This article was originally published in the opinion section of The Tennessean under the name With golf and in life, you have to have a game plan by Bill Breen. You can view the original article here.
My wife, Hannah Paramore Breen, and I met in our early 50s when Hannah bought a Groupon for a 2-for-1 golf lesson with me. Her vice president of sales said golf would be a great way to grow her marketing business, Paramore Digital. Three years later, I asked her on a date, and shortly after, we got married. Why did I wait so long to ask her out? Hannah will tell you I wanted to get her handicap down before being seen with her.
That first lesson was 11 years ago, and since then, Hannah sold her wildly successful business. Now she consults for other companies, manages my marketing and schedule and caddies at the golf tournaments where I compete.
Since then, we have also gone through the arduous, heartbreaking process of placing Hannah’s mother into memory care after she started exhibiting signs of dementia. This process taught us so much and forced us to look at our futures.
This experience showed us that long-term care insurance will not cover the types of assistance we might require before we are significantly affected by aging. When Hannah’s mother did get to that level of need, we also saw the difficult red tape and long waiting period of getting claims covered through long-term care insurance at that life stage
In addition to these insights, we determined that the most important thing to us is being able to live at home as we age. Last year, we heard about LiveWell By Blakeford, a Nashville-based program that combines the connectedness of community living with the stability of receiving care at home when needed. As healthy, independent adults over 60 who want to plan ahead, LiveWell was the answer. We became members this year and feel like we finally solved the puzzle.
With LiveWell, we can sustain the independence that is so valuable to us, while having access to a range of services, control and flexibility, and a level of personal attention no conventional insurance can cover. While we’re still young and active, we use LiveWell for transportation by our personal care coordinator after a minor surgery, fitness assessments and a personalized wellness plan. We also have the assurance that when we reach the next level of aging, we’ll have dedicated help managing our home and health care. If we end up needing nursing care, our membership ensures access to that level of assistance and covers it financially.
Even though you may be approaching retirement, you may not be thinking about a plan for care as you age. Take it from Hannah and me that it’s worth investing resources into planning for senior care now so that you can live independently for the rest of your life.
Bill Breen is one of the top-ranked senior professional golfers in Tennessee and teaches private golf lessons at Harpeth Valley Golf Center in Bellevue, Tennessee. A PGA member since 1989, Bill has taught thousands of golfers from beginners to the tour level for more than 30 years.