Simple: You begin where you are today!

An introduction from Cokie: All of us know someone, who is aging and if not today will need long term assistance in the future. The following is a little bit about my friends and advisory board members Barbara Franklin, Owner and Founder of Franklin and Associates, and Kirk Matenaer, Senior Associate of Franklin and Associates.

Barbara, like me, believes that the most important thing you can do is to “get a plan in place”— today, tomorrow—just do it and you will be grateful!

“I don’t care where you are financially,” says Barbara. “You can make a plan if you take time to invest wisely. Even if you don’t have what the next person has, you can still plan successfully for the future. I advise my clients to ‘avoid the ‘Pike Syndrome.”

This means you see something coming down the “pike” and either become filled with fear or look the other way! Instead, Barbara does what she has done for years, she teaches clients to look the problem in the eye and make a plan—something she has seen an uptick on over this past year since Covid hit.

Name of the Game: Stay as Independent for as Long as You Can!

All of us want to be as independent as possible for as long as possible, but the numbers are against us. Statistics reveal that up to 70% of the population will require long term care at some point.

Fact one: we are living longer and while it is fun to say that 60 is the new 40 and 80 is the new 60, you need to have a plan in place to pay for those years when you need extra care. “Of course,” says Barbara, “all of us hope we end up in the 30% that doesn’t require assisted living or nursing home care.”

Barbara Franklin founded Franklin and Associates to help people—like you and me—discover the truth about long term care and the options we have before we actually need it. “It’s all about learning how to live life to the fullest now without concern about your future residency.”

Senior Associate Kirk Matenaer is also a strategic part of the Franklin and Associates team. He has been with the firm for more than 14 years and is a respected long term care and financial advisor and professional.

Certified in Long Term Care (CLTC), Kirk works with clients to create plans that preserve the emotional, physical, and financial wellbeing of a client’s family should care be necessary.

Both Kirk and Barbara believe, “The goal is to achieve a quality of life that is meaningful and fulfilling.”

Franklin, who for over 30 years has been helping clients navigate what she calls the “maze” of long term care financial decisions along with medical services, resources and decisions—great and small.

Her team also tackles tough issues that include Medicare needs and questions. “As brokers, we focus on real solutions to the needs facing a retiring generation today. We offer, what I know is, sound advice and expertise based on our team’s decades of experience.

You Need a Plan that Takes You Beyond Just Retirement

“There’s ‘no one size fits all.’ Each one of us are individuals with different physical and emotional needs. This means different healthcare levels. So, how do you prepare for the future that is beyond what you can see now? That’s where I come in along with my team.

“I tell clients our latter years can be full of joy, but you have to know where to begin and that time is now!”

In 1990, Barbara Franklin began working in the field of long term care planning and financing. At the time, she didn’t know that the need would be so great. She also didn’t know she would be faced with a health-crisis in her own life as she and her family dealt with the emotional and financial devastation caused by her father’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

During that time, the idea to begin Franklin & Associates formed. By 1995, her desire to help others understand and plan for long term care became a reality—bringing together both her personal experience with long term care and her professional experience helping individuals, couples, and families make wise decisions regarding future care.

Goals Reached that Benefits Others

One of Barbara’s goals was realized when she developed a program to educate people about long term care planning through civic, community, and professional groups. She also assists attorneys, financial planners (like Alphavest), business owners, and other professional advisors, who have concerns about long term care planning for their clients.

For her efforts, she was the 2008 recipient of Long Term Care Professional (LTCP) designation from the Health Insurance Association of America. She also was recognized by the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance as one of the nation’s Top 100 Long Term Care Specialists.

Today, Barbara is available for consultation and remains committed and involved in a wide range of professional and community service activities in her home city of Charleston, South Carolina.

She’s the Immediate Past Chairman of the Greater Charleston Chapter of the National Aging in Place Council and is a passionate advocate for individuals, who plan to remain safely, comfortably and independently in their residence for as long as possible.

Kirk Matenaer, also available for consultation, says “Long-term care insurance is a complex product, but he looks forward to serving individuals who truly want to create a better future for their sunset years. It offers many forms of protection and pricing structures. It’s much more than just talking about insurance. It requires looking at ‘the big picture’— something I take very seriously.”

By working so closely with other professionals, Kirk is able to focus on establishing plans that take individual circumstances and ability to pay into consideration. While he is knowledgeable in traditional planning, Kirk also is committed to keeping his finger on the pulse of the newest and most innovative approaches to the planning process.

Franklin & Associates was established solely to help individuals, couples, families, and business owners, as well as advisors, and their clients with long term care planning and financing. The company is provide a multitude of options in both the traditional and innovative approaches to the planning process.