If you’re not already fascinated by Virtual Technology, chances are you will be soon.  Virtual reality—and the fascination with it—are growing by leaps and bounds. Using just two of our five senses (sight and sound), you can “be somewhere” without actually, physically, being there.  Let’s say you’re considering purchasing a property:  a high-rise condo complex still under construction. Put on your virtual reality headset, and you’re all set.

Take a stroll through the rooms as if you’re really there. Check out the room space, how it would look decorated, the view from the windows, etc. Or, how about this:  you could browse through a store picking out shoes, color, size and styles. Or try out a vacation spot before you decide to go there.  You get the point, right? The list of advantages is endless, while the creative options have only just begun.

All this got me to thinking….given the capability of our brilliant young scientists to suspend our belief in the present and accept what we see as real, maybe we could get them to create a way for us to see ourselves at some point in the future when we’ve lost our independence – physically or cognitively. For example, what if you, as an-abled bodied, physically and cognitively capable person of 55 or so, could put on a VR headset and see yourself…your future self that is?

Remember, this is “real”—not a picture of someone else—­ and you’re seeing and feeling YOURSELF as a person with aging realities, such as mobility issues, toileting issues, needing supervision with bathing and dressing, etc. OR, what if you could see yourself experiencing the middle stages of Alzheimer’s disease?

Would THIS motivate you to make a plan to be prepared for this future stage in your life?

I started researching this idea, and wasn’t really surprised when I found that Genworth, as a pioneer in the long term care industry, is already far ahead of me!   Check out their R70i Aging Experience at https://www.genworth.com/lets-talk/r70i-aging-experience.html. While the “wearable” equipment they’ve assembled for the purpose is more complicated than my mental image of a simple VR headset, their use of state-of-the-art technology brings to life my ideal dream—allowing a person to preview his future self experiencing the effects associated with aging.

But for now, with a sigh, my friends, I’m back to reality –you know, the real reality: 2016, where I remain frustrated at consumer and advisor reluctance to address the need to have a PLAN for Living a Long Life. Remember the famous lines from A Few Good Men?

Jack Nicholson:   You want answers?

Tom Cruise:          I think I deserve them.

Nicholson:             You want answers?

Cruise:                    I want the truth.

Nicholson:             You can’t handle the truth!

Consumers NEED ANSWERS and Advisors NEED to have the conversation with their clients.  The TRUTH is that the RISK already exists. Insurance covers it.