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As we live our lives, we make many choices. Some are driven by family upbringing and generational events, others come from what we learn along the way, and others are forced upon us. We experience things that we enjoy. But what about things that bring us joy? Turning a very difficult conversation or experience into something that offers us peace and family harmony is the overall purpose of the Three Steps.

In the Jones family, using the 3 Steps, they find a way to help Grandma and Grandpa age in their own home. Even though the family only managed to work through the first 2 Steps, they were better prepared for the harsh wake-up call when Grandma fell and got hurt. Once the emergency passes, family members needed to get back to their own lives. Step 3, the Care Planning Team (CPT) helped them do just that. During this step, they discover options that will work- and some that financially or due to underwriting won’t work. They also discover some side benefits of working together-and the results brings them joy.

“Hi, everyone, one of the great side eff ects of being a

part of the Care Planning Team (CPT) is that we all

get together on a regular schedule. I think we are all

benefi ting from this learning process. Let’s have some fun.

Th is guessing game relates to possible retirement locations

and their various care costs. Who would like to guess as

to how many counties there are in the United States?”

Each CPT member throws out a number.

“Doug guessed 2,850 and that was the closest. Currently,

there are 3,006 counties in the United States alongside

142 county-equivalents, like boroughs in Alaska and

parishes in Louisiana.55 Keep in mind that costs and local

services may vary from one area to another.

“What’s my prize?” Doug asks.

“You don’t wind up receiving care at a location that isn’t

your first choice!”

“Good point! By taking the current monthly cost and

then using one of the insurance geographical cost-of-care

calculators56 to push it out twenty-five years, I can estimate

how much money I would have to save to cover costs

in various settings and locations.”

Nicole does some quick math. “Wow! The aging baby

boomer population is estimated to be about 72 million

people. It’s impossible to know where costs will go, other

than up! Let’s just confidently conclude that it is likely to

be a significant number.”

“Even if I gave up my favorite restaurant, wine, and

poker games, ”Jackson says, grinning at Doug, “I don’t

see us saving that kind of money!”

Jodi nods and says, “Or keeping that amount of money

in an emergency fund earning next to nothing! Bottom

line, Dad and I don’t want to be obligated to keep that

amount of money in a low-risk investment, designated

only as an emergency extended or long-term care fund.

We want to leverage our money by insuring against funding

those ever-increasing costs. More importantly, we want to do

it while we qualify for several options so we

have choices.”

- excerpt from "How Not to Tear Your Family Apart

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