As we begin another holiday season with our families, I can’t help but think about two of the most passionate desires expressed by our Relaxing Retirement members during hundreds of discussions over the years:
- I don’t ever want to be a burden to my spouse, children, and grandchildren, and
- I want to make everything is as easy and seamless as possible when I’m no longer able to help.
It’s never a “good” or “convenient” time to think about these challenging issues. There’s only a “right” time. Let that be right now.
Simply take a few moments during this holiday season to verify that you’ve “dotted all your I’s” and “crossed all your Ts” in three very important areas you’ve heard me discuss many times. You may very well have everything in order already. If so, then this will provide you with another much-deserved jolt of confidence that you have your house in order:
- Estate Plan: Colleen and I recently updated the estate plan we first established twenty years ago, and it reaffirmed how critically important it is to have the four documents I outlined on page 134 of my book, The Relaxing Retirement Formula current and in place:
- Will (“Pour Over” for everything you haven’t re-titled to your trust)
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Health Care Proxy
- Revocable Living Trust (And, that you have re-titled your assets to your living trusts to avoid probate)
- Long Term Care Insurance: There are elder care attorneys running scare tactic ads on the radio daily warning you not to let nursing homes “take” your home and your life savings, and implying they have a magic pill solution. There is no such magic pill that doesn’t have extensive negative consequences, i.e. giving up ownership of everything you’ve built.
If you haven’t already done so, take the time to proactively evaluate your personal risk level so that you can make an educated decision about long term care coverage. It remains the best tool I’ve seen to mitigate this risk.
- What To Do When You’re No Longer Here Instructions: Statistics confirm that it’s unlikely your spouse, children, and/or grandchildren know exactly what to do with everything you’ve accumulated when you’re no longer here to help them. A horror story we experienced with the best friend of one of our members many years ago led us to create The What To Do When I’m No Longer Here Program.
If you don’t have a copy, please let us know and we’d be happy to get a copy out to you. If you do, please commit to spending just one hour making sure your current information is available for your family. After speaking with several family members at the funeral services of our Relaxing Retirement members, I can confirm that your family will be extremely grateful and appreciative that you took the time to do so.
Enjoy your holiday season with your family!