- Hear how the pandemic, innovation and policy are reshaping healthcare
- Learn about ways to factor healthcare costs into your retirement and legacy planning, and why it’s essential to your long-term financial security
- Take away actionable ideas you could consider at any age in preparing for caregiving, long-term care and other future healthcare needs
Big changes in healthcare – will they change your financial life?
Experts answer key questions to help you prepare for rising costs and other game-changing innovations transforming the nation’s healthcare system.
[PROGRAM OPEN WITH TEXT OVER MONTAGE OF VIDEO CLIPS]
Preparing for longer lifespans …
… and health spans
Big changes in healthcare — will they change your financial life?
Please see important information at the end of this program. Recorded on 09/09/2021.
Head of Retirement & Personal Wealth Solutions
Bank of America
Hello, everyone. I’m Lorna Sabbia, and thanks for joining me for this conversation about healthcare.
Even before the pandemic, our health and well-being were a top priority for people of all ages, and the events of the past year and a half have made it an even greater focus for many of us.
On one hand, there are good reasons for optimism.
Life expectancy in the U.S. over the past several decades has been steadily rising, and new innovations and medical advances are dramatically improving our quality of life.
On the other hand, longer life, high-tech treatments, rising insurance premiums, and out-of-pocket expenses are greatly increasing the cost of care, and that has many of us wondering how we’ll pay for it all.
60% of those worried about retirement income
cited future healthcare costs as a key concern.
(Source: Alliance for Lifetime Income,
“Retirement Reset Tracker Survey,” May 2020)
In a recent survey, 60% of respondents who are worried about their income in retirement cited future healthcare cost as a key concern.
In this program, we’ll look at the many changes transforming the healthcare landscape and what that could mean for you.
A bit later, I’ll speak with two experts from Bank of America about some of the most common questions we’re hearing from people on planning and saving for healthcare at any age. And we’ll offer insights and ideas you could put to work today to help you pursue greater financial wellness.
But first, I’m really pleased to be joined by Dr. Laura Carstensen, a renowned psychologist, author and the founding director of Stanford University’s Center on Longevity.
Laura, thanks so much for joining me for this conversation.
Thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure to be with you today.
I want to start with a look at the Center on Longevity’s initiative called A New Map of Life. It draws some powerful conclusions about the overall state of our health.
Image on screen: Stanford Center on Longevity A New Map of Life™ homepage fades in onscreen
Tell us what you’re finding about how our views of health and wellness, both physical and emotional, are changing and what role has the pandemic actually played?
Laura Carstensen, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology Stanford University
Director, Stanford Center on Longevity
The analysis that we have done in the New Map of Life™ is one where we’re concluding that the angst that so many of us feel about aging -- at an individual level, at a policy level, concerns about others, our parents, our loved ones -- that this discomfort is really reflecting a mismatch between the culture that guides us through life and the length of the lives that we’re leading.
The New Map of Life™ initiative is helping redefine
the way we live – from early to very late in life.
We need to change the way we live and we need to make changes from early in life to very late in life and the New Map of Life initiative has set out to draw that map.
If there is a silver lining in something as horrific as a pandemic, it’s that crises can sort of remove us from the routines that we’ve been living in our lives that are so familiar and let us take a look at what that’s like from a distance perspective.
So I think there were multiple disruptions and we’re going to see if maybe that makes it a perfect time to rewrite the script.
I would like to look at what you’re finding about the connection between our health and our financial wellness, and does that connection only apply to individuals that are near or in retirement from your perspective?
One of things that the New Map of Life is concluding again and again and again is that this is a life course issue. One of the challenges or I think the concerns that people have had earlier in planning is that we started to think about retirement and our health and later life when we were in our late 50s, when it was just around the corner.
But of course, the health that you enjoy or suffer from in your later years for most of us these days has its roots much earlier in life. Chronic diseases, nutrition, obesity, arthritis, heart disease; these are the conditions that are threatening life in old age and they start much, much, much earlier.
A New Map of Life™
· Exploring ways to make
green spaces more available
(Source: The Stanford Center on Longevity)
And so on the New Map of Life, we’re thinking about ways to make, say, green spaces more available for all people, not just those who live in affluent neighborhoods, so that people can walk more, can engage more in their communities.
A New Map of Life™
· Exploring ways to make
green spaces more available
· Finding ways to build social
connections throughout life
(Source: The Stanford Center on Longevity)
We’re seeing that social connections have a great bearing on our physical health, so how do we build them early in life and then maintain them throughout life?
So we’re really looking at the intersections which are numerous across different domains and all of them end up affecting our financial wellness.
Would you say the events of the past year and a half have made planning for healthcare costs early on -- you’re sort of touching on that -- more important now than ever?
I think it’s finally beginning to dawn on us that only treating diseases once they happen is not the best way to deliver good health to a population.
Again, let me just link good health to financial wellness. I don’t have to tell you, Lorna, that those are intricately linked, right. If you’re healthy, you can work more, you can work longer, you can engage more and so people who are healthy are going to be more financially secure. So yes, we see those connections and how they have been changing.
Emotional well-being, physical fitness and
financial security are all interconnected.
We’ve come to think that emotional well-being, physical fitness and financial security are three legs of a stool and if anyone is missing, we’re in trouble. But if we can shore up those domains of life - and we can - then we would be able to create a world where the majority of people arrive at old age mentally sharp, physically fit and financially secure.
Excellent. You’re really talking about disruption and so disruptive times often lead to remarkable innovations and we see many; from vaccines obviously delivered at record speed to hospitals converting to tele-health literally almost overnight.
What other game changing breakthroughs are you seeing and what could they mean for our overall health and quality of life?
In my view, among the most exciting areas of science writ large is Geroscience.
Geroscience studies the processes that put us
at risk for different diseases as we grow older.
It’s the science of aging itself, the study of the processes that occur as we grow older that put us at risk for all sorts of diseases. Scientists are making real gains in understanding ways we might be able to slow the biological changes that occur as we age that put us at risk for all diseases. To the extent that we can achieve that, we can remain healthier, stronger, fitter for many, many more years of our lives.
I want to switch gears and talk about caregivers and obviously, they often face a unique set of financial and emotional challenges for sure. How do you feel their roles and situations have been changing?
I like to think of these issues in historical context, kind of zooming out. A century ago, most people were sick for about two weeks before they died. We were dying from different kinds of diseases. We would get a gastrointestinal disease from some food contamination or something, or catch the flu and be dead in a couple of weeks. So caregiving was not something that most people experienced for decades. That has changed.
Today, most of us, thankfully, are living longer and are able to live even with chronic diseases. What that means, however, is that people often need assistance for much longer than we did in the past.
Today, we can be healthy, not so healthy and still survive for years. And so the biggest change for caregivers is really the length of time that people are providing care to loved ones who need care.
And I also think about the topic of caregivers providing care for multiples of folks at the same exact time, and I think the pandemic has been a perfect example of sort of teasing that out.
Laura, there have been a number of studies ranking the healthcare system in the United States as low when compared to other developed economies. I’m curious to know why do you think that is the case and are there policy changes that could help, such as expanding Medicare or other reforms?
Yes. The United States compared to other developed nations spends more on healthcare than basically any other country, so we’re spending an awful lot. Let me say that the care that we get is absolutely high quality in the United States.
So the healthcare providers, the physicians, the treatments are breathtakingly effective, so that the care we get is actually very good. The cost is not so good.
The other issue that we’re just beginning to wrestle with, and again, I think the pandemic reminded us of this, is we’ll do a lot better if we invest in maintaining our health than treating each disease as it occurs. And so rather than wait until people are really sick and they need to access the healthcare system, we need to invest in public health.
We spend far less on public health preventive efforts than we do on the treatment of diseases and we really need to flip those around.
If I can say one thing about Medicare, if we were to allow Medicare to be the primary provider for workers who are older, we would be able to help employers be incented to retain older workers and it will help our economy greatly and individuals greatly if people can work longer.
So to the extent that we can solve some of the health insurance costs in ways that will allow people to continue to work, then I think we’ll all do better.
That makes sense, absolutely.
Laura, we often hear about the impressive gains in lifespans, but there’s also a growing focus on our health spans, or the number of years when we’re productive and in good physical and cognitive health.
Would you say we’re making progress there?
I think we are making progress, but it’s uneven in the population. For some subgroups in the population, health span is aligning with lifespan. And in others, we’re not making enough progress.
“Health span” refers to the numbers of years
that we’re healthy and free from disease.
Health span really should be the metric that we use to gauge whether or not we’re on the right track or the wrong track, not lifespan or life expectancy.
What’s happening today is that we see health span and lifespan aligning in those individuals who are living affluent lives. The highly educated, wealthy individuals in our country are living healthy lives for most of their lives and having a relatively short period of time when they’re functionally impaired.
But that’s not happening for the majority of the population. And for people with lower levels of education, with less family wealth, individual wealth, we’re seeing functional health decline over time gradually from the time people are in their 30s and 40s. They’re getting less functionally healthy.
For our nation to thrive, for our economy to thrive, we need to bring everyone along. And so we need to think seriously about changes we can make in the population where all of us benefit from better health.
That makes a lot of sense. I know that we always probably don’t talk about it enough but we all know that keeping our brain healthy is so important, clearly, especially as we get older. I’m curious to know what suggestions you may have for us on that topic, too.
My best suggestion for cognitive health is actually the same suggestion I would make for physical health and that is exercise. It’s the best thing we can do to maintain our health and our function into very advanced ages.
Take a walk in the mornings, go for a couple miles or one mile or even a half a mile, and you’ll feel better. Cognitively, you’ll be sharper and physiologically you’ll be sharper. Our brains are part of our bodies and they benefit from our overall health. So I think that’s the best recommendation I can give for cognitive health and physical health.
If I could say one more word about emotion, the best thing you could do for emotion, too. Emotional health benefits from exercise as well.
It makes sense. You know. I often hear healthy heart, healthy brain, and so I think you’re getting to that certainly with your exercise comment.
You know, Laura, there’s a wonderful sense of empathy and optimism that comes through in all of your research on how we can live our best lives at any age. I’d like to close by asking about what you learned living through the pandemic and are you hopeful we could emerge from this stronger or at least with the collective tools and knowledge to create a better path forward?
What a great question. The emotion I have felt during the pandemic more than any other emotion has been gratitude.
You realize I think when in a crisis time what matters most of all, and so I think a lot of us have come to appreciate more the people, the places, the resources that we have in our lives and I’m certainly one of many who have experienced that.
I must say it comes with a little bit of guilt because so many Americans have suffered so much that being able to feel like I’m seeing the world as more precious than I ever saw it before makes me feel even more empathy and concern for those who haven’t been able to experience the world that way.
But we live in a beautiful place and when we’re reminded of our mortality, it makes most of us appreciative.
I think that’s a perfectly inspiring note to end with. Laura, thank you so much for sharing your insights. You’ve given us a lot of important things to think about. We really appreciate it.
Now, we’re going to switch gears and we’re going to dig into some of the questions clients have told us are most on their minds today and these include how to plan for rising healthcare costs, questions around Medicare and long-term care insurance and ways to invest in healthcare innovations.
Joining me for this part of the program is Joe Curtin, head of Portfolio Management for our Chief Investment Office for Merrill and Bank of America Private Bank.
Amanda Lasher-Ross, Managing Director, heads Personal Retirement and Wealth Impact Planning for the retirement business at Bank of America.
So, Amanda and Joe, this program is about the big changes we’re seeing in healthcare and what they could mean for our financial lives.
“How can I plan now for rising healthcare costs so I don’t risk my
long-term financial security?”
One of the most common questions we hear from clients is how they can plan for and fund rising health and medical costs without jeopardizing their wealth or long-term financial security and it’s a really important point.
So how can we think about this concern and how it relates to retirement and are there steps people could consider at any age?
Managing Director, Retirement & Personal Wealth Solutions
Bank of America
Sure, Lorna, I can jump in. One of the big questions that we ask clients to think about as they approach retirement is how am I going to generate income?
You spend your entire life accumulating wealth, receiving a paycheck, in most cases, from an employer and all of a sudden, you switch into retirement and now, you need to generate your own paycheck for what can sometimes be over 20 years and that can be an unnatural shift for clients to make.
So the sooner you can start thinking about developing an income plan, it really does create a strong foundation for your overall retirement conversation.
When we think about income, we ask clients to really think about it in three ways or three buckets.
3 “buckets” in your retirement income plan:
· Your essential expenses
First is what are my essential expenses; what do I need to keep the lights on, to take the medication that I need? What are the expenses that I have, literally, month over month that I just cannot do without?
3 “buckets” in your retirement income plan:
· Your essential expenses
· Your important expenses
· Your aspirational expenses
Then you can think about other expenses that are important or even aspirational in a second and third bucket.
But we really like to double down on the essential expenses conversation and talk to clients about “how can we create sources of income to cover these essential expenses?”
Certainly, things like Social Security; for those folks that have pensions, those are great guaranteed income sources that clients will leverage in retirement.
Social Security, pensions and annuities can all go
toward funding your essential expenses bucket.
But oftentimes, there’s a gap, right? There’s a gap between what I have and what I need. Looking at solutions like an annuity, for example, is a great way to think about bridging that gap to make sure that our essential expense bucket is filled.
It’s not a one-and-done conversation, right? We need to make sure we’re revisiting that regularly but starting with the income plan is really the first step in building that foundational retirement plan that can really help get you there.
How can someone get started if they haven’t done so or get back on track if they’ve fallen behind? Are there specific strategies and resources that they could consider?
The important thing to think about is saving, right, accumulation, bringing as much into the retirement portfolio as possible and how can you take advantage of tax-efficient vehicles to do that?
A couple of things to think about are, one, Health Savings Account. If you’re part of a high deductible plan, you’re eligible for a Health Savings Account.
What is that, right? It’s a way for you to put away money to spend on healthcare expenses with really three main tax benefits.
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs):
· Eligible if you have a High Deductible Health Plan and meet other tax law requirements
· Contributions made through payroll deductions are pre-tax
· Any potential growth on investments is tax deferred
· Distributions are tax free for qualified medical expenses
· Funds roll over from year to year
You’re putting money in pre-tax. It grows tax deferred and then when you take it out, it’s tax-free on qualified distributions and it’s not something that you lose at the end of the year if you don’t use it. You can put money in to save it for later when your healthcare costs accumulate.
The other thing to think about is if I’m over the age of 50, am I taking advantage of what’s called catch-up elections?
2021 catch-up contributions for folks 50+
For an IRA:
· An additional $1,000
· For a total of $7,000
For a 401(k)*:
· An additional $6,500
· For a total of $26,000
(Source: Internal Revenue Service)
*Check your employer’s 401(k) plan document to determine if catch-up contributions are available.
In IRAs, for example, this year, you can put $6,000.00 into an IRA but if you’re over 50, you get a $1,000.00 in a catch-up election which allows you to put away $7,000.00. There’s a catch-up for 401(k)s as well.
So saving in a tax-efficient way is really important at any age and the thing you want to think about particularly when you’re talking about healthcare expenses is that healthcare expenses are volatile, right? We know this, like things that happen in public policy, with technology, with medications can change healthcare costs pretty dramatically year-over-year.
So it just makes it all that much more important to think about income, to assess these expenses and to get your savings happening in the right place so that you can accumulate as much as you can over time.
Excellent, super helpful. Thank you, Amanda. So, Joe, let’s move to you.
“I’m worried about having enough income for my healthcare needs in retirement. Should I take on more risk with my investments?”
Our next question is for someone who might be worried about having enough retirement income to cover their healthcare needs but with interest rates so low, will they need to take on more investment risks?
How would you answer that?
Head of CIO Portfolio Management
Chief Investment Office
Merrill and Bank of America Private Bank
Yeah, Lorna. When I first started my career, my answer to that question would’ve been very different. We had very high yields on government bonds and corporate bonds and much higher yields than today on savings deposits. Today, as you look at yields, they’re anemically low.
Inflation, taxes and expenses can lead to negative
“real returns” for bonds and other fixed income investments.
And when you factor in inflation, taxes and expenses, you end up with what I would say is a negative real return, the inability to keep up with inflation.
As we work with clients, we would say they need to take a step back and ensure they have the right asset allocation first.
A greater allocation to equities could help generate
more growth in a portfolio.
Then within that asset allocation, in the short-term, we are allocating more of the funds to equities and the mixture of the investment returns are different, meaning more of the return comes from growth as opposed to interest or yield and we think that’s a temporary phenomenon.
That won’t last forever but in the near-term, it may mean taking on a little bit more risk in the asset allocation and then within the asset allocation, the composition of it being greater in equities.
But that should also be supplemented with ensuring that the investment plan and the savings strategy is revisited annually because we think things will normalize at some point. It’s just a question of when it will happen.
Excellent. Joe and Amanda, now I want to talk a little bit about gender. We know that women often face additional health-related costs in retirement due in part to their longer lifespan versus men. How could women think about and plan for these additional expenses?
Yeah, I think for women, you called it out. It’s longevity, right?
You look at statistics and it shows.
Women and longevity
At age 65:
· The average woman is likely to live
another 21.5 years
· And will require 3.7 years
of nursing care
(Sources: Social Security Administration, “Benefits Planner, Life Expectancy,” Nov. 2020;
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information, Feb. 2020).
The average woman at the age of 65 has a very good chance of living an additional 20 years. Statistics also showed that about 3.7 of those years, on average, will be spent in some sort of nursing care. So expenses for women particularly in the later years in life can be considerably higher than men.
You marry that with the fact that women tend to be the caregivers.
Women tend to be caregivers and that can
impact their ability to accumulate wealth.
We are stepping in and out of the workforce not just at the end of life to potentially be caring for an aging spouse or partner but intermittently along the way, to have children and raise families, et cetera, so that impacts wealth accumulation.
You take those two things and it just means that women need to be a little bit more intentional about planning for supplemental expense management as they get into those later years in life and thinking about things like survivorship benefits with Social Security. Also, looking at pensions and survivorships with pensions is something to consider.
So thinking through those things, as we do tend to live longer, is a really important part of a woman’s income plan in retirement.
That’s great. Joe, what about you?
Starting early on a saving strategy and investing strategy is really important. Estimating what the impact of healthcare costs will be in addition to what the retirement income need is and performing that analysis.
But what’s unique is as we’ve done our own study, we’re about to release a whitepaper on strategies to deal with rising healthcare costs in retirement specifically for women, is oftentimes, as women are going through life, they do tend to be impacted by life events.
Life events can impact planning
· Having children
· Caring for aging parents
What could happen is birth of children, caregiving for those children, there could be a divorce where you’re starting over again. They could also be, later on, taking care of aging parents, et cetera.
So starting early is critically important and ensuring that they revisit their strategy at least annually, if not at each major life event so that if they fall off track, they could get back on track.
Amanda, another big topic our clients ask us about all the time is Medicare.
We know from people we speak with every day that many overestimate or are just uncertain about what it does and doesn’t cover.
What are some of the key points people should know about Medicare and also, what options are there for someone who retires before they are eligible for Medicare benefits?
To your point, Medicare doesn’t cover everything, right? There are, what we call, gaps in Medicare coverage. For example, dental and vision is not typically covered in basic Medicare. A lot of times, people don’t realize that.
So getting educated on what does Medicare cover, what am I going to need and what policies are out there that will help me fill those gaps, what do they cost, are all things that people should be thinking about well before retirement.
And it all goes back to the income plan, so you can get an idea of what are those supplemental coverage policies going to cost me and how do I incorporate that into my essential expenses bucket.
The other thing I see quite often is really three main gotchas, if you will, when it comes to Medicare.
First is that Medicare is an individual policy.
3 key points about Medicare
· It’s an individual policy
So when you’re talking about expense planning, you want to be mindful of what your expenses will be for yourself, but then also what your expenses might be and your coverage needs might be for your spouse or partner.
The second thing is that Medicare today starts at 65.
3 key points about Medicare
· It’s an individual policy
· Currently kicks in at age 65
We have clients that come in and say, “I want to retire before 65.” Well, that means we have to find an alternative for insurance coverage between when you actually retire and 65 and there are certainly options for that.
Options include a spouse’s employer’s plan, COBRA,
or a separate healthcare policy paid for out-of-pocket.
You can lean on a non-retired spouse’s employer plan. You can look at COBRA which you could look at for up to 18 months. You can look at a different policy that you can pay out of pocket for; but it’s definitely something that you want to plan for that can be expensive.
Oftentimes too, children or dependents will still be on a policy for a client that’s retiring before the age of 65 and we need to be mindful of that coverage need as well.
The other thing is that Medicare does not cover long-term care expenses, which is something a lot of people don’t realize.
3 key points about Medicare
· It’s an individual policy
· Currently kicks in at age 65
· Doesn’t cover long-term care
When you think through long-term care needs; that would need to be on top of Medicare coverage.
So again, getting educated on Medicare early, what it does and doesn’t cover and how that will impact you individually in terms of an expense plan is really important.
You just mentioned something that’s really important, because it’s another question we hear a lot …
“Should I consider long-term care insurance and what does it cover?”
…which is whether clients should consider long-term care insurance and what it actually covers.
What are some of the key points people should keep in mind and what else is important for people to consider when it comes to legacy planning as well?
You know, long-term care I think is something that a lot of clients will sometimes have a reaction to: “Long-term care is not something I need or it’s wildly expensive.” But I’d say that an unforeseen healthcare event can derail the best-laid financial plan. We’ve seen this all too often.
So I think it’s important to be mindful of what is your contingency plan. If you were to have an unexpected healthcare event that could put you in a nursing facility earlier than you expected, or longer than you expected, what could that cost, what assets are at play to fund that expense?
So looking at things like long-term care insurance is really prudent.
Long-term care policies have changed dramatically
and can offer the opportunity for market participation.
I mean these policies have changed dramatically over the years. There is opportunity for market participation, accumulation and growth over time.
So I would encourage folks to take a look at long-term care, see if it’s appropriate because these polices have come a long way and they can be the safety net that you need to protect not only your own financial plan but also your family.
The other thing though that I think is important to mention is, if you become incapacitated, who can make the decisions for you? Who can step in and administer your wishes and your plan in the way that you had intended?
Important documents to maintain:
· Updated will
· Healthcare proxy
· Power of Attorney
So having a will, having a healthcare proxy, having a power of attorney that are recent and updated regularly and having your accounts coded it in a way that will allow your estate team, your advisor to execute your plan as intended takes work and takes forethought.
So whether you’re thinking about long-term care, whether you’re thinking about other contingency methods through self-funding and the like, having the proper documents to complement that plan is very important as well.
And Joe mentioned it, I mentioned it earlier, that’s never a one-and-done thing. Things change. Costs change. Family dynamics change. So these are all conversations you want to be having proactively in your annual review as a part of your retirement planning process.
That’s great. Excellent. Joe, I want to turn to you to gain your outlook for the market. As events around the pandemic continue to evolve, could we see an increase in volatility or potentially, another market downturn?
How would you suggest our viewers think about this and how it might affect their financial security?
Yeah, Lorna, it’s a great question and I think with the pandemic, what we’re really seeing is everyone’s focused on the really short term. So I always like to start out this conversation with “let’s understand what we’re investing for.”
The topic that we’re discussing today is retirement income as well as healthcare costs in retirement. So the time horizon for that type of investing strategy or those types of needs is really not only the point from today until you retire, but the point at which you retire all the way through when you finish enjoying your assets and potentially, pass them onto heirs.
Investing for future for retirement income and
healthcare costs can involve a long time horizon.
So that could be a very long life span that we’re investing for.
When you have that long of a time horizon, the biggest risk you have is actually abandoning your strategy in the heat of the moment out of fear and actually not participating in the rapid recovery.
Just to give you an idea, we were in the mid-3,000 range on the S&P 500, which measures U.S. large-cap stocks;
The benefits of staying invested
On March 23, 2020:
· The S&P 500 reached a low of 2,237
On September 9, 2021:
· The S&P 500 had rebounded to 4,493
· Doubling its value from the pandemic lows
And that dropped as low as 2,200, 2,250 at the depth of the pandemic-related shutdown and the market impact. And if you look at the news today, the S&P 500 is hovering right around 4,500, almost double what it is at that trough.
If you had just stayed in the market, you would’ve not only participated in that recovery but received a handsome return off of that.
What do we see coming out of the COVID environment?
In a short-term, we really look at this and say, “We’ll have episodic volatility.” We think in the near-term the markets look good, the recovery looks good, well-cemented. Corporate profits are really good. It’s a good time for investing, to participate in the early part of this new cycle that was created by the pandemic.
But more importantly, for those who are hesitant, if you’re watching the news and you’re still hesitant and you’re not convinced that this recovery is solid, maybe the best approach is don’t throw it all in at one time.
Dollar-cost averaging, or investing at regular intervals,
can help reduce the impact of market volatility.
Dollar-cost average in and put bite-sized pieces into the markets to eliminate the impact of volatility and it may help you get through it.
But in the long term, we’re more encouraged by some of the investment opportunities that the pandemic has created with disruptive innovation.
Great to hear. On that note, let me switch gears and talk about the angle of being more opportunistic.
“How could I invest in some of the changes we’re seeing, including innovations in healthcare?”
How could someone think about how to invest in all the changes that we’re seeing in the markets including innovations in healthcare? Tell us about some of the opportunities you’re watching for.
Yes. Lorna, obviously, the pandemic itself is something that we’re very concerned about but the opportunities, the disruptive innovation, the accelerated pace of innovation, post-COVID, are tremendous.
The best way to participate in a lot of this innovation and disruptive innovation is to be diversified first in some of these themes.
Investing in innovation
· Big data
· Internet of Things
· Artificial intelligence
· Data mining
· Future mobility
They may cover things like big data, the internet of things, artificial intelligence, data mining and even looking at genomic research. As we also look at future mobility, we’re seeing acceleration in the way that we commute, the way that we drive cars, automation, driverless cars, transports, supply chain, et cetera.
Demographics is another area. We have those who are going to live longer into retirement. Their life spans are increasing so they’ll be getting better healthcare. They’ll be getting more testing. There’ll be advances in dealing with aging and cognitive disorders. Those are all technologies we could invest in.
Healthcare in general can provide opportunities for
investing in new technologies and innovation.
So healthcare in general, the way the vaccines were developed; the accelerated pace of healthcare innovation is something that we haven’t seen in quite some time.
So the long and short of it is these are all great opportunities. They’re already represented in diversified portfolios but for those who have a small piece of their portfolios set aside for opportunistic investment strategies, we would suggest perhaps investing in some of these megatrends, but we don’t do that as a replacement.
We do that as a complement to a diversified portfolio because concentrated investment strategies tend to be a little bit more risky.
Perfect. Those were a ton of ideas so thank you so much for sharing.
I think that’s actually a perfect note to close on, so Amanda and Joe, thank you for sharing these helpful ideas and suggestions. I know it’s a conversation we’ll be continuing to have for many years to come. I want to thank you both for joining me today.
And I also want to take a moment and thank all of you for joining us today. We hope both these conversations gave you some solid and actionable ideas that you can put to work right away.
Keep in mind that everyone’s situation is unique.
An advisor can help you understand how these ideas
could fit into your overall financial picture.
An advisor is a great resource for helping you understand how the ideas that we discussed in this program may fit into your overall picture. If you’re working with an advisor, we hope you’ll continue the conversation with them.
Thanks again for watching and we wish you a safe, healthy and happy rest of the year.
Dr. Laura Carstensen is not affiliated with Bank of America Corporation.
Opinions are those of the speakers, as of the date of this event and are subject to change.
Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
This material should be regarded as educational information on healthcare cost considerations and is not intended to provide specific healthcare advice.
Bank of America and its affiliates, and financial advisors do not provide legal, tax or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.
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This webcast, hosted by Lorna Sabbia, Head of Retirement & Personal Wealth Solutions at Bank of America, featured Dr. Laura Carstensen, founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity and a leading expert on aging. Dr. Carstensen highlights emerging healthcare trends. She also shares her thoughts on the critical lessons we’re learning from the pandemic and how we could emerge from it stronger than before.
Then Joe Curtin and Amanda Lasher-Ross join Lorna to address key questions from Merrill clients, including:
- How can I plan for rising healthcare costs?
- What do I need to know about Medicare and long-term care insurance?
- Are there opportunities to invest in healthcare innovation?