Are You Prepared for the Ending of Your Life’s Story?

Su Swanne, Realtor – GRI, CSHP, SRES
Graduate, Realtor Institute
Certified Senior Housing Professional
Senior Real Estate Specialist

CALL 520-248-6297

Are you prepared for “The Inevitable?”  No matter what age you are, have you taken some time to think about your needs at the end of your life? 

As a Realtor who specializes in working with Senior clients I find that much of my work involves educating them about many of the issues they may be facing. One of those issues is making decisions and planning ahead for the times of possible confusion and chaos.
I remember an animated cartoon from years ago where a parachutist has jumped out of a plane. The narrator keeps reminding him to open the cute, and he keeps saying, “I’ve got plenty of time”. You know how it ends!
While we are faced by the same inevitable ending as the parachutist, we can prepare for a softer landing. That is, if we do it now, and not wait, because we think we have plenty of time.
In a recent Merrill Lynch retirement study:
● 70% of children 25+ haven’t discussed financial, retirement, health, or inheritance plans with their parents.
● 56% of parents over 50 have not discussed their plans with their children.
● 28% of those married haven’t discussed their plans with their spouse.
● Only 24% of siblings have discussed how their parents will be provided for.
The conversation seems to not take place until the death or illness of a family member or friend. Why? Often it’s fear of family conflict. For example Johnny doesn’t want to fight with Susie over some treasured belonging of their parents, or over what they perceive as part of their inheritance. My mother was smart. She met with me and my siblings as a group and we made lists of what we wanted. After she passed we found those lists and we used them to determine where things went.
Another reason that conversation is not faced is because it’s too painful. We don’t want to think about our loved ones facing the end of their lives; and we certainly don’t like the discomfort of facing our own demise. I have personally experienced this with my family. They live on the East Coast and have their own lives. They love me – yet I know they don’t want to discuss the fact that my life will one day be over. They have received my paperwork; we still haven’t had the conversation.
TODAY I’m asking you to consider stepping out of your comfort zone to think about and ACT on how you want to create the best ending to your life’s story. While the issues of growing older can be complex, there are some steps you can take at whatever age you are to protect your health and financial assets.
First,you can consider Advanced Directives that document your desires for your care when you are unable to speak for yourself. You can designate someone you trust to make decisions about your treatment and/or care in your stead. You don’t need to be “old” to need this. If you live in Arizona you can find
the necessary documents online on the Arizona Attorney General’s’ website or on the Arizona page of the AARP website. You can file the completed documents online with the Arizona Attorney General’s website for access by your doctor or representative.
Next, you might have a will drawn up that delineates how you want any assets distributed. If you have multiple assets you may need to speak with a financial planner, tax adviser or estate planning professional about tax reduction and trusts. Consider that the money you spend up front for these services can save you money later.
Regarding final expenses, I’m sure you’ve seen the ads for taking out life insurance that can cover the costs of burial, credit card debt, and so forth. If you think this is a good idea for you, do it. Consider offering your body to medical science, or contacting the Neptune Society.
Too many people wait until they are in a crisis to make appropriate plans. That’s the time that mistakes are more likely.
We each must take responsibility for ourselves and our decisions. Do you want to make the choices and make a plan for yourself? Or have someone else – the State – choose for you? Do you want your family to be faced with the chaos of finding your important papers and instructions? Make it easy for them. Too many times a female spouse is left with no idea of the nature of her and her husband’s financial assets.
Are you prepared? You don’t know whether you have plenty of time…Don’t wait! Make a plan TODAY!

Call us today and say “I saw you in SPOTLIGHT!”