By Stacy Kahan
As consultants who have devoted our lives to helping individuals and businesses protect what
matters to them, we see the benefits of proactive planning at 1706 Advisors every day. Still,
there is nothing like experiencing the value of protection for yourself. When a health crisis
struck our family, we had the protection we needed to make it through.
My father, Stan Lang, was my mentor and hero in life and work. I followed in his footsteps to
build a business that provided protection strategies, consulting, and insurance benefits to help
people maintain their quality of life and peace of mind. I passed on what I learned from him to
my two daughters, Cara and Alana, who have taken the reigns of our family practice. He began
every conversation the same way: “How can I help?” This question is the guiding principle of
our business to this day.
As he aged, the tables turned, and my father became the one who needed help. He was
diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and then later with Dementia. He spent the last five years
of his life requiring increasing levels of care. Watching our strong, independent hero decline
was an emotional journey for our family, and it was compounded by the financial and time
responsibilities that we took on to support him. My mother became a devoted, tireless
caregiver, but as his condition worsened, it became clear he needed full-time professional care.
Fortunately, my father had taken the advice he gave so many others and invested in a long-
term care policy (LTC) when he was still in his working years. Twenty years later, it was there
when we needed it. My sister and I began interviewing Home Health Care Agencies (HHCAs),
and one of the first questions they asked us was: “do you have a long-term care policy?” We
were grateful that our father had given us this gift. HHCAs are not inexpensive, and our family
still had a lot to manage logistically and emotionally. Without the LTC policy, we would have
had a financial burden to deal with too.
My father’s careful planning provided us with so many benefits, including:
- A source of payment for the mounting expenses required to care for him.
- A respite for my mother, who had the support of licensed caregivers managing his day-
- The gift of time. We spent quality time with him in his remaining days as loving family
members rather than exhausted caregivers.
We’ve seen time and time again how protection strategies and thoughtful planning can save
families and businesses. We know that planning for your own death or decline is unpleasant,
and what’s far more unpleasant is dealing with a loss, health crisis, or death without a safety
net in place. Maybe you’ll put a plan together, and it will sit in a drawer, unused. Or perhaps it
will provide you with financial benefits and peace of mind when you need it the most, the way
it did for our family. Either way, we know from experience that planning ahead is one of the
nicest gifts you can give to your loved ones.