Power Foundation. “Their commitment to improving our communities through education, awareness and diverse projects that strengthen our natural environment helps responsibly grow our state.”

To learn more about the Alabama Wildlife Federation, visit alabamawildlife.org.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

2 hours ago

The Saddle Guy carries on a family tradition of saddle making in Alabama

Kevin Parrish is a craftsman by birthright. At the age of 13, his father took him into the family garage workshop and started relaying the ins and outs of leather working and saddle making.

“I remember I was watching Saturday morning cartoons and he came and said, ‘Come on, it’s time to go to work,’ and from that point on, some nights during the week and every Saturday I would work with him, kicking and screaming the whole way.”

Luckily, Parrish, who owns The Saddle Guy—a saddle making and repair shop in Baldwin County, Alabama—eventually developed a passion for the talent. After attending college for a couple of years at Auburn, he returned home to Montgomery to once again work in his father’s saddle shop. This time, though, something was different. “It just kind of clicked for me,” he remembers.

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Finally seeing a future in saddle making, Parrish spearheaded an expansion of his father’s homegrown business, renting a space in the Montgomery stockyards and slowly growing the business for the next three years. When his father passed away in 1999, he held on for a few years before closing down the shop and moving to Memphis to work at Tucker Saddlery. A short time later, Tucker Saddlery was bought by Circle Y out of Texas, and Parrish moved west.

“It was kind of like saddle college,” Parrish says. “I got to learn a lot about making techniques and work with a bunch of talented saddle makers and designers.”

When Parrish decided it was time to move home, the natural thing to do was reopen shop. He repeated history by first operating out of his garage. Once business picked up, her rented a space. In 2017, Parrish moved his business to Robertsdale, where he resides today.

There, Parrish and his team of five focus on three main areas of business: saddle making, saddle repair, and creating horse tack like bridles and breast straps. Over the years, business has steadily grown. Last year, the team produced 147 saddles, the year before it was 89, then 69, 33, and 13. This year, The Saddle Guy already has orders for 114 saddles from all over the country and expects to build around 224 total before December ends.

One of the Parrish’s main goals with The Saddle Guy is to uphold the integrity of craftsmanship his father created in their family name. He often gets saddles into the shop for repairs that he can tell his father worked on just by the quality of stitching. With every saddle or accessory his shop works on, Parrish says it’s not about perfection but rather about making something beautiful and durable out of the materials he has to work with.

“There’s just something about starting out with a table covered in material—hardware, a hide of leather, a piece of tree—and then taking all those components and fitting them together. It’s kind of like creating something out of nothing—or not nothing, but something complicated out of something simple.”

Thinking back on how he got to be “The Saddle Guy,” Parrish says, “It’s funny how things work out. I ended up following his footsteps and carrying on what he began, but it was never really intentional. So now we’re building a nice company that’s trying to keep that tradition, not only of my family but the tradition of saddle building and leather crafting, alive.”

(Courtesy of SoulGrown)

3 hours ago

Alabama softball wins 2021 SEC Tournament

The University of Alabama shut out top-seeded Florida on Saturday night to win the 2021 SEC Softball Tournament Championship at Rhoads Stadium.

The 4-0 victory secured the sixth tournament title in program history and its first since 2012. The Crimson Tide remain the only program to win an SEC Tournament on its home field, now having done so this year and its previous title.

The latest win was the Bama softball’s 44th victory in an SEC Tournament, tying LSU for the most of any team all-time. Alabama achieved its shut-out behind another masterful performance from pitcher Montana Fouts (22-3), who went the distance with 11 strikeouts. The complete-game shutout is the first since Tennessee’s Monica Abbott in 2006. Fouts was named the SEC Tournament MVP, striking out a tournament-record 39 batters over her three appearances.

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“Winning the tournament at home means everything after all the adversity we’ve faced and the injuries we’ve overcome this year,” she commented. “To us, this win signifies that anything is possible and that we can accomplish anything. It feels great to be a part of this university and for our team to contribute our own SEC championship, but we aren’t done yet and we have bigger dreams.”

In addition to Fouts, Bailey Hemphill, Alexis Mack and Taylor Clark earned SEC All-Tournament accolades.

Alabama, ranked No. 3 nationally, is now 45-7 on the season and awaits is postseason draw with the NCAA Tournament selection show Sunday at 8:00 p.m. CT on ESPN2.

“The SEC was tough this year,” stated head coach Patrick Murphy. “I think everyone will realize just how great the SEC and the level of talent is when the All-American list gets released in a few weeks. There are so many great athletes throughout the SEC and in softball, specifically. I think softball, if not number one, is the second-best sport in the SEC. The championship tradition and coaches here at Alabama are a great fraternity to be in. I heard from so many other coaches last night wishing us good luck. It is a difficult job and we wanted to do the same thing and add to the success of our other sports. That’s why I love being a spring sport, it gives me an opportunity to learn from the fall and winter coaches. This team had grit and resiliency and it’s been a fun group to coach.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

3 hours ago

ADOL Secretary Washington applauds Gov. Ivey for opting out of pandemic compensation programs; Credits her for brisk recovery

Earlier this week, Gov. Kay Ivey announced the state would end its participation in federal pandemic employment compensation programs effective June 19, 2021.

The announcement was welcomed by Alabama business owners who have been grappling with labor shortages, which some blame on the generous federal benefits doled out in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During an appearance on Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” on FM Talk 106.5, Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington applauded Ivey for her decision not to continue those benefits.

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“On Monday, Gov. Kay Ivey announced Alabama would opt out of its participation in the federally funded pandemic unemployment compensation program,” Washington said. “There are four programs that make up those federal benefits. One program is called the federal pandemic unemployment compensation program, which provides an additional $300 weekly payment to recipients of unemployment compensation. The second program is the pandemic unemployment assistance program, which provides benefits for those who would not usually qualify — as such as self-employed, gig-economy workers and part-time workers. The third program pandemic emergency unemployment compensation program, which provides an additional extension of benefits once regular benefits have been exhausted. And then the final program is called the mixed-earner unemployment compensation program, which provides an additional $100 benefit for certain people with mixed incomes.”

“So, it was announced by Gov. Kay Ivey that we would be opting out of those programs,” he continued. “I certainly applaud the Governor for being the fourth governor out of 16 states to make this decision. Again, this decision was made in an effort to speed up economic recovery and get more Alabamians back to work.”

Washington also credited the Governor for the expeditious recovery, which has exceeded expectations and the pace of neighboring states.

“We’re really encouraged how our economy is turning in the right direction,” he said. “As mentioned, our state unemployment rate for March is at 3.8% compared to the national rate, which is 6.1%. And, in fact, Alabama has the lowest unemployment rate for two consecutive months — more than the neighboring southeastern states.”

“I attributed that to Governor Ivey and our administration,” Washington said. “I think she has a really good strong plan in terms of rallying everybody together and having everybody sing off of one accord in terms of what the opportunities are for people to wrap up our economy.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

4 hours ago

UAH alumna Dr. Kimberly Robinson named U.S. Space & Rocket Center CEO

Dr. Kimberly Robinson, an alumna of The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), part of The University of Alabama System, has been named Executive Director and CEO of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC). The hiring was announced by the Alabama Space Science Exhibition Commission, which oversees the operation of the center.

Dr. Robinson earned her M.S. and Ph.D. from UAH in Engineering Management and Systems Engineering and is a 31-year veteran of NASA. She is also the recipient of numerous NASA performance awards, including an Exceptional Achievement Medal and the Silver Snoopy.

She began her career at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in 1989 as a Project Engineer in the Propulsion Laboratory, became an astronaut trainer, served as an Executive Intern to the Center Director, was the Project Integration Manager for the Ares 1-X test flight, served as the Payload Mission Manager for Artemis 1 (the first integrated flight test of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft) and most recently led Utilization for all Artemis missions for NASA HQs/Advanced Exploration Systems.

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Needless to say, the decision to make such a pivotal move at this time in her career is an intriguing one, fraught with change and challenges. “This was a major change to my life plan,” she says, smiling. “I had never planned to leave NASA prior to retirement and wasn’t sure if it was the right thing to do while I was still building my NASA career. But now that it’s happened, it totally makes sense to me.”

One only needs to spend a few minutes with Dr. Robinson to feel the energy, enthusiasm and drive she is ready to throw at any obstacle in her way. “I know that I have a lot to learn, and I’m very upfront about that,” she says. “It goes beyond STEM education and space exploration. There are other roles that come along with this position: we run a museum, gift shop, restaurants and a large number of camp programs under Space Camp. Those areas are all new for me, and it’s fun for me to learn.”

Dr. Robinson’s background makes her particularly well-suited for her new role in ways beyond her technical qualifications. The alumna is fully versed in sharing the future of human space exploration with the public through her work in various NASA posts, such as SLS Strategic Communications Manager at MSFC.

“You have to be able to communicate, talk to the public and your team, explain where we are going, and how we will get there,” she says.

It doesn’t take complicated analysis to determine the source of many of the challenges she is facing. “The Center came to a screeching halt due to the pandemic,” notes Pat Ammons, the Senior Director of Communications at USSRC. But Dr. Robinson is walking into this job with her eyes wide open and a finely honed sense of how to help an organization surmount the difficulties it is facing to get back on track.

The most pressing need to be addressed would almost certainly be the financial impact brought about by the COVID-19 crisis.

“It would have been easier to step into this role had the Rocket Center been in a better financial situation rather than in a recovery mode after the pandemic,” the new CEO says. “But it wouldn’t have appealed to the part of me that enjoys the challenge. I had a mentor at NASA who said if you want to be valuable to an organization, you go to where they need you. You don’t go where you want to go or go for the best pay or the best title; you go where someone needs you, and do the best job that you can – that’s how you prove your value.”

Officially on the job since February 15, Dr. Robinson has hit the ground running, anxious to put her personal philosophy to work reshaping USSRC operations.

“At NASA I learned important lessons, like how to manage risk and how to make decisions with people’s lives depending on it. Here we are having to adjust and adapt and assess as the situations unfold. For example, we made a decision that we would only operate Space Camp at 50% capacity this summer to safely maintain distance and follow the health guidelines. We had to make that decision early on in order to stabilize our planning. To try to switch on a dime would not provide the quality experience that we want to give our visitors here.”

Dr. Robinson is quick to point out that one of the most important factors in supporting her vision for the Center is the people behind it all. “It’s mostly about team building. That’s what I enjoy, and what I did at NASA – developing a plan, executing the plan, keeping the team safe and secure, motivated and challenged. I believe I can do almost anything with the right motivated team, solve any problem, move any mountain. That’s how we landed on the Moon!”

One important part of leading is helping the team define and share a vision. To this end, Dr. Robinson is working with the Executive Team to develop a Strategic Plan for the Space & Rocket Center to outline the strategic goals of the Center for the next three to five years.

Originally from Birmingham, Dr. Robinson has always been fascinated by the space program. “I loved the space program, airplanes and space ships – but I never knew that was anything I could be a part of. That was for test pilots and German rocket scientists. It wasn’t until I received an award from the Society of Women Engineers presented to me by a female NASA astronaut that I learned it was something I could do too. It felt like the world opened up to me.”

In what has become a kind of lifelong modus operandi for the UAH alumna, it soon became evident, however, that she would have to knock down quite a few barriers to accomplish her goals.

“From that time on, I wanted to work at NASA, wanted to be an engineer and preferably an astronaut. I was a senior in high school, and I started interviewing everywhere for scholarships. I sometimes had people say, ‘You’re a woman, you won’t last as an engineer!’ One interviewer questioned why I deserved a scholarship, when I would probably just get married and leave school after the first year! Well, I stayed with it and now I have a real passion for encouraging women to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). I want them to know that if it interests you, don’t let anyone tell you you don’t belong.”

The choice to come to UAH to further her education was an easy one. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Vanderbilt University, Dr. Robinson moved to Huntsville to work at NASA while pursuing an advanced degree at night. “I took one class at UAH, loved it, and said this is the place for me! It’s a wonderful university,” she says.

Now that she has had time to settle in, how does she feel about her first six weeks as head of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center?

The alumna grins. “I must look like a drowned rat, because it’s like drinking from a firehose! But just coming in the door, it was love at first sight. The team is wonderful, the mission is solid and appealing, and everything about it has felt right. It’s rewarding, fulfilling, challenging and exhausting, all at the same time.”

Lastly, Dr. Robinson fully understands the importance of helping this cherished Huntsville landmark thrive once more.

“It is a solemn responsibility that I take seriously. It is human nature to explore the unknown and push the boundaries, and space exploration is one way we have done that to a magnificent degree. The U.S. Space & Rocket Center showcases those human achievements that have expanded technologies, opened new frontiers and discovered new worlds. The story itself is the compelling narrative, and we’re here to make sure it shines in a way that connects to each visitor who walks in the door.”

(Courtesy of The University of Alabama in Huntsville)