Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Will You Live Too Long?

It seems like not a week goes by without hearing or reading about the impending baby boomer explosion. Much of the media attention is devoted to questioning the boomer's ability to retire at a reasonable age with a comfortable lifestyle.

Another often discussed subject relates to Medicare and the enormous strain that will occur as the boomer crowd reaches 65 years of age. This is when those who are eligible are automatically enrolled in Medicare.

As important as these issues are, they wane when compared with the problems inherent with long term care. Without proper planning, baby boomers are in jeopardy of depleting their hard earned assets.

The most reliable data regarding population longevity is found with life insurance companies. Indeed, the underwriting of life insurance policies is based on the principle of accurately identifying when various groups of individuals will die.

As a population, we are living longer. In fact, the highest rate of increased longevity belongs to those over the age of 85. Unfortunately, the increase in age is coupled with an increase in mental and medical conditions that require long term care.

Many seniors today believe their long term care costs will be absorbed by Medicare. This is simply not true! Medicare is designed primarily to help someone recover from an illness. Most people who require long term care have chronic conditions which severely limit their ability to recover.

To rely on Medicare to pay for the cost of long term care is foolish. The only government assistance available to pay this cost is found in the Medicaid program, which is federally granted and state administered.

But Medicaid is only for the destitute. It is a welfare plan intended for those who simply cannot pay the cost of receiving custodial supervision by themselves.

For years, the strict rules associated with administering Medicaid have been manipulated by clever individuals and their professional advisors. Many people who have the ability to pay for care were creating special arrangements to make it appear they were destitute when, in fact, they were not.

This so-called Medicaid Planning simply increased the enormous strain already imposed on the welfare system. Recently, Congress took steps to help alleviate this.

On February 8, 2006, President George W. Bush signed into law the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. This multi-tasked bill closed one of the biggest loopholes in Medicaid Planning and reinforced the fact that Medicaid is for the destitute.

This should serve as a warning to the baby boomers who mistakenly believe their long term care costs will be subsidized by the government. They need to provide for themselves through the purchase of a long term care policy issued by a highly rated insurance company.

The costs associated with long term care are increasing faster than the costs of providing a college education. In some states, it costs over $300 per day to provide long term care. A properly purchased policy can offset much of this expense.

No one is immune to this problem, but it is apparent that the largest exposure exists with the baby boomers. Without adequate planning millions of additional families will be faced with financial ruin.

Their assets will be wasted in order to pay for the cost of having lived too long in an environment of custodial care. The question becomes: "Which asset will you liquidate first?" if you don't have adequate protection?

Jim and Jeanetta Pollard

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


According to today’s regulations and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s probably shouldn’t have survived.

Our baby cribs were covered with lead-based paint.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets….and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.


We ate cup cakes, bread and butter, and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, drinking from one bottle, and no one actually died from this.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Play stations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, video tape movies, surround sound, personal cell phones, personal computers, or Internet chat rooms.


We had friends! We went outside and found them.

We played dodge ball, and sometimes, the ball would really hurt.

We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

They were accidents. No one was to blame but us. Remember accidents?

We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it.

We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms, and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did the worms live inside us forever.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s home and knocked on the door, or rang the bell or just walked in and talked to them.

Little league had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment.

Some students weren’t as smart as others, so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade.


Tests were not adjusted for any reason.

Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law.

Imagine that!

When we disobeyed the teacher or sassed her, we were sent to the office for a paddling – not a beating- a paddling. If our parents found out about this, chances are we would get an additional paddling. Parents demanded that we obey and show respect for our teachers.

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever.

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all!

Perhaps you are one of us. If so, congratulations!

Anonymous – taken from the Internet

Revised and submitted by Jim and Jeanetta Pollard
9312 St. Rt. 131
Hickory, Ky. 42051
270-851-7699 or sleigh phone 270-493-0281

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Cab Ride

The following story was taken from the Internet. The author is unknown. This is such a powerful story that we feel everyone would benefit from it.

Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute and then drive away.
But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself.
So I walked to the door and knocked. “Just a minute,” answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being drug across the floor.
After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.
By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware. “Would you carry my bag out to the car?” she asked. I took the suitcase to the cab and then returned to assist the woman.
She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness.
“It’s nothing,” I told her. “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated.”
“Oh, you’re such a good boy,” she said.
When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?”
“It’s not the shortest way,” I answered quickly.
“Oh, I don’t mind,” she said. “I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.”
I looked in the rearview mirror. Her eyes were glistening. “I don’t have any family left,” she continued. “The doctor says I don’t have very long.”
I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. “What route would you like me to take?” I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.
Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, “I’m tired. Let’s go now.”
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.
Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.
I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair. “How much do I owe you?” she asked, reaching into her purse.
“Nothing,” I said.
“You have to make a living,” she answered.
“There are other passengers,” I responded.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly. “You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,” she said. “Thank you.”
I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.
I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of the day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?
On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware – beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

Submitted by Jim and Jeanetta Pollard
9312 St. Rt. 131
Hickory, Ky. 42051
270-851-7699 or cell # 270-493-0281