Comfort NOT confusion…
Do you love the holidays like I do? Or do you feel more like Scrooge (like my husband pretends to be)? If it’s not “Bah humbug”, then what is it that brings you joy? Lights, music, food, festivities, gifts, baking, gatherings, decorations, smells, traveling, the weather, church or school activities, wrapping, shopping, Christmas cards, lots of family time? Regardless of our beliefs, family situations, or preferences, holidays tend to bring awareness of family to the forefront of our mind.
Also, the holidays are also a reminder that the current year is coming to a close. Did you realize that this is the last Thanksgiving and Christmas season of the decade? I didn’t think about that until a friend pointed it out recently. Therefore, maybe this new decade that we are starting in 2020 is the time we finally decide to leave our family in comfort, not confusion.
What do I mean by that? No matter what our age, there’s a way to take care of our family even more so after we are gone. The holidays and life in general tend to blur together, faster and faster. Suddenly we, and those around us, are aging and we begin losing loved ones. The next thing you know, I am meeting regularly with widower and widow clients as they move forward after losing a spouse. When I started helping families with their financial lives almost 20 years ago, a common lament by clients (related to IRA distributions) was “how did I get to be 70 ½ already!?!” Aging and dying are part of life, a part that we don’t usually like to think about.
But we can put a positive spin on that fact of life. During this season of giving and spending time with family, let’s be proactive in taking action to get financially organized as our best, last gift to our family…whenever that may be. The tools that I share in my monthly newsletter or different tools in the Resources section of my website, can all help us with financial organization. This month’s newsletter includes an Ethical Will template to help us capture thoughts, memories, and advice we may want to share with family. Then in early 2020, a super helpful net worth/estate planning checklist (to keep in our files and share with our family, personal representative, successor trustee, estate planning attorney) will be shared with newsletter subscribers.
Finally, be sure to sign up for the monthly email newsletter. Let’s end this year and begin a new decade by bringing good tidings to our families in an effort to leave them in comfort, not confusion!
Marie Burns is a Certified Financial Planner, Speaker and Author of the bestselling Financial Checklist books.