Most of us never want to think about the loss of a parent, even when it is expected.
When my dad passed away last year at the age of 86, it was a painful journey for him and his three sons, but only in the last remaining year of his life. Here was a World War II vet who had seen and endured much. The loss of the use of his left arm as a result of being shot four times during the Battle of Guam was one of many life challenges.
Dad was 85 when he was walking across the street in Arlington, Mass. one sunny morning and he was broadsided by a speeding car – driven by an illegal alien without a license or insurance. The last year of his life was miserable, painful, and demoralizing.
He deserved better. Looking back, although we exchanged “I love you” more than a million times – we spoke at least once a day every day of my adulthood – there are 10 things I wish I had said.
1. Get disability insurance. The founder of The American College, Dr. Solomon S. Huebner, understands that the principle of human life value extends not only to life insurance, but to providing sufficient financial comfort for all of life’s challenges, including a permanent disability.
2. Buy an annuity. Many of the 76 million baby boomers have skillfully avoided savings in a belief that someday, someone, some government agency, will subsidize their lifestyle. Assume that Social Security will give each of us a greatly reduced benefit – that is the reality of government spending that is totally out of sync with reality. Annuities offered by leading companies are sound investments.
3. Update your will. It’s not uncommon for seniors to write a will, lock it away and never revisit it – even though their spouse, and possibly children and grandchildren, may predecease them. Stop putting it off.