March 31, 2013

The Greatest Gift

By Richard J. Schillig, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF
Independent Insurance and Financial Advisor

Having your affairs in order can be the most lasting gift to for loved ones

With many years of experience in the insurance and investment business, this featured article/story in “Renew” magazine is priceless. Polly Turner authored “The greatest gift.” This article is clearly a story all of us with aging parents, all of us aging ourselves and anticipating children or family eventually becoming our caretakers – we all need to read – and learn from this article. Polly tells the story of her real life experience dealing with an aging parent. I know we are all inundated with stuff we receive in the mail. If you are a United Healthcare Medicare policyholder, you received the first issue of “Renew” recently. If Renew is in your possession, flip to page 20 and take five minutes to read this heart-warming story.

Taking a quote from the story, “Experts point out that the single most important thing that family and friends can do to prepare for a loved one’s death may also be the easiest: Talk to each other.” Polly shares with readers the importance of that conversation. She also alludes to the sometimes cumbersome manner and uneasiness we all may have to initiate the conversation. However, the end result of the conversation may lead us to generating those documents we may all need at some point in our own lives. These documents include living will, power of attorney, simple will and durable power of attorney for health care.

My experience in dealing with clients with end of life crisis is that families are torn apart by senseless arguing and animosity resulting in near irrevocable relationship damage. Other families join together to lovingly cooperate, support and share together at a very difficult time. The difference between these two is simply having that conversation in advance. I encourage you to provide that wonderful gift – have your affairs in order.

I took the liberty of reading this story to my listeners on a recent Saturday morning Safe Money radio show. I announced the availability of copies of this article for persons wanting to call in for the article. The response was just tremendous. I encourage you readers to take the time to obtain a copy of “The Greatest Gift.”

Polly concludes her story by sharing a comment from one of the nursing home aides providing care for her mother. That comment was very simply, “I wish other families would have done what your mother did.” Polly continues, “One never knows what to expect at life’s end. But what seems clear was that my mom got her wish. She died amid an atmosphere of love and grace, even joy for those around her. And by telling us her wishes in advance, she gave the greatest gift I could ever imagine: the peace of mind that came with knowing that we’d done exactly what she wanted.”

Planning often times appears to be extensive. This story approaches planning from the perspective of just having conversations. Legal documents may come later, but first consider having the conversation. That’s the beginning.

Our workshop schedule continues during the month of April. On Friday April 19, we continue our monthly Community Meeting on Medicare. The following Tuesday April 23, we continue our Alternatives workshop. Call us for additional details and reservation. See our ad below.