C. Lawrence “Larry” Thomas

C. Lawrence “Larry” Thomas

C. Lawrence “Larry” Thomas began working with long-term care and Medicare programs in the mid- 1980s. He is currently associated with Insurance 101 Services to provide long- term care solutions to seniors and those approaching. Larry can be reached at (949) 374-3316 or ltinsurance@me.com.
CA Insurance License # 0C79256.

When a person retires they have three pots of money to be concerned about. Each of these pots has a dedicated source of funds. They are:

  • The Living Money Pot: This pot contains the income needed for basic living expenses such as food and shelter, utilities, transportation, clothing, and the like. This money typically comes from Social Security, a pension, an annuity, distributions from retirement accounts, and, perhaps, a part-time job.
  • The Lifestyle Money Pot: This pot is for the things we want; things that make us happy, things that are nice but not as essential as the needs funded by the Living Money Pot. Things like golf expenses, hobbies, travel, a golf cart that looks like a Rolls Royce, and so forth. The Lifestyle Money Pot also funds Long-Term Care should it be needed. Let’s face it, if you need long-term care assistance, your golf and travel will probably be limited and the money for it diverted to long-term care expenses. This money comes from savings and investments. It is not a good idea to take money from a source, such as an IRA, that is needed for the Living Money Pot.
  • The Legacy Money Pot: This is the money that we pass on to our heirs. Sometimes it is after we are gone; sometimes we want to do something while we are here like fund a grandchild’s education. This pot is usually funded from investments, an owned business, real property assets, and life insurance.

Long-term Care expenses can be paid by selling an asset from the Lifestyle Money Pot, the Legacy Money Pot, or by buying an insurance policy designed to pay for this care. Some long-term care insurance policies have a feature that returns the premiums paid in if the coverage is never needed.

Another innovation is a life insurance policy, paid for out of the Lifestyle Money Pot, with a death benefit that can be used for long-term care expenses. Any portion of the death benefit that still remains when the insured passes is paid to the heirs (so it becomes part of the Legacy Money Pot).

Long-term care is assistance with the acts of daily living such as eating, dressing, bathing, transferring (i.e., from a bed to a chair), continence, and toileting. Neither Medicare nor Medicare supplemental insurance covers this care. The only government assistance for long-term care is through MediCal, a program for impoverished persons.

For further information regarding the long-term care financing options available, please call. There is never a charge for such consultations.

That is one of our most frequently asked questions. The short answer is - possibly.

Before the question can be answered we need to drill into your parent’s specific situation. We will ask some questions to determine some factors that influence the final answer. Eventually, your parents will need to be directly involved in answering these questions.

  1. Do you understand what services are paid for under long-term care coverage?
  2. Does one or both of your parents currently require substantial assistance with two or more of the six Activities of Daily Living (called ADLs which are eating, bathing, dressing, continence, transferring, and toileting)?
  3. Does one or both of your parents need assistance to protect him-or-herself and/or others because of a mental deterioration (such as Alzheimer’s Disease)?
  4. What medical conditions are present and what medications are currently being administered?
  5. What surgeries or hospital stays have occurred in the past 5 years (brief details and diagnosis for each)?
  6. What are the ages of the parents?

The answers to these six questions will determine if coverage is possible. If your parents are not approvable for coverage we will let you know. In some cases the insurance company may have further questions.

Assuming that we get a green light, next come the design of the coverage and the preparation of a quotation.

There are lots of options in this stage, which means more questions. Among them are:

  1. Where do the parents want to receive long-term care (at home, in a facility, day care, etc.)? It is common that this care starts at home and eventually moves to a facility when a high level of services is needed.
  2. What are the financial constraints? Consumer protection regulations require the collection of financial information so that we can insure that this coverage is “suitable.” Financial information is submitted as part of the coverage application.
  3. Are their special requests or requirements that need to be considered? This may include considerations such as insuring that a specific facility or luxury level is planned for.

At this point we have enough information to provide an initial quotation. This quotation may change with the details of the plan that change as a result further discussion and clarification.

Once the coverage is settled and the quotation is approved, the detailed application is prepared and submitted to the insurance company for underwriting. The length of the approval process depends on the details of the medical history. It can take as much as thirty days to get the final approval. The time required depends on the completeness of the application and how fast medical service providers respond to the underwriter’s requests.

While somewhat lengthy, working through the details will insure that you and your parents get the coverage you need at a cost that is appropriate.

The last question: How about your long-term care coverage? Buying it earlier in life is less expensive and, chances are, disqualifying medical issues are less likely. There are policies available that guarantee your premium will not increase.
Call us for more details. There is never a charge for consultation.

Long-term care (sometimes referred to as LTC) can be confusing and there are lots of misconceptions regarding what it actually is and who pays for it. While it is impossible to cover everything about LTC in these few words, we can get a good start.

What is Long-term Care (LTC)?

Simply put, LTC is services and assistance to an individual who has severe limitations in his/her ability to function independently and will require assistance and care over an extended period of time.
Long-term Care is not medical care and is not provided by medical professionals such as nurses and therapists or their assistants. Long-term care is custodial in nature and can be provided at home or in a facility (there are several types) licensed to provide such care.

The above term “ability to function independently” is measured by a person’s ability to do the “activities of daily living.” These activities, frequently called ADLs, are eating, bathing, dressing, continence (inability to control one’s bowel or bladder), transferring (getting in or out of a bed or a chair), and toileting. This is a universally accepted list, which is used to determine when a person is qualified to receive LTC coverage benefits.

One additional measure of qualification for LTC Coverage benefits is “severe cognitive impairment.” This is defined as an individual needing supervision and/or assistance to protect himself/herself or others because of mental deterioration caused by Alzheimer’s disease or other organic mental diseases.

What does long-term care cost?

According to the California Department of Health Services, the 2014 average daily private pay rate for a nursing facility in California is $260 per day. Further the average annual increase in this rate for the most recent 5-year period has been 3.2% per year. Other studies indicate that Orange County’s costs are somewhat less that the statewide average (currently in a range of approximately $190 to $220 per day). Generally speaking, less is spent on care delivered at home, depending on the quantity of care needed and how much of the care can be handled by friends and relatives with no “out-of-pocket” costs.

How is LTC paid for?

There are typically three ways that LTC is paid for: First, self-funding, the individual spends his or her assets and/or has financial assistance from children or other relatives and friends. Second, purchased LTC coverage (traditional LTC insurance and California Partnership-certified LTC insurance, or one of the newer, more innovative “hybrid” LTC policies). This transfers all or part of the risk of a person needing long-term care to the insurance carrier. Third, qualify for MediCal LTC benefits by spending down personal assets for LTC services first and when the MediCal level is reached, apply and move into a facility that accepts MediCal reimbursement (MediCal is California’s version of the Federal Medicaid safety-net program). Please note that neither Medicare nor private health insurance pay for LTC services.

Long-term care is custodial in nature and can be provided at home or in a facility (there are several types) licensed to provide such care.

What are the LTC coverage options?

Today’s options are far better than they ever have been: First, traditional LTC insurance. This coverage is much like other forms of insurance, the customer pays a premium and, if LTC is needed, a specific list of benefits, limitations, and exclusions apply. Second, California Partnership (State Certified) LTC insurance which is traditional LTC insurance with mandated benefits. This coverage protects certain assets from “spend-down” in order to qualify for MediCal.

Third is what is known as “asset-based” or “hybrid” LTC coverage. This is a combination of either Life Insurance and LTC Coverage or an Annuity and LTC Coverage. These options can be paid for with premiums over time, a single investment, trading an obsolete life insurance policy, or using “qualified” money such as within an IRA. The advantage is that the “death benefit” can be used for LTC (much like traditional coverage) but any of it not needed for LTC transfers to beneficiaries upon the passing of the insured.

This is, of course the “tip of the iceberg.” For additional questions, please call. There is never a charge for providing information and consultation.

March 19, the first day of spring, is fast approaching. Spring is a traditional time to do some deep cleaning.
Our focus here is on your banking.

Like your office, your banking needs a periodic cleaning: to go through things to see what may have been untouched for a while, to put things in their proper place, to update, and to get ready for tomorrow’s challenges. This deep cleaning can be very rewarding and satisfying.

Here are five action items to help you with your banking spring-cleaning:

Contact your relationship manager at the bank.

Tell him or her that you want to review your banking services to see if any changes are warranted. Be sure to ask for information that will bring you up-to-date on any changes or enhancements to the bank’s products and services.

Review your deposit accounts and loans.

Go through your accounts with an eye on consolidation. Each account should have a well-defined purpose that is still germane. Some accounts may be consolidated with others, some eliminated, and new ones needed (it may be time for a business money market account to earn interest yet retain liquidity). Loans should undergo the same analysis: looking for ways to meet future needs at the lowest possible cost. Your banker can assist by providing recommendations and the cost of making changes.

Consider adding banking innovations.

Many of us get comfortable with the current way we do things, like banking, and hesitate to change. In doing so, we may miss some opportunities to save some time and money. For example, services like remote deposit capture (depositing checks from your desktop computer) is growing in popularity because it saves trips to the bank and can result in getting access to funds more quickly. Another example, on-line business banking including bill pay. These innovations are designed to save you time and money,

Review your bank’s online security.

Be sure that your bank uses the latest online security features such as multilayer security (log-in credentials, device recognition, and location determination) and that the bank’s server is safe as evidenced by an extended validation certificate indicator on the address bar.

Update your passwords.

Here is another security issue for you to address: consider changing all your financial passwords, not only those regarding your banking. There is lots of advice available for making your passwords more secure. Things like: do not use the same password for all your accounts and the longer and more complex the password, the better (i.e., periodic capitals, alpha numeric, some characters, etc.). Be sure to check for any specific password requirements the site might have.

The business banking professionals at Partners Bank understand the importance of a well-organized banking relationship that suits your company’s needs. Their focus is to provide a high level of service, including suggestions for improvement, year-round. They will also help with an annual “spring-cleaning.”

That is another way Partners Bank helps you Connect with Success.

The business banking professionals at Partners Bank understand the importance of a well-organized banking relationship that suits your company’s needs.

The South Orange County economy is finally booming again. New businesses are moving in and our “old timers” are enjoying renewed prosperity. Businesses, both new and existing, are investing in their futures by enhancing their facilities and processes; working toward enhanced growth and profitability.

Clearly these businesses need a solid banking relationship to finance this investment. The good news is that money is available for these purposes. It is true, however, that, as a result of the recession, banks and banking regulators, have become more cautious; resulting in tightened underwriting criteria.

This caution should not be a deterrent to potential borrowers. A customer-oriented bank will help businesses find solutions to their financing needs.

At Partners Bank we offer a range of financing solutions for businesses and investors. The focus, however, is on business lending, owner occupied commercial real estate, and investor owned commercial real estate, construction lending and SBA Lending. Experienced bankers work with businesses and investors to find the solution that is right for them.

“We are in a growth mode in terms of lending,” says Dan McGregor, Partners Bank chief credit officer. “Our rates and loan terms are very competitive. Probably our biggest advantage is that we are local owned and operated. Decisions are made right here so we can be more responsive than most.”

A few examples of business credit facilities commonly employed:

  • Commercial Revolving Lines of Credit – used to help aid businesses with working capital needs and to bridge the gap between when they collect receivables and when they must pay their bills. Financing inventory for future sale and payment is also a common usage for this financing.
  • Commercial Asset Based Lines of Credit – these are short-to-mid-term lines to support rapid growth or seasonal issues. These lines are usually larger and require collateralization by an asset base built to support such a facility.
  • Commercial Term Loans -- a longer term credit that is used to support expansion (including real estate), improvements to business facilities, equipment, and the acquisition of going concerns or specific assets (products or inventories).
  • Commercial Savings Secured Loans – a low cost method of procuring a credit facility that may otherwise not be possible to grant due to the effects of the recession. An important use of this facility is to rebuild credit. It does, however, require the deposit of cash into an offsetting time deposit account.
  • Owner-occupied Commercial Real Estate – used for the financing of business facilities that will be occupied 51% by the borrower; including new facilities or re-financing existing ones.
  • SBA Loans – Partners Bank is a Preferred SBA Lender, an important option for small to medium sized businesses.
  • Lending Products for investors include:
  • Commercial Real Estate – used to purchase or refinance commercial buildings and other commercial facilities.
  • Construction Lending – Commercial and residential construction loans for property owners, developers, and business expansion.

 

These lending products are offered by experienced bankers with a long record of service to Orange County businesses.

Financing, properly administered, is one of the keys to success. Here you will find bankers who help businesses in innovative ways while holding to the highest banking standards. Partners Bank of California… connect with success.

The banking needs of businesses change as they grow. The single entrepreneur, operating from a home office or small office with few employees has significantly different banking needs from a business with multiple locations and many employees. This month we will look at the frequently asked questions from the smaller business.

Question:Do I need a business account?

Answer:The common answer is yes because it is important to separate business from personal transactions, assets, and liabilities. Even sole proprietors who do not file taxes separately for their business commonly keep their business separate from their personal dealings. Your tax advisor can look at your specific situation and advise you here.
If you do business using your name and social security number and if you receive checks made out to you personally, then you can use a personal account. If your checks are made out to a derivative of your name, say John Smith Insurance or Sam Jones Enterprises, then the rules and regulations can be somewhat complex as well as strict. For a business account, all checks must be made payable to the owner of the account exactly as the name appears on that account. The best thing to do in that situation is to let us (your business banking professional) guide you through the rules on this and help you with what to watch out for when writing and receiving checks for your business.

For these reasons alone, any business should consider a separate account and clearly indicate how to make checks payable to the business on their invoices, contracts, purchase orders, and other documents.

Q:What type of account should be opened?

A:A business checking account is the usual starting point. Today, business banking usually includes online banking, business bill pay, and debit cards. Businesses can also consider applying for lines of credit to assist in business growth and financial management. By using services such as online banking, images of cleared checks are usually available by going online to the actual transaction instead of waiting for them to be included with hard-copy statements. Even the statements can now be optionally received online instead of mailed. It’s a new, digital world.

Next, a business savings account (usually a money market account with check writing capability) is added, as the business’s deposits grow. Be careful here as there is limit on the number of “outbound” transactions on these accounts such as checks and electronic debits (usually about 6 per month).

Q:What name can be printed on the checks?

A:The shortest and safest answer is that the name on the checks must be the same as the name on the account (referred to as the “account vesting”). There is an exception for a fictitious name, properly documented; if the full vesting is “James Smith dba Acme Widget Company” the checks can read “Acme Widget Company.” Please note, in this case checks to pay the company can be made to the full vesting or the fictitious name, but not to James Smith.

Q:How do I open an account?

A:At this point I’ll focus on Partners Bank of California. First, give me a call. I will ask you a few questions on the phone and prepare a New Account Information Kit for you with all the details. Basically, we will need information on all the account signers, your business’s activity, organizational documents, and other documentation depending on the specifics of your situation.

I will bring you the paperwork to an initial meeting and focus more specifically on your needs. Next we will prepare a proposal for you to review. If you approve, you collect the necessary information and we open the account. We can do it all at your location or, if you prefer, at the branch.

Over time our banking relationship will grow. By knowing you well, we will be able to suggest time and money saving banking solutions; from innovative technology to common sense lending. We will also serve you as a member of your financial team; connecting you with success.