Fifty may be the new 30, but James Bashaw is feeling old. The founder of a namesake private wealth management firm in Houston is reasonably healthy, but his wife Kim, who is just three years older than him, was diagnosed three years ago with Huntington's disease, a genetic illness that causes progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the brain, resulting in physical and cognitive disorders and eventually dementia. Lately, Bashaw has spent hours filling out forms to move her into an assisted living facility. The questions are "overwhelming," he says. "It's not that you don't know the answer, it's that you don't want to think about it." Fortunately for the couple, the cost of Kim's care is covered by the long-term care insurance he bought many years ago, when Kim's father was diagnosed with the disease.
Yet Bashaw also believes that, although he and his wife are younger than many who face similar health concerns, the experience gives him a window into the challenging issues that advisors and their clients are likely to encounter with increasing frequency.
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