Make It Last – Ep 6 – Passing a Retirement Quiz, Assisted Living Questions with Guest: Lisa Kelly

Can you pass a basic retirement income quiz? Most Americans could not. Here is a link to the quiz – and here’s a link to the results.

As you get older, the chances that you may need help managing your affairs increases significantly. Listen this week to an interview with our special guest Lisa Kelly, Regional Director of Business Development, with the Care One family of assisted living facilities.

This will be a fantastic discussion of assisted living options that you won’t want to miss.

For more information, visit to learn more about Care One.

Want to learn more? Be sure to tune to Make It Last on Saturday mornings at 7:30am on WCTC 1450AM or subscribe to the show on iTunes here.

Make It Last with Victor Medina is hosted by Victor J. Medina, an estate planning and elder law attorney and Certified Financial Planner™. For more information, visit Medina Law Group or Private Client Capital Group.

Below is the link to the show:

Make It Last – Ep 6 – Passing a Retirement Quiz, Assisted Living Questions with Guest: Lisa Kelly

Read the transcript below…

Announcer:  Welcome to “Make it Last,” helping you keep your legal ducks in a row and your nest egg secure, with your host, Victor Medina, an estate planning and elder law attorney and certified financial planner.

Victor J. Medina:  Everyone, welcome to Make it Last with Victor Medina. I am your host, Victor Medina. I’m an estate planning attorney and certified financial planner.

You are joining us here at 7:  30 AM. If you are listening live, it’s Saturday morning, and I’ve got my cup of coffee. I hope you have your cup of coffee. This is the show that helps you keep your legal ducks in a row and your financial nest egg secure.

We’ve got a great show for you here, today. Little bit later, we’re going to have a special guest, Lisa Kelly, who’s a regional director of development for CareOne Facilities, which has about 28 or 29 different facilities in New Jersey helping people with long‑term care needs, like assisted living or acute rehab.

It’s going to be really important for you to listen. If you have no experience with assisted living, you’re going to want to listen in to our segments with Lisa, because she’s going to help illuminate that.

We’re going to talk first about a retirement quiz that came out that really opened my eyes, because so many people had failed to pass it. I thought it was a fairly straightforward quiz, and when the results came out, it turned out that not a lot of people passed it.

Before we get to that, I want to thank everybody for listening to the show. We’re having a great time putting it together, and it seems like you’re having a great time listening to it as well.

If you have any suggestions for any topics coming up in the future, feel free to email them to me at We’ll get that and we’ll put it in the hopper for something coming up in the future. Love to hear back from the audience.

If this is your first time listening to us, I want to let you know that we do have the show available as a downloadable podcast, and you can go to iTunes and search for Make It Last. You’ll know that you’re at the right spot, because you’ll see a blue box that says, “Make It Last with Victor Medina.”

If you subscribe to that on iTunes or the android devices, you’ll not only be able to hear every episode as it comes out, but you’ll also be able to go back to prior episodes and listen to those. We’ve got a couple of good ones in the archives. In fact, the one that we just had before this one talked a lot about annuities.

Annuities are one of the most misunderstood financial products out there and I completely encourage you to go and listen to that one, because it was really, I think, eye‑opening for a lot of people, and it would be eye‑opening for you as well.

Let’s get right into it, because we’ve got a full slate today and I want to reserve as much time for our special guests as we can.

I was shocked to hear that the vast majority of people could not pass a very basic retirement quiz. I’m going to go ahead and put a link to the quiz up in the show notes. This is actually going to be great for anybody that wants to go download it afterwards.

If you go to the website,, inside of there, we’ll have the show link to this retirement quiz. The questions I didn’t find to be that hard. I’ll give you an example.

It said, “If you had a well‑diversified portfolio of 50 percent stocks and 50 percent bonds that was worth $100,000 at retirement, based on historical returns in the United States, what is the most you can afford to withdraw each year, plus inflation, to have a 95 percent chance that your assets will last for 30 years?”

You have five choices ‑‑ $2,000, $4,000, $6,000, $8,000 and “I don’t know.”

You had another question that was like, “Take a portion of your retirement, let’s say 20 to 40 percent of a retirement portfolio, and buying a life annuity, true or false, can protect against the uncertainty of life expectancy and ensure a basic level of spending. Is that true, or is that false?” Again, there’s a multiple choice.

The American College put out this quiz. You have a chance to take it on your own, love to hear back from you how you did. It was alarming how people did.

It turns out that it was given just to older Americans that were between the age of 60 to 75 with at least $100,000 in assets, and they failed. [laughs] They failed the exam. There’s no other way to say it.

The vast majority of people got an F. The average overall quiz score was 47 percent. Only five percent of the individuals ended up getting a grade of B or higher. The vast majority of individuals got less than 80 percent on it which, as I said to you, is incredible.

Only one percent of the individuals got an A. [laughs] I don’t know. Maybe it was all the financial advisors that took it.

Over the next 12 years, as I said, there’s going to be 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day. This concept of needing to be ready for retirement is significant.

You need to be on top of this stuff because, first of all, everyone around you is going to need that. The population is aging. We need to really understand where our retirement finances are going to go, how it’s going to be used in retirement. A slip up this close to the end of the journey could have devastating impacts.

They ended up asking people what they felt about their own financial knowledge in this quiz. It turns out that 61 percent of the individuals indicated that they have a very high level of retirement income knowledge.

What are we highlighting here? It turns out that most people believe that they have this right. At the same time, most people got it wrong. How incredible is that?

We have to have a little bit of humility to say that we should ask for help, because we may not know as much about this area as we think. The danger of being too proud to ask for help can lead to these devastating consequences.

If you don’t understand a basic concept like sequence of returns risk, if I say sequence of returns risk and you don’t know what I’m talking about, there should be bells going off in your head that you need to ask for help.

We’ve gotten so much in this culture of do‑it‑yourself, and Google, and I can download, and I’m really suspicious to that somebody who offers to help, that we’ve gotten to a point in time where people are resistant. They’re resistant to asking for help, and that’s not where we should be.

Whether you’re talking about these finances, you’re talking about legal planning, this is not one of those scenarios where you can really afford to make a mistake simply because you were too proud to ask for help.

As I said, go to the iTunes link and go to the website and I’ll give you the link to the quiz, and I would like for you to take it. I think that you owe it to yourself to look into this and take the quiz and see where you end up. If it turns out that you don’t do well on it, don’t get down about it.

You now have the information that you need to know that your next step is to ask for help from a qualified professional. Here, I’m going to warn you, because the majority of people, as I’ve said many times before, who call themselves financial professionals are people with an insurance license that only have one product to sell you, because they got a hammer and everything’s a nail.

What you want is to work with a certified financial planner. You want to work with somebody that has a fiduciary obligation to put your best interest first. If you don’t know where to find one, go to the CFP site and do a search, and find people in the area.

As you know, we’re certified financial planners in our office, and then we have also the added benefit of being able to handle the legal planning as well, but this is too important, you retirees out there, to leave it up to chance.

Victor:  If it turns out that you need help, I urge you to go and get that help, because your family will benefit from it, you will benefit from it. There’s just too much at stake, and I really urge you to do that.

That’s been our first segment. When we come back, we’re going to welcome our guest, Lisa Kelly. Lisa Kelly is from CareOne. CareOne is a family‑owned business that has a number of facilities in New Jersey handling things like assisted living and long‑term care.

Stick with us on the break, when we come back, our special guest, Lisa Kelly, with CareOne.


Victor:  Welcome back to Make It Last. I am joined today by our special guest, Lisa Kelly. As I told you, Lisa Kelly is the Regional Director of Business Development for the CareOne Family of facilities in New Jersey. Welcome, Lisa, to the show.

Lisa Kelly:  Thank you.

Victor:  I’m happy to have you on here. A large part, because I think that what CareOne is doing is really unique in the field, needs to be highlighted for listeners. I wanted to bring you on to have everyone who’s listening understand a little bit more about what is happening.

Why don’t you outline a little bit about CareOne. Tell us about the company, its history, and then we can dive into the things that really have made me excited to have you on as a guest.

Lisa:  Thank you. CareOne, located our home office in Fort Lee, New Jersey, currently has 29 healthcare and assisted living facilities throughout New Jersey. We also have over 60 other type facilities in nine other states. We are family‑owned.

Victor:  Let me ask a little bit about that. There’s 68 facilities, how long has it been family‑owned? Has it gone through multiple generations? Is it more recent that it’s…?

Lisa:  Right now, we have Daniel Strauss and then his daughter, Lizzy, who operates the company right now, and it’s been in the work for 30‑plus years. Daniel’s been in the business for many, many years and now he’s brought his family in as well.

Victor:  That’s great. When you talk about there being 28 different kinds of facilities out there, are there different kinds? I mentioned assisted living, is it just assisted living? Are there other things that CareOne does within those 29 places?

Lisa:  CareOne has sub‑acute rehabs along with some long‑term care facilities type nursing home, and then assisted living. We also have a hospice component as well under the CareOne umbrella. We started out in the sub‑acute nursing home business.

Victor:  What is that? What is sub‑acute?

Lisa:  Sub‑acute is someone that may go into the hospital, maybe they had an elective surgery, maybe they had a cardiac procedure, a stroke, some type of medical episode that they ended up in the hospital and they end up coming to rehab after.

Victor:  Because the hospital can’t keep them forever?

Lisa:  They cannot.

Victor:  When they’re done, they need a place to get better that isn’t home, because they can’t go home yet?

Lisa:  They can’t go home yet, correct. They need physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy. They will need 24‑hour nursing care, nursing supervision. The goal is to get them from the hospital, to the rehab, and then to home safely.

Victor:  The goal is to get them out of the sub‑acute rehab…

Lisa:  Back to home.

Victor:  It’s a temporary holding. Home would be great, but some people, from whatever caused them to go to the hospital, they can’t go home, so they might look at another kind of a placement. They might stay in long‑term care at a skilled nursing facility, or they might look at assisted living if they needed that help.

Am I getting that right?

Lisa:  Yes. Some individuals that may not be able to go home and they finish their sub‑acute time, we have long‑term care, which is a skilled setting as well that they can stay in.

That’s where we started into the assisted living business, because we were finding that a lot of the individuals we are sending to other assisted livings, instead of keeping them within the CareOne family.

We piloted a couple units in some of our buildings that were continual campuses. We would have the sub‑acute, the long‑term care setting, and then we started putting in assisted living apartments, because we felt if they could stay in the same campus, they would know the staff, they know the area, families were happy with all the employees that worked for us and they felt that the care was good.

We would just keep them in the campus, but on an assisted living service. We also decided then to put the assisted livings in other parts of the state.

Victor:  The model worked as you had this lower level of care. Everything that was CareOne and its culture that people liked from the sub‑acute, you were able to continue that on, and it’s a lower level of care. People were staying, so you rolled that out a little further.

Lisa:  Correct. We were able to do that in a couple more communities where we had a full continuum campus, such as Jackson, which were just waiting any day now for us to open the doors. In Jackson, we have a sub‑acute and a long‑term care setting, and now we’ve just completed construction on a 35 person studio apartments within the campus for assisted living, specifically for memory care.

Victor:  If people don’t know what assisted living looks like, because they haven’t had a family member that has to go, or they haven’t explored it themselves, what’s the difference between assisted living, what makes it lower versus the skilled nursing facility, or what makes it higher than being at home? What does assisted really mean?

Lisa:  With assisted living, your main components that you really look for is making sure that there’s programming, activities. They’re kept busy during the day. They’re doing activities that they’ve done in the past, maybe that will fulfill their day a little bit more rather than being at home, because at home if you’re not getting any social activity in your life, the days can go a little bit longer.

You can also decline in health, because you’re not getting that social activity, and you’re not mingling with your peers, and you’re not getting your three meals a day.

You don’t have a nurse on‑site that’s able to make sure you’re getting your proper medication. Maybe you have some medical condition that that nurse on duty is able monitor 24 hours a day.

With assisted living, you’re getting your meals, which is very important. You have your nursing care. CareOne, our philosophy is to have a nurse 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We think that’s very important.

The programming, activities, going out on trips, keeping them very fulfilled in their life. On top of that, we offer occupational and physical therapy as well to those same individuals in the assisted living setting, because along with your medical condition and your social aspect, you want to make sure that you’re still having your needs met physically.

You know you’re strong enough, you know how to ambulate, you’re not at risk for falls.

Victor:  What does ambulate mean? Just getting around and getting in and out of bed?

Lisa:  Getting in and out of bed. Making sure you can get around your apartment. You’re getting down to the dining room, you’re going to your social events, and you’re pretty much independent as you can be.

We also have a dementia specific therapy program where our philosophy is we’re going to give individuals with memory impairments physical and occupational therapy as best to their ability.

They’ll be able to follow whatever commands they can, but we’re still making them stronger, and they’re not at risk for falls.

Victor:  It sounds to me that assisted living is really a continuum of a protective environment, where someone who would be moving into that is going to at any part of the spectrum, whether it’s super low, making sure that they eat three times a day, or it’s higher, making sure they don’t fall and hurt themselves, and they’re taking their medication.

There’s this continuum that make sure that people stay, I don’t know, they normalize in some sense.

Lisa:  Yes. It’s a community. We want them to be as much a part of the community as they can be through all the different events that we have going on, through the support of the medical staff, because that’s very important.

Also, the families getting involved in maybe a support group or getting involved with some activities. Just as what they would do in their own community if it was out in the town. Now we have them come into the building and there’s supportive environment for everybody.

Victor:  That’s been my experience too, because in the elder law context, when I’m meeting with families, it’s typically somebody who’s in crisis already. Something has happened where they’ve raised their hand and come and wanted to see an elder law attorney. It’s usually either a home care giver, one of the spouses has actually had enough, they can’t handle it any longer.

A child has intervened, with or without there being both parents. The child has said, “There’s something going wrong at home and we need to sure this up, because these needs aren’t being met.” When they integrate with assisted living, my experience has been that if it’s not normalized, they stabilize.

Sometimes, they bounce back up because they are taking their medication on a regular basis or because they’re eating on a regular basis that there’s something that happens where they get this bounced up from where they were because these needs are being met. That’s been my experience, at least.

Lisa:  That is exactly true. We find that it’s as urgent as maybe you’ll see in your fields that something has happened, whether they have had a medical condition that has set them back, or they stopped taking their medication, or forgotten taking their medication. Now their memory impairment maybe has gotten a little bit worse.

If the family is the caregiver, we find that sometimes it becomes too much for them and they end up taking them to the emergency room and that’s not really the appropriate setting. We do find them also in a crisis.

For assisted living, specifically in the dementia, memory care, we do find that they’re very quick move‑ins. It’s where there has been an episode, or a setback, or a caregiver burnout.

Like I said that they’re knocking on our door and saying, “We need your help. We need to find placement for mom or dad and we need to do it sooner than later. We didn’t know how bad it was at home. They’ve been living alone. There’s old food in the refrigerator. Medications haven’t been taken.” It’s usually in that crisis mode as well.

Victor:  From our experience with assisted living, I also know that you face sometimes some obstacles getting people to agree to explore.

If they still have all their mental faculties, not everybody raises their hand and said, “Yeah. I’d love to go to assisted living.” How do you start to overcome that? Do you have different programs, trial programs…how do you overcome that with families?

Lisa:  We do have a respite program. Basically how respite works is you can come in, you can try us out. It’s really a week‑to‑week, depending on how long the family wants to try assisted living for. We also do that in the sub‑acute in the long‑term care setting.

We encourage them to come in, try us out, get to know our staff, get into the routine, and that usually encourages not only the family members, but the resident themselves. They’ll see it’s not what they thought it was.

They’ll overcome all the fears they might have had about a sub‑acute, or an assisted living, or a nursing home because it really does enhance their life. They’re getting their meals, they’re not afraid anymore because they know that there’s a nurse around the clock.

They know that their medications will be taken care of. They can see a doctor on‑site that’s going to come right in to see them.

They started to pull away from having any fear like they did at home when they were alone and they feel more secure. 99 percent of the time, most people come in as respites. They do stay.

Victor:  The other experience that I’ve had is with the family members that are caring for them. This is their opportunity to finally go on vacation that they’ve been out it for a year without a break.

It finally gives them that break. It also introduces the idea that with the break, mom or dad might get better and the care that they’re getting provided might be a better option.

For them to do that in an innocuous way, they’re going away on vacation and so, “We can’t leave you alone, mom or dad. Why don’t we try this out?” Everything starts to get better from there.

Lisa:  Absolutely. For those individuals that maybe the family feels, “Mom was in the hospital. She came home. She’s not doing as well as we thought. We’d like to bring her in for sub‑acute rehab. Just for a week or two to get her strong through therapy,” because we offer all of those services.

Even in the assisted living setting, they’ll take a vacation while they’re with us. They’ll get the occupational and physical therapy that they need. We build them back to a stronger version.

The family gets that time away, whether they’re going to Hawaii or whatever it might be. They get that break to know that mom or dad is safe, but they also get a break for themselves, which they really need.

Victor:  It’s huge. What I’ve seen is that the caregiver burnout rate is super high.

My experience has been that when it’s a spouse, they just believe that they should be giving everything over even at their own expense. You’ll have this trial level guilt that says, “You know, I have to give everything because they gave it to me.”

When it doesn’t serve the person who needs the care to have that person burnout, what help could it be if the daughter or spouse burns out as a caregiver? That’s not the relationship that would best serve the sick person.

Lisa:  We talked to the caregivers, whether it’s a spouse or a child that coming in to an assisted living community, you’re giving yourself a break, but you’re also giving that love one so many other things that you couldn’t provide as being the caregiver.

They’re around their peers. They can talk about things that maybe they experienced back in the ’40s or the ’50s that their child wouldn’t relate to. They’re also getting the social skills and the activities. Having lunch with their peers, meals, three times a day, that alone makes a huge difference.

Victor:  This is the worst analogy I can come up with, but it reminds me of what we’re doing with our four‑year‑old.

There’s a period of time where it’s fine for them to be home with us, but they need preschool, they need social…We’re holding them back from their development if they’re supposed to be around people of their own age, not just adults all the time.

It’s the same way with these older folks that they’re reliving the experience that they’ve had, they’re sharing that. As you said, they’re getting the opportunity to do things that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do.

Lisa:  You have to remember, a lot of these adult children have children themselves.

Victor:  Sure. That’s sandwich generation.

Lisa:  It’s the sandwich generation.

They have young kids that they’re bringing to afterschool activities, sports events, but then they also have mom or dad that they’re caring for. They really are struggling through that sandwich generation right now with having to care for two different aspects of the age spectrum.

Victor:  They turn left, they get hit. They turn right, they get hit with those types of demands. I can sense that you’ve got a lot of passion for this. How long have you been involved with helping people in long‑term care or this community?

Lisa:  Many, many years. [laughs] I actually started out in geriatric mental health. I loved it.

It was just great to see individuals come in as one person into a partial day program, get support, life skills training. That brought me into the assisted living world. I was administrator for about 10 years and then went into the marketing regional role.

I’m very happy here. I’ve learned a lot from all my residents throughout the years in assisted livings. Met some very, very interesting people that have great stories to tell.

Victor:  Yeah, the great stories.

Lisa:  Great stories. This is my passion and where I want to be, definitely.

Victor:  Our time here has flown by and we didn’t even get to touch on any of the dementia related services or how that impacts. Would you mind coming back in a few months and talking about that?

Lisa:  Sure. Absolutely.

Victor:  That’s would be great. Tell me a little bit about what’s coming up with CareOne. Where can people either learn more about the company or any of the services that they are offering?

As I’ve said before, one of the great things that I found about CareOne is the way that it has reached out to the community to try to insert itself as saying, “Look, we can help here. It’s not just the service we provide, but we want to be productive members of the community.”

Is there anything that’s coming up in the future, other ways that people can figure out more information?

Lisa:  You can go to our home website. It’s‑ That will tell you about our locations, upcoming events, anything in the news that we’re doing outside of CareOne as a whole. It will tell you about all of our services from assisted living, to sub‑acute, to long‑term care.

If you’re interested in coming to our caregiver support group at our CareOne at Jackson location, you can actually call them directly and RSVP. It’s the third Thursday of every month. Their phone number is 732‑367‑6600.

Victor:  This is somebody who is already a caregiver that might need some support and then that’s being hosted at CareOne, Jackson?

Lisa:  Yes. We’re actually offering to the caregivers to bring their loved one if they want to and we’ll keep them.

It’s going to be a dinner. Everyone will get a nice dinner. The family members can go to the support group and then we’ll have our programming activity individuals do something with them, whether it’s movie night or card game, depending on who’s coming, but we’ll be able to give them their time, enjoy a meal, and then they can take their loved one home.

Victor:  That’s great. Thank you so much for being my guest here.

Lisa:  Thank you.

Victor:  This has been Lisa Kelley with the CareOne. She’s Regional Director of Business Development. If you have any more questions about that, you can go visit‑one and that’s the word spelled out O‑N‑ Learn more about CareOne.

I want to thank you for joining us here today at Make It Last. If you’ve got any suggested topics for us to talk about, you can always email us at

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Thanks so much for listening to us here today. We’ll catch you on the next episode of Make It Last, where we help you get your legal ducks in a row and your financial nest egg secure.


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