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Planning and Inspiration at 81

By Portage County Business Council

By LouAnn Schulfer, AWMA®, AIF®
Accredited Wealth Management AdvisorSM
Accredited Investment Fiduciary®

I had the wonderful fortune of meeting a lady who is equally as sweet as she is sharp.  She is the picture that many of us envision ourselves to be at age 81:  independent, eager to learn, financially successful to her own credit, energetic, socially engaged, and intellectually sharp.  We had detailed conversations about her experiences in life, about money and advice she’s received from others.  As you may guess, there has been good and there has been bad.

A thorn in her side is the advice that she’s received from both her CPA and attorney firm.  Over the years, she’s asked them about long term care planning.  Their response:  she is single and has assets, therefore does not need long term care insurance.  They say, if she were to spend through her money she would then go on Medicaid.  As she told me that, she leaned in toward me and looked me straight in the eyes and said with great conviction “But I don’t want to be on government assistance!  I am not a case who should be!”  We talked about her father, a WWI veteran who despite being poisoned by mustard gas, lived to 98!

We explored options and are in the process of her plan.  We sent inquiries to several companies.  Some said they would not issue policies beyond age 80.  We did receive a response from an A rated company who will accept an application from her, for a hybrid policy with the possibility of lifetime coverage.

I felt a great connection from the first time I met this lady.  Maybe it’s because we share the same perspective about money that other professionals seemed to have missed:  life planning is not only about money.  Money is just a tool and like working with any tool, we can create with it:  we can build an optimized future with blueprints and plans.  It helps to have many tools in the toolbox.  There is an old saying that if your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  I am grateful that through her desire to keep trying, she sought me out.  Even at 81, she did not settle for an opinion she did not feel was right.  For this, I am inspired.

LouAnn Schulfer is co-owner of Schulfer & Associates, LLC Wealth Management and can be reached at (715) 343-9600 or

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