Blessing or Curse?

A few months ago, I was mildly surprised to hear a report that the average life expectancy of both men and women in the United States, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, declined slightly for the first time since 1993.  One would think there are limits to what science and medical advances can do to lengthen our lives, but it strikes me that perhaps this is only a plateau on the way to even higher averages.  In fact, a study by the World Health Organization released in March 2017 suggested exactly that.  It makes me pause to consider if this boost of average longevity is really a blessing or a curse.  In part, the answer depends upon how well one has financially prepared for the prospect of adding another 15-20 years to their life.  Are you?

I remember fondly as a child watching The Walton’s.  The stories of life in “the Blue Ridge of Virginia” resonated with me because my father grew up in that era and near the oft-mentioned town of Charlottesville.  Perhaps that tight-knit family network existed then even outside of “TV land”, as some of my fathers’ childhood remembrances attest.  But as the series began to age, the story-line demonstrated the reality of a changing society and the dispersal of that family.  Today, the common geographic dispersion of adult children, high rates of divorce, later in life marriage and child-rearing and the near absence of homemaking and one-wage earner families, among other causes, has limited the ability of families to care for one another as age related difficulty emerges.  We are not living in the era of the Walton’s anymore!

Instead of the family caregiver support network, a legion of professional care resources has emerged to fill this need.  Sitter services, home health, assisted living, memory care and hospice organizations have increased in number to meet the demand of caring for the aging in our society.  There is even a resurgence of the “house-call” medical doctor model sometimes identified as concierge medicine.

This situation then begs the question of how one funds this probable and expensive care relying on professionals for these services?  Medicare generally pays only for expenses connected with a hospital stay and social security is not adequate to cover the expense of extended long-term care services.  Although some Veterans programs and Medicaid can provide additional funds for eligible applicants, these social programs are increasingly difficult to qualify for without first having “spent-down” personal assets.

The steward’s approach might suggest “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it” (Proverbs 22:3, ESV).  Protecting your financial plan means accurately assessing risks and “hiding” yourself.  That doesn’t mean shirk from it or run away, but face it with a courageous plan to deal with it appropriately.  Be prepared for the day rather than ignore it and suffer.  Who suffers?  Well, if your plan has always been to leave a financial legacy to your family or to a charitable organization, those potential beneficiaries could suffer if your care costs consume resources once planned for other purposes.  This could be the difference between longevity being a blessing or a curse to your family, from a financial point of view.

One way to “hide” your financial assets from care consumption, is to protect assets by utilizing a long-term care insurance policy (or policies as appropriate) in your overall plan.  The marketplace has evolved from traditional policies to more creative and robust multi-use policies that might serve the need to protect your financial plan.  Whether you have an older policy or have never considered putting this type protection in place, let’s discuss how the right solution can help update and protect your carefully made financial plan, or that of your aging loved ones.


“This material is intended to be educational in nature, and not as a recommendation of any particular strategy, approach, product or concept for any particular advisor or client.  These materials are not intended as any form of substitute for individualized investment advice.  The discussion is general in nature, and therefore not intended to recommend or endorse any asset class, security, or technical aspect of any security for the purpose of allowing a reader to use the approach on their own.  Before participating in any investment program or making any investment, clients as well as all other readers are encouraged to consult with their own professional advisers, including investment advisers and tax advisors.  Camelot Advisors can assist in determining a suitable investment approach for a given individual, which may or may not closely resemble the strategies outlined herein.”

“Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that any specific investment will either be suitable or profitable for a client’s investment portfolio.”

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Stewardly Financial Advisors d/b/a Camelot Advisors LLC (“Stewardly”) is located in Alabama. Stewardly and its representatives are in compliance with the current registration requirements of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and those states in which Stewardly maintains clients. Registration as an investment adviser is not indicative of any level of skill or training. Stewardly’s website is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory services. Accordingly, the publication of the Stewardly website on the internet should not be construed by any consumer and/or prospective client as Stewardly’s solicitation to effect, or attempt to effect transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, over the internet. Any subsequent, direct communication by Stewardly with a prospective client shall be conducted by a representative that is either registered or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration in the state where the prospective client resides. A copy of Stewardly’s current written disclosure statements discussing Stewardly’s business operations, services, and fees is available from Stewardly upon request. Stewardly does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to Stewardly’s website or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility thereof. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.

Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Therefore, no current or prospective client should assume that future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended by Stewardly) or product made reference to directly or indirectly by Stewardly in its website, or indirectly via a link to an unaffiliated third party website, will be profitable or equal the corresponding indicated performance level(s). Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that any specific investment will either be suitable or profitable for a client or prospective client’s investment portfolio. Historical performance results for investment indices and/or custodial charges, the deduction of an investment management fee, nor the impact of taxes, the incurrence of which would have the effect of decreasing historical performance results.

Certain portions of Stewardly’s website (i.e., newsletters, articles, commentaries, etc.) may contain a discussion of, and/or provide access to, Stewardly’s (and those of other investment and non-investment professionals) positions and/or recommendations as of a specific prior date. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions, such discussion may no longer be reflective of current position(s) and/or recommendations(s). Moreover, no client or prospective client should assume that any such discussion serves as the receipt of, or a substitute for, personalized advice from Stewardly, or from any other investment professional. Stewardly is neither an attorney nor accountant, and no portion of the website content should be interpreted as legal, accounting or tax advice. Correspondingly, each client and prospective client agrees, as a condition precedent to his/her/its access to Stewardly’s website, to release and hold harmless Stewardly, its officers, directors, employees and agents from any and all adverse consequences resulting from any of his/her/its actions and/or omissions which are independent of his/her/its receipt of personalized individual advice from Stewardly.

To the extent that any client or prospective client utilizes any economic calculator or similar device contained within or linked to Stewardly’s website, the client and/or prospective client is advised that the information resulting from the use of any such calculator/device, is not, and should not be construed, in any manner whatsoever, as the receipt of, or a substitute for, personalized individual advice from Stewardly, or from any other investment professional.