Canadian employers are worried about the impact of a possible mass retiring of the first wave of the baby boomers, many of whom are eager to start a new work-free life, start a new business or possibly go back to school.

According to a survey by Hewitt Associates, Canadian organizations of all sizes and industries across the country – especially in Alberta – are having a hard time attracting and retaining older employees.

The question used to be: How can we cut back on the cost of employee benefits?

The more likely question now is: What more can we do to attract and keep older knowledgeable workers?

There is a key education tool that very few employers are offering to employees; it is called long term care planning.

According to Peter Drake, the vice-president of retirement and economic research at Fidelity Investments, there are five key risks to retirement income:

  1. Longevity
  2. Asset allocation
  3. Inflation
  4. Excess withdrawal
  5. Health care spending

Long term care planning focuses on preparation for health care spending.

Why consider long term care planning education for employees

  • The majority of Canadians are ignorant about how the health care system functions in their province – they only learn about the system realities when they need to access it. They do not know what care, services or accommodation cost and too often do not anticipate their own or their parents’ care needs.
  • Most of us feel long term care is reserved for the elderly. Statistics prove otherwise. According to Sun Life Financial, more than one out of every 10 people who has received long term care insurance benefits was under age 50 at time of claim.
  • By 2031, over 750,000 Canadians will have Alzheimer Disease or related dementia unless a cure is found before then. Almost 25 per cent of Canadians now have someone with Alzheimer Disease in their family.
  • Too many believe the government will look after their care needs and costs later in life.
  • Employers are looking for ways to attract and retain valuable older, experienced employees. By offering long term care planning as part of an employee education program, employers are providing added value to employees and even retirees.

The bottom line: Long term care planning needs to be a part of every financial and/or retirement plan written today – and employers can help make this happen.

The long term care planning process

The care planning process is a straight forward, common sense exercise that every adult over the age of 50 needs to complete.

It includes:

1. Having the care conversation with:

  • Parents if you have not already done so
  • Spouse, children or close friends if appropriate
  • A financial planner to ensure the consideration of everything necessary for financial security until the end of life

2. Planning where and how you want to live. Plan so you will have enough money to enable you to have care choices, because money = choice = control.

3. Creating a care plan will take time and effort, but once it is completed, you will have accomplished two very important goals:

There is no excuse to avoid the issue; the expertise and resources are available to help employees plan for long term care.

The Long Term Care Planning Network can provide the following services for employers:

  • Lunch and learn seminars
  • A company library with resources on all aspects of aging, elder and long term care planning
  • Articles for newsletters or company Intranets
  • Individual consulting: At any time you may request our individual consulting services. We would spend a day(s) on your premises and book appointments with employees who need our help or counseling.

Contact us for more information on individual services or our three Levels of Care Programs.