By: Bill Clark | Senior Director

You can definitely engage in training exercises to slow the decline in fast twitch muscles, but there is a reason why most professional athletes retire in their 30s. My wife has been working out strenuously for more than forty years. She is 65 years old, and her VO2 max is in the upper 15% of women her age. Her physical strength allows her to be the active grandmother that everyone wishes they had for our ten grandchildren. To accomplish this, she has made it a habit to vary her exercise routines during the week. The other day, she went back to one of her old standbys, The Firm Aerobic Workout with Weights. She still uses her old Firm DVDs that were first created in 1986, but updated versions are readily available today: The Firm Workout & Exercise Videos | Gaia.

The Firm uses something called muscle confusion to make sure that all muscle groups are worked out over time. It all looks kind of hokey to me, but I must admit that I can’t even complete a session with her. Even my wife has begun to realize that she needs to modify her training regime if she wants to maintain balance and stability. One of the pieces of equipment they use in The Firm is a step-up box. You see a lot of step-up boxes being used in fitness clubs and CrossFit gyms. They are usually associated with men with big muscles using 100lb+ weights as they step onto a tall 24-inch box as they are preparing to be a Navy Seal or part of some Black Ops operation.  At age 74, after breaking my back last year, I’m still struggling to do a proper step-up on a 10-inch step-up box with no weights, but I’m making progress. Oh, I could probably catapult myself up onto a 20-inch box, but I wouldn’t be using the right form to engage my fast twitch muscles, which I need for stability at my age.

These fast twitch muscles keep us from falling and breaking something as we age. They allow us to keep our balance if we slip on something or step off a curb without noticing the drop. They allow us to quickly apply the brakes to avoid a catastrophic fall. After the age of 70, if you fall and break your hip, it could be fatal or, at minimum, be a long, painful recovery period that reduces your quality of life. I’m reluctant to admit that I have had way too many falls on my mountain bike that have resulted in broken bones or serious soft tissue damage. I didn’t realize until now that many of those falls could have been avoided if I had spent more time developing my fast twitch muscles. My lack of stability provided by fast twitch muscles was readily apparent over the weekend when my 5-year-old grandson faked me out and blew past me for a touchdown during a backyard football game. You can bet that I’ve now made it a priority to fix that, and I will. I highly recommend this 30-second video, Defying Aging: Harnessing Eccentric Strength for a Life of Balance #shorts #peterattia (, if you, your clients, or your parents are over the age of 60. The insights provided in this short video underscore the importance of seeking help to strengthen your fast twitch muscles. Also, if you are still in the prime of your working years, these insights could help ensure a longer and healthier life for you.

As I surfed the web last night, I found a good article in Men’s Health about developing fast twitch muscles: Your Guide to Fast-Twitch Muscle Training ( It reminded me that my wife laughed at me recently when I purchased yet another piece of fitness equipment, a jump rope. It turns out that it is a safe way to develop fast twitch muscles. The fact is, it will probably be hilarious when I first attempt to jump rope at my age. Wish me luck!

Ashar Group is a nationally licensed life settlement firm representing the best interests of policy owners by creating a competitive policy auction to deliver the best value to the seller. Ashar Group does not sell life insurance, management assets, or purchase policies. We are an independent resource for fiduciary advisors and their clients specializing in life insurance valuation for planning purposes. 

Success Stories

Meet James. Age 75
James, 72

Business was sold, and the policy was no longer needed
Business owner was able to receive additional value above and beyond the sale of the company.

Type of Policy
Term Conversion
Policy Face Value
Cash Surrender Value
Life Settlement Value
June, 84

Policy was underfunded and sitting in an ILIT
Eliminated future premium payments and used the funds for medical bills.

Type of Policy
Survivorship UL - One Deceased
Policy Face Value
Cash Surrender Value
Life Settlement Value
Meet Carlos
Carlos, 87

On the verge of outliving his planned coverage
A life settlement created value and alleviated future premium payments.

Type of Policy
Universal Life
Policy Face Value
Cash Surrender Value
Life Settlement Value

In a recent conversation, an advisor shared the tension and anxiety related to adult children in their 30s to 50s having conversations with their parents about aging, future caregiving needs, and health changes. A key factor is financial independence or dependence on the family.

As retirement has changed over the past several decades, longevity has become a vital component of financial planning. With people living longer, continued inflation, and rising healthcare costs, outliving one’s retirement plan is a real concern.

This is why a frank discussion about health, longevity, and long-term care needs to be part of every retirement strategy session with your senior clients. Here are a few thoughts to get the conversation started with clients.

1. Not All Clients are the Same: Accurate Life Expectancy is the Foundation of Comprehensive Retirement Planning

What type of information is discussed or gathered in ongoing planning discussions with clients? Many advisors use age 95 as a standard life expectancy for retirement planning because it’s a conservative estimate. When it comes to finances in one’s advanced years, being conservative is important. However, to develop the most sustainable financial plan, some advisors have opted to use a longevity calculator instead of the industry standard for every client. This will allow you to create a more personalized plan for every client.

Consider including the following question on planning checklists about physical and mental health, lifestyle, and their vision for what their life looks like in their late 80s to 90s.

"If there was a change to your health, where do you see yourself living? At home or in a community with others your age? Does this change if one spouse passes before the other?"

2. Longevity Affects Long-Term Care Projections

The good news can sometimes be the bad news. It's wonderful that people are living longer than anticipated, but often, their financial plan did not project them living into their late 80s to 90s. What if the planning is running low on cash flow? Retirement-age client’s health history and outlook are vital when it comes to effective retirement planning.

For example, a client who lives only to age 70 but spends the last five years of life in a long-term care facility could very well end up needing more money in retirement savings than a healthy person who ages in place and lives ten years longer.

Long-term care has become financially burdensome for most families, and those expenses continue to grow.

Since Medicare and Medicaid cover only a percentage of the care most people entering nursing facilities need, seniors - and their families - are left to make up the difference. With annual costs for a private room in a nursing home close to $110,000, that difference is often significant.

Having an open discussion of your client’s health history, family health history, and longevity expectations can help set realistic goals regarding how much they may need to cover long-term care.

"How are you planning to pay for those later years? The average cost can range between $5K- $10K per month for any higher quality option."

3. Longevity-Related Solutions for Paying for Retirement and Long-Term Care Needs

Over one-third of the country will be part of the longevity economy, which in turn could financially impact the remaining two-thirds of the country. How are families prepared to address the potential cash requirements for their aging parents and loved ones? This is also a good time to bring an alternative for paying for long-term care – life settlements. This solution allows clients to sell their life insurance policy for a lump sum of cash that’s greater than the policy’s cash surrender value.

On average, a life settlement transaction using a competitive auction platform through an independent life settlement broker can earn your client 5x the cash surrender value. This not only creates liquidity but also eliminates future premium obligations, allowing those funds to be used for other planning needs like retirement, investments, and long-term care.

"Do you foresee your adult children or someone else assisting in paying for long-term care? Have you explored all available options to fund these needs?"

Ashar Group is a nationally licensed life settlement firm representing the best interests of policy owners by creating a competitive policy auction to deliver the best value to the seller. Ashar Group does not sell life insurance, management assets, or purchase policies. We are an independent resource for fiduciary advisors and their clients specializing in life insurance valuation for planning purposes. Contact us today.

Enjoy more blogs in our Longevity Series:

Shooting for the Centenarian Club

The Keys to Longevity – It’s Never Too Late but Start Now!

Senior plans may “go awry” because of increasing longevity, but with a customized life expectancy analysis, planners will be able to help their clients make midcourse adjustments to minimize potential damage.

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