It’s Day 90 of my 100 Day Challenge. We’re getting to the end aren’t we? Well, that got me thinking about the end, in general, and about being prepared. Are you prepared?
We just got back from driving 15 hours on our vacation and I’m thinking about whether or not I’m prepared. I mean, wow, there are some crazy drivers these days. We are happy we made it back without any mishaps.
Would I be prepared if anything ever happened to my husband? Or, would he be ok if something happened to me? What about our grown children? As we both get older, and we experience health issues, these are questions we ask ourselves a little more often. Nobody really likes to think about them. I am glad we have the time to do something about it.
Are You Ready?
I’ll be honest, sometimes I think about how I would manage living life as a widow. Working for a church, I know we tend to have more funerals for men than women. I’ve seen many women from our parish bury their husbands. Chances are that my husband will pass on before me. He is older. The average American man will live to age 76, according to the latest CDC figures, while the average woman will live to age 81. That’s 5 years longer!
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average age of widows is 59-years-old, Yes, that’s how old I am this year. (That may be another reason why I am thinking about all of this.) Am I prepared? Do I or my husband have a will? That was a no. — And I realized, just how unprepared I was.
Thanks to my 100 Day Challenge, I’ve been motivated to do so many things. So I made an appointment to get this checked off my list. Jeff and I met with a lawyer who talked about trusts and joint-survivorship and healthcare power of this and that and my eyes just glazed over. I can see why people choose not to do anything at all. It can be expensive, confusing and frustrating if you don’t have a mind for it. It seems the laws have complicated everything. But what’s even sadder is when people have to deal with all this stuff at the worst time of their lives and they don’t have anything in place. I can’t predict what will happen or even how to stop it but I can prepare for it so it may not be as devastating financially.
In the past four years, my husband has had some major health issues. It’s a legitimate fear. Am I prepared? I don’t think we could ever be fully prepared but we can at least have some things in place to give us some peace of mind in the event something does happen so we won’t be totally blindsided.
Here are some things you can do to prepare yourself and your spouse:
- Get a will. These are easy to get online. (Make sure it is one that is specific to your state) or make an appointment with a well-known and trusted lawyer in your town. Shop around. Ask questions.
- Make sure all checking and savings accounts and property are in both your names.
- Know where your money is located. Communicate with your spouse. Yes, some people don’t have a clue.
- Keep a small book with all your passwords to all your online/ computer accounts.
- Assign beneficiaries to your retirement accounts and insurance.
- Have any property you own in ‘joint and survivorship’ so that you are still on the deeds if anything happens to either of you.
- Talk about the end of life. Do you want to be buried or cremated?
When tragedy happens, you want peace of mind that you or your loved ones will be taken care of, that you won’t need to work two jobs to cover your bills or have your family worry that you might be next from all the stress.
Be prepared. Thanks for following along. Until next week.
God bless. —Barb