The other day, the federal government released a headline grabbing report: The average out-of-pocket cost of raising a child from birth to age 17 is about $234,000. Among families where an older adult has severe long-term care needs and uses paid care, out-of-pocket costs average $140,000, according to research by my Urban Institute colleague Melissa Favreault. That enormous cost is generally spread over much less time, typically four years in contrast to 17.
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Tobe was a pleasure to work with right from the beginning. She quickly responded to our initial outreach by visiting us to understand our needs and to provide us with educational material so that we could begin the process of learning about long-term care insurance. She demonstrated boundless patience (!) and maintained her sense of humor with our endless myriad questions and concerns, always making time to talk until we felt we had come to the best decision. She was very accommodating and her willingness to chat by phone or via email as many times as we needed was above and beyond, often responding off-hours. Tobe was invested in making sure we were well informed and did her best to research any questions she could not answer right away. Tobe is a wonderful educator. Her clarity and thoroughness enables her to explain concepts in a very clear and concise manner; she made what could be a daunting menu of benefits and combinations easily discernible. She was honest and forthright when she felt we were going astray or looking at aspects of policies that may not be in our best interest. At the same time, she was always respectful of our particular concerns, needs, preferences and hesitations. Understanding the nuances of the products and benefits and helping us to foresee the future while making us comfortable with our decisions (so that we could finally make a decision!) is what we appreciated most. She shared her history with the long term care insurance industry in such a way that we felt comfortable navigating the news stories, others’ skepticism, and our own fears about making such a long term financial commitment. Ultimately, with Tobe’s professional and skilled guidance, we were able to confidently choose a policy that seems like the right fit for us.
Deborah Issokson and Liane BrombergHull, MA
I have known Tobe Gerard in both professional and personal capacities for 10 years. Tobe is professional, intelligent, insightful, conscientious, thorough, and caring. Although I had a previous opportunity to purchase an employer-sponsored Long Term Care insurance plan, I chose to purchase through Tobe instead. Tobe presented me with an excellent range of options, patiently walked my husband and I through them (several times), promptly provided any further information we requested, and carefully discussed the pros and cons of each plan and variable. She (again, patiently!) answered my questions on filling out the application and kept us updated about its’ progress. When the insurance company wanted additional information and I was unable to respond due to a family emergency, Tobe smoothed the way for me. I could not possibly recommend anyone more highly than I recommend Tobe Gerard.
Andi SternTulsa, OK
Tobe Gerard listens, cares, and wants the very best for you. We think the best of her as she has demonstrated her best with and for us. End-of-time planning requires sensitive and professional management. Tobe has the gifts and the talent for making these plans a reality.
Reverend and Mrs. John F. RiceBass River, MA
I am a former commercial casualty-property insurance broker, now retired from a national brokerage firm. I first met Tobe when she was a Long Term Care instructor at a Certified Insurance Counselor seminar I attended about eight years ago. I was impressed with her knowledge of LTC Insurance, as well as her ability to convey information in a clear and concise manner to the class, and keep it interesting. So, when I was finally ready to purchase LTC Insurance, Tobe was foremost in my mind, even though I know good local agents I could have also consulted about this product. Once I started working with Tobe, I realized that, not only was she exceptionally knowledgeable about LTC Insurance, and could explain it very clearly, but she was also very thorough, extremely responsive to my questions, and had very quick turn around on items she needed to check into. And, I discovered that she really cared about me and the protection she felt I needed. And, a plus, she is truly a very, very nice person.
Long term care insurance was the furthest thing from my mind before an estate planner recommended that my husband and I consider it in order to protect our assets if we ever needed long term care. I wasn’t keen on imagining myself in a situation that would require long term care, but just to cover all bases, we met with Tobe — and then put off thinking about it for another year. At that time, Tobe made me aware of changes in various company policies that impacted women and the type of coverage I might want. I decided to apply and she guided me through myriad questions in a clear, timely, and thorough way, never being directive about particular companies, always focused on listening to what was most important to me. The application process can be difficult at various points – it can seem as if your health is called into question as you make your way through endless checklists of symptoms – but Tobe kept it upbeat, gave good guidance, and actually made it pleasant. When the process was complete and I had my policy in hand, I was sorry we had to part ways. In short, Tobe is terrific and great to work with – I would highly recommend her to anyone purchasing a policy or even to someone simply wanting to explore why LTCI might be a good idea.
An anonymous but grateful clientNewton, MA.
Having longevity issues in both of our families we realized the importance of, and the need for, comprehensive long term care coverage. Knowing the complexity of this product we wanted to work with the best–someone who is very knowledgeable in the product and would have the credibility that would give us a level of comfort that they had our best interests in mind. We did extensive research to find the business partner that we wanted to work with. After reading many articles we felt that we knew what we were looking for. Tobe’s website was very professional and the testimonials there were impressive. To verify the validity of what we read we even participated in all of the educational webinars that she offers. That sealed the deal. She obviously knew the subject matter inside and out and came across as the type of caring person that we would be comfortable working with. We are very glad that we made the decision that we did. We recently purchased a shared policy. During the entire process Tobe was by our side explaining, educating, and guiding us. With both of us being financial professionals we tended to ask a lot of questions. Tobe was able to answer all of our questions and was very patient in providing us with a level of comfort that the product we purchased was the best option for us. Regardless of whether you are very knowledgeable in this area or are a novice in this subject matter, we highly recommend Tobe as someone you should work with.
Bob & Marilyn O’ConnellWalpole, MA
Tobe Gerard is a true professional in the sense of striving to understand the client’s concerns and placing the client’s best interests first, and in her continual professional interest in the Long Term Care insurance industry. I have worked with Tobe for the past 4 years on LTC cases for my insureds and am always impressed with not only her knowledge but also her ability to listen and relate to people.
Chip BoyntonBoynton Insurance Agency, Needham, MA
Tobe Gerard of Tobe Gerard Insurance worked with my wife and me in developing a plan for our insurance needs. She made us understand the nuances and intricacies of the terminologies, and various services vis-à-vis the premiums. Tobe readily and patiently answered our questions in detail, and walked us through the application process. Her initial interview with us was phenomenal in sifting through our needs and wants, and to finally design an appropriately tailored policy that met our requirements. We would enthusiastically recommend this agency to our friends.
P.K. and O.K. Burlington, MA
What a stroke of luck and providence that my financial advisor suggested I talk to you about my mother’s Long Term Care Insurance. As an attorney, I have been dealing with insurance for thirty years. However, I never had experience with Long Term Care Insurance. I have come to appreciate your advice and expertise over these last several months.
Albert E. Clark, Attorney at LawSavannah GA
You have completed your job in helping us with LTC insurance. And so, I want to thank you for your help. You have been just wonderful – very professional, efficient, clear, and with a human touch and a heart. One cannot count on all of that from the professionals we work with. We are thoroughly satisfied with your work on our behalf. We will be happy to recommend you to others.
Dr. and Mrs. P. DNewton, MA