We were all shocked! My client had just called to let us know that late last night, her husband had suddenly died. We were in the daze of disbelief! Just five months prior we had begun comprehensive planning for early retirement, and two months ago this couple began their much-anticipated new adventure, and now, well now her heart had been violently ripped from its dwelling. Gone were all the plans this happy couple had expressed for a new chapter together, just as they had been since their marriage after high school graduation. Gone were all their hopes and dreams for the next thirty plus years. Adding to the emotional shock was the fact that there was absolutely no warning, no signs, no symptoms. This would later give way to predictable depression. “Why,” was the haunting and unanswered question that played an endless loop in her mind at almost every moment for the next few months.
We can never accurately predict how we would handle a situation like this until we face it in our own lives. Have you considered, what if this happened to me? It is after all generally accepted that women live longer than their male spouse and the man is most often older when they begin their marriage. Death brings emotional pain and there is no way to avoid that, but by planning for the tragedies that we can predict and the inevitable, we can free ourselves from unnecessary chaos. The ability to control the manageable, is priceless!
In retrospect we had looked forward to that day of retirement with complete confidence. During our planning, one of the first issues we addressed was that of the death of either and the certainty of the surviving spouse to continue their life without financial discomfort. We attempted to plan for every negative contingency including, among others, increasing financial income needs, stock market declines, the damage or loss of property, deteriorating health, and leaving a legacy. Because of the timely comprehensive planning we had completed, my client was comfortable with her financial future. What now remained, was the ability for this widow to focus on those things she could control, like the ability to draw family and friends closer through this tragic time, to remember and honor the lifetime of her husband and to express that love to those she cares about. After this, she would continue to recover, and somehow through the grief, continue to live.
What will your legacy be? Have you controlled the things you have power over before they overpower you? The results can be lifesaving, and it just might be your life and sanity that you save.
If you would like to talk to experts who are experienced in this kind of individual planning, give us a call so that you can begin to take control of your future today.
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