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Plan for the Future
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Line up a group of Baby Boomers and ask how they’re preparing for the future and you’ll hear many different responses. Some may admit to not ever having health or life insurance or long-term care insurance because it’s too expensive. Others may say they’ve not saved for retirement because their Social Security will carry them through. Some may confess that, although they have faith that it will all turn out alright, they have carefully planned as if they may live to 100.

Growing up in the 50s, when a nuclear war seemed imminent, I remember discussions about whether Christians should build bomb shelters. If it wasn’t the Russians we were dealing with, then we feared what may happen during troublesome times. I had a close relative who bought property in the mountains, built a cabin and installed a generator in preparation.

I spent decades not planning about my financial future. Instead, I let my ex-husband worry about that. After 29 years of marriage, I ended up on my own with no retirement and no concrete strategy for my future. That’s when I started worrying and planning. Of course, the worrying didn’t benefit me at all. The planning did and I began to strategize in earnest.

Never Too Late

Even if you’ve put it off, it’s never too late to plan for your future. For me, that includes being transparent with my grown children: making a will, health directives, and a power of attorney. Although I want to live healthfully and happily until I pass away in my sleep decades from now, my children and I have discussed long-term care and nursing homes. 

I’ve even mapped out what I want incorporated into my memorial service (following cremation – a discussion for another time) including singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and handing out Cracker Jacks. 

If you approach your eventual demise with frankness and maybe even a little humor, your children and grandchildren won’t be afraid to bring up subjects they may be concerned about. After all, when we’re gone, they’re the ones dealing with whatever we’ve left behind. It’s important to me that I lessen their stress and mine.

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By Dee Litten Reed. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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