You’ve got to take care of your family first when you’re in the business. Looking at the situation with my own parents, I saw that my father didn’t really have enough benefits, and he wouldn’t talk to anyone about benefits. He didn’t want more. But I could give him a push as his son, and he listened to me and got much more life insurance coverage. He got long-term care, even though he always told me, “I’ll never do it. I don’t want it. If I were ever sick, I wouldn’t want to live that way.” I just kept pushing him, and eventually, he said, “Yes, OK.” And he did it.
Fast forward a few years later, unfortunately, he was told he had to retire. He got sick. They said he had some rare illness: frontotemporal dementia, corticobasal syndrome. It was downhill from there, and he wasn’t able to work. Soon after, he was under a claim for long-term care insurance. And that plan they weren’t paying much for is paying for his nursing home today.
Unfortunately, the doctors gave up on his life. The life insurance, the living needs claim, paid out about 99% of the benefit. That’s going out of your way to make sure the job gets done. That you have it there and can take care of your own family means a lot.
I had support from my mom, who worked as a telemarketer for a long-term care insurance company. She always said, “We need to get this.” Regardless, he didn’t do it, and I just had to keep pushing. Did I like pushing? I’m his son; I knew he had to do it. He needed the coverage. He was actually approved preferred, which is hard to do in long-term care. He was the ideal case. And to this day, I believe my father has a desire to live the way it is. He has gotten to meet my children, who were born after he got sick. It’s a tough lifestyle. However, I don’t know how my family would be to this day if that coverage wasn’t there.
My father’s oldest grandson turned 13 years old, and in November 2019 just before the pandemic, he celebrated his bar mitzvah. With the support of a nurse and couple CNAs, we were able to arrange for my father to be there. I could see the light in my father’s face, the happiness to be there.
I remember when I was 13, my father said, “Your bar mitzvah is one of the happiest days of your life.” This was truly one of my father’s greatest days in life.
In January 2021, I was blessed to have a newborn son. Though we were deep into the pandemic, my father was able to participate in the circumcision via Zoom. When the weather improved, we were able to arrange for an outdoor visit for my father to meet his baby grandson. This was a very special moment.
With a few more years gone by, we have reached the $1 million level of long-term care claims that have been paid out. The push that was made for this plan to go into effect has given my family the money needed to pay for my father’s care.
Yakov Baylis, CLU, ChFC, is a five-year MDRT member from Downers Grove, Illinois, USA. Hear more in the MDRT Podcast: