I know that it is sometimes easier to say than actually do. So many things are racing through our minds. This is especially true if you are near or at retirement. There are so many things to consider. We have family that we worry about. They can be kids or grandkids. Where will they go to school, how are they financially? Will they need our help? Or, how can we help?
Let’s not forget ourselves. Will I have enough retirement income to keep me in the lifestyle that I have become accustomed to? Will my money last? What about a downturn in the stock market? Do I have too much equity exposure? And, let’s not forget our health, long term care needs, and the money to take care of all these things. And, with all this in mind, how can you “go to bed happy and wake up happy?” The answer is to start emptying your “worry buckets.” And, the way to do that is with some planning. Let’s take a look:
There is an old saying that goes something like this. When young, the question is if I will die. When we get older, the question is... when will I die. If we all knew the answer to that, life would be simpler but I don’t think enjoyable as we approach that end date. So, how about some good soul searching questions. If you happen to be married, do it with your spouse. Let’s look:
If you happened to pass away now, would those that are dependent upon you be in decent shape? If the answer is no, take a look at your life insurance portfolio. Maybe you need some more. Maybe you want to sell all or a portion of your life insurance portfolio.
Want to look at long term care types of expenses? What happens of you can’t perform 2 of the 6 activities of daily living? Do you have a financial vehicle that would spring alive and provide you with cash now? They do exist, and it doesn’t have to be a long term care policy.
Have you pre-paid for your funeral and expenses around that event? It makes it much easier on your family if you have.
Are your beneficiary designations up to date on your policies and investments?
What about your will? Up to date or need a revision?
Have you made a distinction between your wants and needs? You know, separating your essential and discretionary income needs.
What about your doctor? Are you going in regularly for a checkup?
In closing, I did have an event happen that shook me around. My wife passed away with complications in surgery. Being in this business, I had a pretty good plan and felt comfortable. Now that my life has changed, I went back and revisited everything I mentioned above. I took the steps to make sure that everyone was protected... including myself.
So, I am not going to say that I have emptied all “worry buckets” but I have most of them. And it allows me to “go to bed happy and wake up happy.” Is there anything better than that? Maybe you need to sit down with a financial professional and take a look at your situation.
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