Debbie has nearly 20 years of investigative experience and journalism on topics of insurance, mortgage, and financial advice.

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Money Strategies with Debbie

TDD 108 | Happier Life

New Stats On Retirement, Long Term Care Options, Eight Habits That Make You Happy

TDD 108 | Happier Life


Have you ever thought about how much happier life would be if you didn’t have to worry about what will happen tomorrow? With the right planning and preparation, it’s not that impossible. In this episode, Debbie Bloyd shares some habits you can adopt in order to be happier each day, one step at a time. She also discusses an important topic that everybody should pay attention to, which is what happens during retirement. Debbie reiterates the critical importance of being prepared for old age with long-term care in order to live comfortably and not cause problems for the people around you. Besides retirement, she also tackles estate planning and being prepared further from when you retire. Learn the things you need to know when it comes to preparing a will, and if you don’t have one yet, understand the reasons why you need it.

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New Stats On Retirement, Long Term Care Options, Eight Habits That Make You Happy

Habits To Make You Happier

We all strive to be happy. We like it when we’re happy. We don’t like to be sad, disappointed or disenchanted with our decisions and the people around us in our life. We’re going to talk about eight little habits that will instantly make you happier. One of the ancient philosophers often counsels that the greatest journey begins with one small step. No, maybe we can fix all the problems in one day but let’s take it a small step at a time. Here are some things that you could do. You have all year to make this stuff happen but let’s start with one small step. Wake up early. Become a morning person. I hate this. Early birds don’t need to get the worm. They need to get to work early, feel energized and complete the difficult tasks before noon.

Studies show abilities to focus and be creative peaks between the hours of 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM. For me, it’s 8:00 PM and 10:00 PM. Instead of burning the midnight oil and having a chug coffee all day to keep your eyes open. Get to bed at a reasonable hour and wake up early. That way you can get something accomplished. Number two, be curious. Curiosity hasn’t killed many cats despite the saying. What kills is a lack of curiosity. If you’re not interested in what’s going on around you, it’s going to be hard to find the motivation to meet your goals. There is a book called Success of Mind: Seven Ways to Boost Self-Motivation. You might need to look at motivational books. Pay attention and drop the slacker attitude and you’ll find a true sense of wonder will appear in its place.

Show respect. Respect is a two-way street. You give it and you get it. Not only should you allow others to respect through common courtesy, but you should show respect to yourself by dressing modestly and neatly and paying attention to personal hygiene. A study of college seniors shows that the more that respect was shown to those who are more neatly dressed. That’s the thing where you got to dress for the part that you want, not the part that you have. Also, we make snap decisions based on people’s appearances. You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. All these things are age-long sayings that your parents and grandparents have said but it happens all the time. When you walk into a room, you only have a few moments to make a first impression. Whether that’s getting a new job, looking for a new spouse, whatever the case may be.

People observe you quickly and make a decision. Make it your best. Learn to forgive and stop carrying grudges. They weigh you down and take up too much mental space. Instead of daydreaming about things like laying on the beach soaking up rays, you burden yourself with thoughts of revenge against someone who probably doesn’t even remember what caused the grudge in the first place. Learn to forgive and you’ll sleep better. Number five, be good to others. If it’s the right thing to do, do it. It’s called integrity. People who can’t make up their minds about the right and the wrong situation wind up doing nothing. Make up your mind. Take a stand and stick to your guns.

Happiness is not all about being loved by everyone all the time but being loved by a choice few because of your integrity. Number six, take charge of your health. We can all do this one step at a time. Health is wealth. Take care of yourself. You might get a second chance at a lot of things but you’ll never get a second body. If your body isn’t happy, it’s going to be much more difficult for your mind to stay happy too. Number seven, be confident, not arrogant. Yes, there is a difference. Self-confidence is not the same as arrogance. Arrogant people don’t listen to others and try to ramrod their way through life. Someone with self-confidence knows that they are not perfect, but they also know they have at least common sense to work out most everyday problems and challenges in a perfectly acceptable way.

Curiosity hasn't killed many cats despite the saying. What kills is a lack of curiosity. Click To Tweet

They accept the fact that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and you go on with your life. Arrogant people try to be perfect and when they fail, their unhappiness can be epic. The last one, number eight, smile. Exercise that grin each morning using on someone who might need it. A coworker, a family member, or a stranger. Spread a little kindness and get a little bit of happiness back. I’m all for what goes around comes around. Treat people better and you’ll find out you’ll be treated better as well in your personal life and in the workplace.

Setting Up Your Future

Let’s talk a little bit about long-term care. I’ve got some old interviews that I’ve done and I was going to replay them but I’m going to give you some new material because stats keep changing on long-term care. Baby Boomer generation and the cost of health care are continually rising in the issue is long-term care. It’s of major importance to both consumers and our legislative bodies that help make up the laws. Some individuals are able to rely on friends and family in the event they need to extended care and help with activities of daily living. Many others do not or will not have a support system.

These individuals must determine how they’re going to live and meet the potential need for long-term care and how they will fund this costly and extended home health services, assisted living or potential stay in a nursing facility. This is important when we talk about aging because I had one client she was like, “Debbie, I don’t want to talk to about long-term care anymore. I am going to die healthy.” That’s not going to happen. There are a few people who pass away and their sleep without any assistance. Hospice, stroke, falls, hospital stays, rehab and all these things happen and we need to plan for those.

We need to talk about long-term care insurance and how it’s changed over the last 40 years. Long-term care insurance has expanded from simple nursing home coverage to covered care in assisted living facilities to now an individual’s own home. Policies become much more broad-based and now they offer more benefits than ever before. At the same time, they have also become more complex and their comparison is sometimes hard. You’ve got to look at if you think you’re going to be in a facility or want to stay at home and how much care do you need?

A consumer needs to be knowledgeable and I try to help people by helping them go around and tour these facilities that we have in town and look at the cost of long-term care. Long-term care is super expensive if you plan on paying for it yourself, but you have to define the need for long-term care. These are all the kinds of things that long-term care encompasses. Conditions that may lead to the need for long-term care include disability, mental decline, illness, AIDS, stroke, or simple frailty. The need for long-term care is primarily measured by assessing limitations and performing the regular task of daily living and those include dressing, eating, and what you can do for yourself around your house.

TDD 108 | Happier Life

Happier Life: Instead of burning the midnight oil and having a chug coffee all day to keep your eyes open. Get to bed at a reasonable hour and wake up early.


You’re assessed this by a doctor or a home healthcare company and that’s how you get your policy. There are a lot of different policies that are out there. Some are older policies that have 90 to 120-day waiting periods. That means before the policy kicks in, the family would have to pay for those 3 or 6 months out of pocket before the policies even start. My policy has 30 days, where I pay in case something happens. The activities of daily living that we were talking about are eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, maintaining continence and transferring. There are things that are also included, but it’s not daily living things. Sometimes they can’t use the phone or they can’t hear. What happens when you call these home health care companies? They can do a lot of this for you. They can help you with meals, light housework, manage money, pay bills, and do some basic things.

Who needs long-term care? Seventy percent of individuals over the age of 65 will require some type of long-term care services during their lifetime. Over 40%, will need care in a nursing home for some period of time. Are you 60% or 40%? We’re not sure but I want to make sure you’re covered. Marital status, single people are more likely to need medical care from a paid provider because they don’t have anyone else to help them. Lifestyle if you have poor diet and exercise habits, that can increase the long-term care risk. If your family history has a lot of health problems and needs medical assistance now and you are similar to them, what makes you think you’re going to be any different? I always say, “Look at your family.” They’re like, “My mother died in her 90s.” “That goes for longevity for you. You may live up to your 90s. Can you do that?”

Care can now be delivered at home, adult foster care systems, and boarding care homes. There’s a living facility I toured, where the people live in a neighborhood and live in a house. They converted all the bedrooms and expanded the house to a house twelve people who live there independently in a home together. There’s going to be our continuing care retirement communities of which I interview here on the show all the time. It’s important to know the high cost of care and planning for long-term care. You might want to go to some of these facilities. I know nobody wants to do that until they’re forced to and that’s sometimes the scariest part when mom takes a fall. They’re not going to let her out of the hospital unless she has around the clock care and you have to shop for it fast. That seems to be stressful for families. I would say you might want to look at that sooner rather than later.

A lot of people self-fund for long-term care and that means that they’re going to pay for it themselves. The problem with that is you can run out of money. The annual cost, let’s say you had home health aide services five days a week, that could cost you almost $40,000 a year. If that happens in ten years, you could be up to $50,000. If you go up to fifteen years, you’re at $60,000 and in twenty years, I’m not sure how we’re going to know how much that is, but it’s going to be considerably more than it is now. In an assisted living facility, the cost ranges from $50,000 a year all the way up to $80,000 depending on what part of the country that you’re needing assisted living. Private room nursing homes cost hundreds of thousands. You can have a $100,000 bill for the year. In ten years, it could cost you that same room $200,000. It depends on what part of the country you’re in. There’s a big debate is, does Medicare cover it? No, it does not cover it.

You’re going to need long-term care, self-funded, or you’re going to have to deplete all your assets and use Medicaid. There’s a lot of problems with doing this ourselves. We can always run out of money. I know a lot of people that use annuities for funding long-term care and that is an appropriate way to have a vehicle fund in long-term care for a number of reasons. Annuities are designed to accumulate a sum of money for a future point in time and they distribute those funds systematically over the life of the annuitant or any time period. You can start an annuity now and not need it until you’re in your 70s when you hit time to need assisted living or you need someone to come into your house.

People who can't make up their minds about the right and the wrong situation wind up doing nothing. Click To Tweet

That annuity can fund that care. It’s also a tax deferral. One of the advantages of using an annuity as a way to accumulate funds for long-term care is a tax deferral. As the funds accumulate on the contract, they are credited with interest earnings declared by the insurer. They grow in relation to the performance of the underlying stock or bonds in which they’re deposited. Under any annuity, earnings and growth are not subject to income tax until the funds are withdrawn. They grow interest-free until the end. You don’t pay interest and tax until you take it outs. This is a great way to fund long-term care.

There are riders. Life insurance also funds long-term care. I have a policy that is cool. It does several things. It is a life insurance policy. In case I’m hit by a truck or die of a heart attack, it pays my children, whatever the value of it that I have is upon my death. If I don’t die that way, I get to use it for long-term care or chronic illness rider. It’s multiple policies, it’s called a hybrid. There are only a couple of companies out there that make them. Call me. I would love to explain it to you and give you the information. That way, I feel like I’ve doubled down. I am going to get my money back one way or the other. Either I’m going to die and the policy will pay off or I will need it and the policy will pay off.

In a lot of these policies, you need to look at what people bought years ago. There’s a sad story of a couple over in Huntsville that bought a long-term care policy and they’d have to pay the first 90 days themselves. They don’t have the cash to pay the first 90 days, so they can’t use the policy, but the policy has been paid off for years. They have a way but they don’t their options on how to come up with the money to pay the first 90 days. The husband will not be able to get assisted help at the house and he desperately needs it. Look at these policies before you get too old and make sure they don’t need to be updated.

A lot of times, we roll them over into something more current if there’s not a surrender value or not. I’m trying to put you in a better position. I’m not trying to make you pay taxes early or penalties but we do need to make sure that you’re covered and you have enough in case you live into your 100s. A lot of people are living in their 90s now. That’s right around the corner. If you have questions, the website you can find me on is or everywhere on social media. It’s DLB Mortgage Services on Facebook or Instagram. On my other Facebook, I’m under Debbie Bloyd or Money Strategies with Debbie. My direct phone number is (979) 220-3018. If you have any questions, please give me a call. I’ll be happy to meet with you, talk on the phone, FaceTime, and Zoom call. We do all kinds of things and we even meet up in person.

Leaving Your Will

I know we talk about retirement planning, investments, real estate mortgages, all of that talk about statistics. You may not be the norm but let’s go over some statistics, so you know what some families are doing. As people ask me, “Where do you get all the content for the show?” It’s easy, I work. It’s what walks in my door. It’s the people that call me on the phone. There are so many different types of loans out there now like Alt-A Loans. You need to look, shop around, and find someone that you like, know and trust to give you the lowdown on expenses, prices and costs of a home. We’re going to try to do that to make sure that you’re covered. Let’s talk about some statistics of what’s normal. You may not fall into these categories, but these are things to think about. You are maybe making some estate planning mistakes. Let’s talk about some of the things that are going right and what are going wrong. This is a survey I’m looking at from

TDD 108 | Happier Life

Happier Life: One of the advantages of using an annuity as a way to accumulate funds for long term care is a tax deferral.


They found that only 42% of US adults have estate planning documents in place. I work with a lot of people doing reverse mortgages and when I ask them if they have a will in place, most of them say no and I’m like, “You’re getting up there in age. Let’s be prepared.” Half the time, people are not doing the wills not because they don’t think they’re going to die but because they’re afraid of what they would put in them. They may want to leave a child out. They may not like the relationships they have with their kids. They may not want to leave their kids’ things. It seems so final when you write it down, but when you don’t have a will in the state of Texas, the state of Texas takes over.

That’s probably not going to treat your money the way you would want to. A lot of people want to be equal with all their children despite the relationships and that has problems. I’ve got clients that are the kids and after the parents passed away, they didn’t do their job. The families have sued each other, had to get attorneys and all hell’s broken loose, all because the parents didn’t do any planning because they didn’t want to upset people. It tore families apart. The survey also asked participants why estate planning documents hadn’t been established yet. Twenty-nine percent said they have no one to leave the assets to and 47% said they simply hadn’t gotten around to it.

The biggest estate planning mistake is not having a will. About 52% of American adults have not made a will, according to BMO Wealth Management. A will is essential to an estate plan, but it’s not enough. It’s one of these seven big estate planning mistakes. Having a will and other documents in addition to a will need to be in place for an estate plan to be thorough. These are going to include a power of attorney, maybe trust papers, and advanced medical directives. I have a card in my wallet that says, “I don’t want to be resuscitated if it’s too bad and who gets to pull the plug?” “Do I want to be a donor?” I’ve got a will. All this stuff is lined out. Do I want to use it? No. If I need to use it, it’s all there.

You can’t neglect the healthcare power of attorney. Certain states require certain things and if you move to Texas from somewhere else, we don’t always follow the same rules that other states do. I remember a few years ago, I had a client move from Florida, and his wife was in a hospital in Florida. He could not buy a home here in Texas, because in Florida, having a medical directive was all that was needed and that covered you for everything, but not in the state of Texas. He was unable to buy a house because his wife was incapacitated and she was not able and our primary in Texas the spouse has to sign. Different states, different things.

Not making a decision is a decision. Many people don't do well in business or have problems in business because they can't decide. Click To Tweet

If you move to Texas and you have a will, let’s run it by a local attorney to make sure that everything is in place. Neglecting the healthcare power of attorney. A healthcare power of attorney is all about you before you die. A will is all about dividing up your property when you’re not around. Without determining the person who can make the decisions upon when you’re incapacitated or not, or stating your wishes in legal documents, state or local law will determine who gets to make these decisions. Another problem is not updating beneficiaries. People get married, they get divorced, they’re step kids, there are kids that they don’t like, they forget to change these things. I don’t even know how to begin to say that a lot of people don’t like their adult kids and they don’t want them in the will.

This is your dying wishes. This is what you want. This is not what’s going to make peace in the family because a lot of times this isn’t going to make peace in the family anyway. Which kid do you put? The oldest, youngest or the most one that’s in their wheelhouse to do all of this? It depends but you’ve got to make these decisions. Not making a decision is a decision. I know so many people in a business that don’t do well in business or have had problems in business because they can’t decide. I decide fast and I have to change my mind over time rather than it takes me forever to make up my mind because sometimes you only get one shot at things. Neglecting digital assets. This has been on the radar for a few years, but not everybody talks about this crypto exchange. There’s crypto money that’s out there.

If you have crypto money, you need to account for that as well. Forty-two percent of US adults have estate planning documents in place is what, this report says. Only 36% of US adults with children under eighteen have estate planning documents in place. Eighty-one percent of people aged 72 or older have estate planning in place. That’s still 19% that don’t. $30 trillion. That is the amount of money that is going to transfer from the Baby Boomer generation to younger generations over the next 30 to 40 years. There are 52% of US adults who have not made a will. That’s half. The percentage of parents who have not talked to families about their estate planning needs is 40%. Twenty-eight percent of people surveyed said that they don’t know their parents’ legacy wishes. Only 28% of people surveyed know their parents’ legacy wishes.

A lot of parents in this Baby Boomer age group don’t talk about it. Do you know what the plans are? Do you know if they have any money or not? Do you know if they’re going to run out or not? These are all pretty important details. I work with David Gest over at Home Instead Senior Care. He underwrites one of our shows called Brazos Wellness. On their website or at his office or you can call him. He has script ideas, for lack of a better term, and ways to talk to your parents about their wishes, both financially and health-wise. Seventeen percent of people who don’t have a will said they don’t because they don’t want to think about death. That doesn’t mean it’s not coming people. Sixty-eight percent of all US households, that’s approximately 85 million families own a pet. You say, “What’s important about that?” We can’t leave out the pets. I have a lot of single ladies that have pets and in their will, they need to account for those pets. Who is going to get them and is there money left to take care of those pets?

TDD 108 | Happier Life

Happier Life: A will is essential to an estate plan, but it’s not enough. It’s one of the biggest estate planning mistakes.


The percentage of Millennials surveyed who are pet owners is 72%. These younger people have pets. Don’t leave out kids, grandkids, and make sure you add everybody in. When we talk about estate planning, make sure you set aside money. Now is a great time. For me, I like to see families that set aside not only money to go to people after they die, but set up 529 Plans when grandkids are born, so money grows. Help that money grow. Don’t keep it in your account, especially if it’s sitting there in a CD or something not gaining any interest. Let’s transfer it into the hands of people that need it while they can still make money at it. There’s going to be a whole different generation coming up behind us and they’re going to have lots of different questions when it comes to their healthcare because many are getting married and having their children later.

They’re not saving quite as much because they’re paying off student debt. A lot of the financial things I talked about aren’t going to be pertinent. In another ten years, it’s going to be a whole new batch of people. If you’re over 50 years old, get a will, and do some estate planning. There’s great attorneys, CPAs, and financial planners in town to help you do all that. If you need names and numbers, please call me. My number is (979) 220-3018 or log on to Find me on social media. I’ve got DBL Mortgage Services, Money Strategies with Debbie. I’m on Facebook as Debbie Bloyd. Come find me, friend me and look at all the information that I have.

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