It’s Never Too Early to Take Care of Your Family
It’s time to put your affairs in order.
The one absolute certainty in life is that everyone dies!
Are you ready?
Depending on your age, you may never have considered the question, but at some point, you must. Why not now?
There are no guarantees regarding the number of years you have left.
Time is Running Out for Me
I am well into my 83rd year, one year past the life expectancy for females in the U.S. So, what now?
My mind works almost as well as it always has and I’m in good health even though I’m on the mend from a cracked vertebra – getting old is a pain in more ways than one.
How much more time do I have? Who knows?
I could live for another week, a month, a year, or 10 years.
Being a healthy, active 83-year-old makes living a bit of a conundrum. I have so many things to do – so many ideas for my blog, finish writing the story of my life for my children and grandchildren, finish writing my memoir, dozens of books to read, places to go, and people to see (if that ever becomes a possibility again).
I don’t want to leave anytime soon but living with the reality that death will come sooner than later has served a valuable purpose.
It has reminded me to do what I need to do to put my affairs in order and take care of my family.
As a result, over the past 18 months, I have accomplished that goal. I hope that sharing my experience will incentivize you to put your affairs in order.
Steps I have taken to make things easier for my family:
- I have been diligent about organizing all my business expenses and tax information so filing my income tax will not be a confusing, time-consuming mess if I were to take my leave from this world before completing my taxes for the year.
- I decluttered my life.Despite the pandemic, 2020 was a productive year for me. I moved from a 1700 sq ft home with lots of storage and a huge garage to a 1000 sq ft home with minimal storage and no garage, which forced me to clean out my closets and my garage — to get rid of as much stuff as I possible.
I gave away 2/3 of my belongings – furniture, clothing, kitchenware, books, and a lot of junk; keeping only things of value – something I had wanted to do for a long time. It’s bad enough having to deal with the death of a parent, now my children won’t be faced with sorting through an endless mire of “stuff.”
I miss my home, but it was time to get rid of the stairs. Even though I didn’t want to admit it, they had become increasingly more difficult to maneuver – and presented a continual risk of falling.
- With the help of my son and an excellent attorney, I have a Living Trust, DNR, and a Health Power of Attorney.
- My final arrangements have been made (and paid for).
With all of that in place, I can now live well until the end — taking advantage of the time I have and accept each day as a gift.
I will not worry about things I cannot control and live each day as I choose, with no regrets.
Now Is the Time
Are your affairs in order?
Do you have a will, a trust, adequate life insurance, final arrangements set, etc.? It’s a pain in the butt to take care of these things. No one wants to think about them; and, you believe you have plenty of time. To make it more difficult, some of them require the assistance of an attorney, which costs money – but have you considered the cost if you don’t think about them?
Is everything in place so that your family could grieve and heal without having to struggle with finances and legalities that could go on for years?
You may be young, but there is no guarantee that you have any more years of living than I have. As they say, “You could be hit by a bus tomorrow.”
If you are ready to die, it doesn’t mean you want to die; it means you can be better prepared to live a good life — free of worry about your family’s future.
This is not meant to be a morbid statement, but the reality is that regardless of your age or the state of your health, there is always the chance that you could be living the last few days or years of your life.
Take Care of Your Family
To live life carelessly as if you have endless moments with no end in sight is wasteful — almost immoral — and a disservice to those you will leave behind.
Regardless of the end date of your life, there will be things that you did not do, experiences you did not have, and time with loved ones cut short — but do what you can to take care of your family.
Even though death is sad and requires time for the living to heal, your death will not have to leave your loved ones with a tangled mess of legal and financial problems.
If you can accept that death is inevitable and prepare for it (put your affairs in order) — it is much easier to live a joyful life — knowing that you are ready for whatever may come.