#19 Mortality

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My sister’s husband died last week.

While some consider death a morbid subject, it’s inevitable for us all. As such, planning for our ultimate demise is a critical part of overall retirement planning. Given my direct involvement with the death in the family a few days ago, a few thoughts:

1) Enjoy The Journey: our life consists of day to day living. Make a conscious decision to enjoy each day. Don’t put everything off for tomorrow – tomorrow may not arrive.

2) Love Your Family: there are no relationships on earth more important than those with our family members. Take the time to build and protect these relationships. Tell them frequently how much they mean to you, you never know when it may be the last time you get the chance to tell them.

3) Prepare Your Spouse: several years ago I wrote my first “Love Letter” for my wife. This letter outlines everything she needs to know regarding our financial situation, along with account numbers, passwords, contacts and step by step instructions to follow in the event of my death. It brings us both a peace of mind that she’ll be able to manage things after I’m gone.

4) Buy Life Insurance: this is a topic which requires more than one sentence in my blog. For now, suffice it to say, “If you don’t have it, get it.” More in future blogs.

5) Take Care Of Widows: my sister will be facing a difficult transition. As I’ve gotten older, I have much more empathy for what widows endure. Love these dear widows (and widowers) they deserve our compassion. I encourage financial planners to volunteer their time helping widows make the transition, it appears to me to be a ministry lacking in our society today.

6) Don’t Avoid The Difficult: Our mortality is a difficult topic for many. Don’t avoid the topic. Plan for it, discuss it, prepare for it. It’s the one event we know we can’t avoid. Make sure you’re as prepared as possible. Not only for you, but for those you love.

7) Secure Your Place in Eternity: as a Christian, I believe strongly that there’s no decision more important in life than accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you’re intrigued, contact me directly, let’s discuss.

My sister and her two daughters are facing a very difficult transition. It’s been an emotional few days with them in Texas. Tomorrow, I’ll return to work and my “normal” daily routine. They’ll just be staring on their new journey. Love those who are facing similar challenges, and prepare your family to make that difficult transition as smooth as possible while you still have the opportunity.

 

PS: Two additions based on reader feedback that I missed in the original posting: 1) The Importance of a Will, and 2) Everyone should have a Health Directive.  Thanks to you, readers, for the additions.

 

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3 comments

  1. Not just the will + health directives, but any funeral/ burial wishes. If you have a preference it will take those decisions off your loved ones. My grandparents knew they wanted to be cremated and the ashes comingled with their wedding bands. However the family has never figured out a resting place for the urn, and it is in my Aunt’s closet.
    My dad and stepmother shared the location of their estate plan binder recently and that it includes pre-purchased plots, aside from will & directives. My family aren’t big cemetery visitors, but knowing the decision is made for some time a long time from now is a relief. Having it written down also avoids any potential squabbles of, ‘well one time he told me he wants to be donated to science’, vs ‘nah he said he wants a viking burial and I get to shoot the flaming arrow’, etc.

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