Category: The GYST of it

What happens if something happens? Or, medical coverage and 6 tips for Open Enrollment season.

What happens if something happens? Or, medical coverage and 6 tips for Open Enrollment season.

by Chanel Reynolds

We know change is constant, but after the recent election our healthcare coverage system could change A LOT.

Uncertainty can be a no-fun, scary place to be – especially when it comes to access to medical care. It’s Open Enrollment season, so as the December 15th deadline approaches and many of you plan trips or family get-togethers for the holidays, we decided to focus on the medical options and what-ifs to pay attention to right now.

1) What matters?  Most of us don’t have the time to research every plan or comb through each chart to compare them – So, I got honest about what scares the pants off me (being a single parent with a sick kid) and focused on making sure I’ve got the basics and my vulnerable spots (access to expert doctors if something happens and getting seen asap) taken care of.

To-do: Figure out what you really need – There are a lot resources out there, I found this New York Times article super helpful and the ‘3 Things’ overview on the HealthCare.gov breaks it down very clearly.

2) How covered are you? As a widowed single-parent I have to be honest that the only thing that scares me more than dying before my son is an adult is getting so sick I can’t take care of him and not dying for a long, terribly awful, painful, financially-ruinous time.

To-do: Check if you’re covered where you’d want to go – Personally, If I get breast cancer (my current #1 fear), I want to be seen by a black-belt boob-whisperer who has done nothing else but look at breasts all day, every day, for the last 20 years. So, I checked with Seattle Cancer Care Alliance to see if my current plan is covered there.

3) How hard/easy is it? Most parents understand the feeling where you have a 7-minute buffer to do all-the-things-you-have-to, and when your kid is sick everything flies apart into pieces. Even if nothing is wrong, it still sucks to have to schedule an appointment 3 weeks (or months) in advance.

To-do: Find out how/where you can get seen – Ask if your regular doctor or pediatrician offers weekend or evening appointments. Mine did, and I had no idea.

So, even though the future of health insurance feels complicated, some things are getting way easier.

Here are two new things worth checking out:

  • Hell yes for house calls. I downloaded this new At Home app where I can schedule a doctor to come to my home, the same-day, and it’s covered by insurance! When I called the number a very helpful man assured me I wasn’t dreaming and I can also schedule preventive and well child appointments, too. Years ago, when my son wasn’t getting over a bad flu and I had it, too, (and our very old dog was literally dying all over the house every minute) I would have done questionable, if not downright illegal, things to have had that app available.
  • Get an In Case of Emergency contact. Either on your phone’s lock screen or download a free app like ICE, this is a low-tech /high-reward thing you should do. Personally, I have my A-team (best friends, parents, neighbor, babysitter, etc.) along with doctor’s contact information saved on my favorites list and I don’t use a passcode so anyone can access them. After learning the hard way how awful not having the contact info you need when you really need it really is – please trust me on this.

After getting through my list, I asked GYST Co-founder Phil Shigo, what his advice would be, especially since he’s taken on a caregiver and organizer role for an aging parent.

4) Become familiar with the current system. This month, many of us will reconnect with our extended families. If you are one of the 44 million adults who spends several hours each week caring for an aging parent, you should learn about Medicare Advantage. The center for Medicare has great information about these plans that range from Health Maintenance Organizations, Preferred Provider Organizations, Private and Fee-for-Service Plans that may be appropriate for you or a member of your family.
5) Learn how things are likely to change. With the new Secretary for Health and Human Services stepping in, read the new bill for yourself to see how it may affect you and your family. For example, under Mr. Price’s bill, there would be a limit of $8,000 on the amount of tax-free coverage you would receive an individual employee and $20,000 for family coverage.
6) Be an advocate for your colleagues. Read up on tips for 2017 Open Enrollment. If you’re a working adult who is part of a mid-size company or larger enterprise, engage your HR specialist and learn about possible changes to your employer sponsored healthcare program. And heck, if you have concerns, that you and your colleagues raise while talking around the water cooler, write a letter to your congressman.

The GYST of it: August is National Make-a-Will Month

The GYST of it: August is National Make-a-Will Month

Happy August! This month is National Make-a-Will month so we’ve outlined how you can get your will done in 5 easy steps. Also, check out our review of online living wills and get them done together.

August’s Feature Article: 5 Steps to Get Your Will Done This Month!

GYST’s guide explains where to start, assigns you one task each week, and breaks it all down into easy, doable steps.

Step 1: Review Your Options

2Whether you have a very simple ‘estate’ and the most basic online template covers all you’d need, or, a more complicated situation because of divorce, out of state property, or international citizenship that requires a few more details – you are in luck. Getting your Estate Plan done is easier than ever – and we’ll show you how.

First things first: Do you know the difference between a Will, Living Will (also called an ACD), and Power of Attorney (POA) document? They are three different things, and most people benefit from having one of each.

Read GYST’s Estate Planning Article on Wills and Living Wills

Step 2: Find the Best Option for You

6

Our team at GYST reviewed three different online legal services in the Spring of 2016: Rocket Lawyer, LegalZoom and Willing. Each offer self-serve options with basic forms and functionality and generated a PDF for you to download when done and all three options took less than an hour to complete. The main differences are pricing models (flat fee or subscription), ability to save and update your forms, and additional costs for add-ons and upgrades. This month we’ve partnered with Rocket Lawyer for Make-a-Will Month

Read our Review of Online Legal Services 

Step 3: Get Your Questions Answered

11If you have any questions at all, if you are unsure about any of the legal template options or you have questions about any part of the process – please ask!

Ask a peer: There is a Q&A forum with more than 8 million searchable questions and answers allows people to ask their own legal question and receive answer from attorneys.

Talk to an expert: If a quick conversation with an expert would help, Avvo Advisor provides concrete legal advice though a 15-minute phone call with a highly-reviewed lawyer for just $39. Read more about legal help from our partner, Avvo.

Look online: You may find more answers in our Estate Planning FAQ.

Step 4: Draft Your Documents

5Use an online service or find a reputable estate planning attorney, in any case carefully draft, review, and double-check your documents are accurate and you don’t have any questions or concerns.

 

Step 5: Finalize, Share & Store them Safely

3

Your last step is to finalize your documents.

To execute a will in any state in the United States, you must:

 

  1. Sign the document while you have capacity to know what you’re doing. This has been referred to, “being of sound mind.”
  2. Have two people witness your signing of the will, and they sign it, too.
  3. In most states getting your documents notarized is not required, but highly encouraged.

Finally, make sure they they are shared with a few trusted people (the one’s named in your documents, especially the Executor) and can be located if (or when) they are needed. How?

In many cases, old-school record keeping on paper can work just fine. An ‘In Case of Emergency’ folder in the metal file cabinet, spiral-bound notebook on top of the fridge, even a 3-ring binder with copies of important documents (like your will) and a phone list you can give to one or two people you trust.

Or, for many people, storing information online is easier, more convenient and feels more secure. There are many options that range from free, password protected locations in the cloud – to more secure or super-encrypted security for a monthly fee.

BONUS STEP: 

StephanieG_LivingWIll

Once you’re done, send us a picture and we’ll make you (like Stephanie) our next Success Story!

Good Luck!

The GYST of it: Gifts That Stick

The GYST of it: Gifts That Stick

Gifts that Matter. Research shows that giving experiences make us happier than things do. There’s more research that shows a huge factor to our happiness is stress management. So why not give someone the gift of getting their shit together?  

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 10.34.32 AM

In a recent segment aired on NPR, relevant in the midst of wedding season, science correspondent Shankar Vedantam reports on a study involving the psychology of giving wedding gifts.He comments on the “conflicting forces” guests are presented with, stating “ we want the gifts we give to please the people getting married, but we also want the gift to reflect well on us.”

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 1.35.58 PMMorgan Ward, a marketing professor at the Southern Methodist University created the study after reflecting on her own experience putting together her wedding registry. After commenting on her effort to put together a list of gifts, she says “… but the people who didn’t want to purchase from the registry were the people closest to me.”

 

The idea of giving experiences rather than things isn’t a new concept. “One of the enemies of happiness is adaption” explains psychologist Dr. Thomas Gilovich. That new crockpot or bar tool set may seem exciting at first, but just like any other object in your home, they soon begin to fade into the background.

gyst_images_tinafey_13Experiences, like a trip to the stunning Machu Picchu in Peru, tickets to a weekend-long music festival or contributing to college tuition are things that stick with you. These are the things that make the memories you spontaneously remember while doing the laundry that make you smile, cringe, or laugh while providing that little reminder of what really matters.

StephanieG_LivingWIll
Stephanie’s success story

Gifts that help us to manage stress might also be those that bring the greatest joy. According to Livestrong, three out of the top ten causes of stress are finances, health, and the death of a loved one. A survey in 2011 conducted by psychologist and self-help author Robert Epstein, reports that around 25% of our happiness depends on how well we manage stress.

According to his survey, the best way we can manage stress is through planning. In Epstein’s words, “ fighting stress before it even starts, planning things rather than letting them happen.”

This proves making a plan for the days, years, and decade to come support your overall happiness itself, it’s a quick and easy strategy that helps you allow more happiness for yourself and your loved ones.


The Gift of GYST

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 10.45.28 AMGYST has created a prepaid estate plan so you and your family are covered for years to come. All necessary documents are drafted and finalized by an attorney who works with you from start to finish.

So next time you’re faced with the question of what to get a friend or family for a wedding, baby shower, or just because, give them the best gift you’ve likely never thought of, The Gift of GYST.

Whether you’re gifting to an individual, a couple, or your family, the package comes with your own personalized note and helpful nudges and reminders to get it done.


Gifts That Give Back

Society B – An online store that sells beautiful, fair trade goods and give 10% of their profit to a different featured charity every month.

One Hope Wine – OHW provides a wide array of affordable gift boxes that each contribute to a variety of different causes from funding therapy for a child with autism, to helping a shelter animal find a forever home. It’s ethical. It’s wine. It’s the perfect match.

MAMA HOPE – Their Human Centered Development model brings together social entrepreneurs, NGOs and many other organizations to ensure communities have access to the holistic, 360° solutions they need to support sustainable growth.

We.org – WE empower people to change the world. WE make this change through our work at home, abroad and through our social enterprise.


This blog post is by writer, journalist and filmmaker, Lyric Weiss, for GYST.com.

4 GYST Tips for Summer

4 GYST Tips for Summer

 

It was four years ago that my dad, at age 76 set off on a group bicycle trip across Canada. He had planned, trained and packed for it months in advance. What none of us prepared for, was for him to be three quarters of the way through the trip, and get hit by a pickup truck. After many surgeries, months of rehabilitation and years of recovery my dad celebrated his 80th birthday with us this year. He is an amazing, tough, intelligent, generous, man, husband, father and grandpa.  We are all incredibly grateful that he pulled through it all, a little worse for the wear, but he is now 80! Our family learned some valuable lessons along the way, which is what drew me into Co-founding GYST with Chanel and Phil.

I wanted to personally introduce our third installment of ‘The GYST of It’ and highly encourage all of you GYST’ers to take some time to follow these 4 GYST Tips for Summer. They will make your summer adventures more organized, and also to prepare and protect your families no matter what happens.

Come on, you’ve got this!

Cheers,
Jessica Ostrow, GYST Co-founder & CEO


#1 Leave the kids behind with peace of mind

A vacation is a top trigger that motivates parents to get their will and estate planning done.

Headed out of town without your children? First, congratulations. Second, don’t wait until the last minute to realize, “Oh sh*t, we never finished our will!”

Almost every attorney we know has received a call from anxious parents going on vacation (or from the airport!) realizing their will or living will isn’t done.

Learn how you can do it anywhere online, it takes under 30 minutes to complete a basic one. Then get it notarized, and make sure you share it with the right people.

With your estate plans in place, you can head off on your vacation stress free. Well, maybe those TSA lines will be a little stressful…


#2 Don’t forget insurance!

Do you have life insurance? Our friends at PolicyGenius make it easy to get quotes from all the top providers. Yes, this is a plug for PolicyGenius, but we think they do a great job providing you with the information you need to choose wisely. If you have questions, read our guide covering all things insurance.

“People spend a lot of their hard-earned money on insurance, so understanding and obtaining it
should be easy, right?”
Jennifer Fitzgerald, CEO of PolicyGenius

 

Not sure if you need travel insurance? Check out this review of the best travel insurance for 2016, what to look for, why you might want it and some of the best options to fit your travel needs from Simple Dollar.

“Whether you’re dealing with an unexpected illness, a death in the family, or a lost suitcase, all of these scenarios have the potential to cancel or ruin your travels.”

Saundra Latham, writer for The Simple Dollar


#3 Pull together your family digital details

Getting all of your account information and passwords assembled in one place can seem overwhelming, but any task will feel easier if you can break it down into simple steps. We have created The GYST Digital Details downloadable checklist, with a sample of accounts and details to track.


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GYST TIP: Pick 5 accounts each week to track down. By the end of summer, you’ll have listed over 60 accounts! Imagine if you get your family involved in organizing these for your parents.

 


#4 The GYST team’s favorite travel apps

We asked each GYST team member to share their favorite travel app with you:

Wunderlist keeps all my must-reads and to-do lists with me wherever I go.” – Chanel, Co-founder

“When traveling, I like to use Glympse to share my location so family and friends can see exactly when I’ll arrive and know if I’m having car trouble or stuck in traffic.” – Chip, Lead Engineer

Google Maps has an awesome offline mode that saved my family from being lost in the Alps.” – Jessica, CEO and Co-founder

“At home or away I need to know if the Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons is still as badass as ever, so I always keep HBO Now loaded on my phone before a family trip.” – Phil, Co-founder


GYST TIP: We all recommend Rick Steves’s, Best Smartphone Apps for Travelerswith a list of great apps for every kind of trip.

 


We’d love to hear from you!

Have a great tip you want to share with other GYST’ers? Have something you’d like us to research and feature on GYST.com or the next The GYST of It newsletter? Please email us at hello@gyst.com.

Happy Travels!
The GYST Team

I couldn’t find a way to fit it in… Or 6 strategies to create time for life’s important things

I couldn’t find a way to fit it in… Or 6 strategies to create time for life’s important things

My daughter has the stomach flu.  The school asked me to get involved with the auction.  Work just gave me a big project with crazy deadlines. I couldn’t find a way to fit it into my calendar.  Life is tumultuous.  We’re busy people working through distractions that compete with the priorities that give structure and purpose to our lives.  

Still many of us, despite our best intentions, allow the boundaries around our time to be compromised.  Learn about 6 powerful insights from professional experts so you can say “Yes” to the right things and get more done.  

 

Testing one, two. Check, check, check…

Speaking of tumultuous lives, and putting off what’s important, unless you were traveling in one of the last places on earth without cell coverage, you already know about Prince, and like the rest of the world, shed a purple tear over the sad news of his way too early death.  And if you’re part of the 98% who are active in the social sphere, then you also likely heard that Prince did not have a will.  Shocker right?  Hardly really.  According to a recent GYST poll, when registrants were asked “What is the status of your will?” 80% answered “Not Done” and 12% answered “Needs Updating” – let’s start a revolution for a whole new band.   (And a huge shout out to the 8% of you who answered “Done” – GYST thinks you rock!)

“You say you want a leader but, you just can’t seem to make up your mind”

– Purple Rain, Prince

 

Riffing with brilliant minds…

Last month we interviewed a group of leaders across a range of professional fields. From pragmatic life coaches to empathetic financial planners, from emotionally intelligent social workers to country music lovin estate planning attorneys.  Our team traversed the issues of procrastination with these discipline experts and found powerful insights in how they deal with clients.  Then we made our own GYST remix of 6 practical strategies to harmonize the noise in our busy lives.

#1 Emotional hang-ups don’t mean we’re procrastinators…

“Procrastination has a negative sentiment” said Owner of My Whole Life Coaching, CJ Liu CJ Liu-151_extracted_1-Edit“We don’t as individuals sit on the couch, and not write our wills because we’d rather be lazy and eat potato chips.  No, we avoid things like writing our wills because we don’t enjoy contemplating the idea of death.  We have emotional issues that prevent us from our doing rational things for ourselves and our families.”  Liu says, “For some people the idea of death is just too painful, so people avoid the pain these experiences bring altogether but, that doesn’t mean people are lazy.”  Liu’s advice is to “explore the root cause behind the emotional issues that are causing those the behaviors to be present.”

#2 Fears motivate us, impulses are often hard to control…

“People are too busy living their lives today to take time out and plan for their not being around tomorrow” says Karen Ramsey, Certified Financial Planner, Founder and President of Ramsey & Associates and author of Everything you Know About Money is Wrong “they need to go to the grocery store.”  Ramsey’s point is valid.

In a recent GYST poll, over 46% of respondents ages 25-54 claim they are “too busy” when asked about why they haven’t completed their will or living will.

Referring to issues such as blood pressure, weight or financial stress, Ramsey says, “change is hard but, when the fear associated with not doing something becomes higher than the pain of doing something, that’s when you’ll see people modify their behavior.”  Ramsey’s advice, “to understand the causes of procrastination reminds us to explore better ways of controlling our impulses and knowing the limits of when it’s best take on a new responsibility for the school auction to managing the urge to buy something we find on the internet that doesn’t work with our life’s priorities.”  

 


Shonda Rhimes says…

Shonda Rhimes, award winning television writer and producer, in her recent book:  “Just say Yes,”  shares how to say “no”.

“No is a complete sentence. I’ve heard that cliché over and over. So I decided to treat no in the same way I treat saying thank you. Say no and then don’t say anything else. I come up with three different clear ways of saying no …

  1. I am going to be unable to do that.
  2. That is not going to work for me.
  3. No.

#3 Understand a person’s willingness as well as ability…

To understand the source of procrastination it’s important to appreciate the challenges that come with competing priorities.  Erin Galvin, LICSW, HR Manager for Pagliacci Pizza, explains, “people are complex, where does a task sit in terms of importance to that person?” Galvin emphasizes the need to study a person and their ambivalence toward a meeting or task.

“Procrastination sounds like a judgement but, most often people have a rational or emotional reason for not to doing something.” – Erin Galvin

Galvin, a student of Motivational Interviewing (MI) says, “a person might be willing to go have a conversation about end of life with their family but, conclude that they don’t have the ability to engage their family in a conversation and decide that they are not going to go through with it.”  Galvin’s advice is to “take the time to explore blockers that appear to be in the way with someone who, ideally, is not invested in the outcome.”

#4 It’s not procrastinating, we’re too embarrassed to admit we don’t know

“Sometimes people just don’t know what to do,” say Liu. “ For example, if I say, ‘put together a networking plan’ and then when I meet with them next time ask to take a look at their networking plan, and there is no plan, it’s as if they’re stuck.  This isn’t because they’re procrastinators.  It’s because they’re like teenagers who are too embarrassed to admit they don’t know how to create that plan in the first place.”

Liu has a solution for those who are stuck, “I find the easiest way to help clients is to break it down for them and offer simple suggestions.  Things like, start by making a list of people you want to meet, create a list of questions you want to ask those people, have a clear agenda along with a clear set of deliverables you can send in an email with a clear call to action and next steps.  So when you give a task like putting together a networking plan, it’s important to understand that for many it  feels like a herculean task each with five small tasks embedded inside each big task.  

The problem isn’t that people are too busy or too lazy and procrastinate, most often it’s because they’re just are too afraid to ask questions like, “I am struggling with where should I put the call-to-action – should I place it at the beginning or end of the email?”  Liu says, “when a person is asked to create a plan, they not only don’t know what the big tasks are, but they also don’t know the  25 little embedded tasks within each, so they often just give up.”

Liu’s advice, “make people comfortable admitting what they don’t know and start by helping people parse things into little tasks.” 

 

#5 Don’t do what you read, do things in your own natural way

“Many of my clients” Liu says, “buy books – they read them, they try out the strategies and say, ‘I tried it and it’s not working for me.  I give up.” Lui says the problem is not that an author like Stephen Covey is wrong.  It’s that people haven’t figured out a way to apply the thinking in the books a way that works for the natural way my clients like to get things done.”  Liu likens it to learning to teach right-handed people to switch and write with their left-hand.  “It’s just not natural,” says Liu.  

Liu’s advice, “start experimenting by doing what you know.”

Liu says, “If you don’t like working out by yourself, don’t force yourself to go to the gym for exercise – you’ll resent it.  Instead find something you like doing, say like hanging out with a friend and choose an activity you’ll both enjoy, like dancing.  This way you get exercise, have time to hang out with a friend and do something that hopefully you and your friend both think is fun.”

 

#6 Get over it already, it’s simply a maintenance plan for your life…

Tim Burkart, Estate planning attorney, and member of the American College of Trust and Estate Council, says, “Doing your estate plan is one of the things that responsible people do and is similar to retirement planning or making sure your home is properly maintained.” A small minority of people are superstitious and fear that if they sign their Will, they will die shortly thKHBB 025ereafter.”  Burkart adds, “my clients are busy people with active families and professional careers.”  Speaking about the challenges people have with getting their documents in order, Burkart says, “My clients often don’t’ feel like taking time away from work but, in the end it’s just what reasonable people do to protect their assets and their families.”  Burkart reminds that one of the more common conversations that slow people’s decision making process down is the conversation around that of guardianship for minor children.

Burkhart advice, “get started – it’s a maintenance plan for your life.”


Ways to get started today

GYST NEW CHECKLIST:

Our updated checklist now includes:  wills, living wills, life insurance, emergency financial planning and community.  Each breaks down the task into a series of steps and gives you an easy way to get started.  There are reviews of services, lists of attorneys and guides to help you learn more about these topics.

ACCOUNTABILITY CLUB:

Having someone hold you accountable can help you along the way. Think of getting these plans in place as a goal and who you could share that with that will help you be successful.

LIVING WILL/ ADVANCED DIRECTIVES:

Start researching which option is best for you to create a Living Will/Advance Directive.

DIGITAL DETAILS:

You digital details are all of your accounts, numbers and passwords, but getting them all sorted out and organized can seem overwhelming.  In fact task is just like what Lui describes, one task with a lot of smaller tasks embedded. Solution, just break it down and knock off a few of these at a time.  Learn more in this article.

“It Isn’t Supposed to Happen Like This, Or 5 Important Conversations to Have with Family”

GYST Co-Founder Phil Shigo shares his personal story about this own parents and the importance of having difficult conversations about end-of-life.

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I remember vividly the telephone conversation with the Emergency Doctor at the hospital, “I’m sorry about your mother,” he said, “but there’s nothing else we can do.” Days later I learned from the coroner that my mother’s death was the result of an intracranial aneurysm. I remember the pit in my stomach thinking about the ongoing care needed for my father, a 69-year-old paraplegic who was paralyzed after falling-off of a ladder some 14 years earlier. And I remember writing down his comments and questions to me in my notepad days afterward. “It isn’t supposed to happen like this,” he said.

He was right. Speaking with the spinal care doctors at Stanford Medical Center following my father’s debilitating accident in late 2001, my siblings and I had begun slowly accepting the probability that a paraplegic like my father would predecease my mother, a retired grade school teacher who stayed active her entire life and had glowing reports from her physical exams.

We were wrong. The universe had other plans. My siblings and I never anticipated the scenario of my father outliving my mother. We never saw all the behind-the-scenes stuff my mother did to support my father. We never appreciated how difficult it would be to find the manila folder in their house that contained the important financial information or how challenging it would be to access their estate planning information. We never realized they lacked adequate insurance.

“39% of U.S. Adults provide care for a parent, sibling or relative and 70% are working professionals between in the age of 30-55 with children of our own.”

 Pew Research Center

I am grateful for having a mother as long as I did. I am humbled by all I now know that she did for my father. And I am convinced that by having conversations about important things we can all expect better outcomes for our families even if we can’t control the actual plan for our lives.

1. Start a Conversation

Ellen Goodman is Co-Founder and Director of a non-for-profit called The Conversation Project, has an entire site devoted to helping you with techniques to get your thoughts together for what you, a friend or a family member want for end-of-life care. Take 5 minutes away from looking at status updates and photos on Facebook or Instagram, and download her free Starter Kit, I believe it’s something you’ll like and want to share.

Occupational

Conversation with Occupational Therapist, March 2014

2. Create your Living Will

My folks are old school. They had their Advanced Directives created by an estate planning attorney who released copies to me as their executor after my mother’s death. However, there are many other online options available to help you create an Advanced Directive (Living Will). Willing.com is offers users a free service that is legally valid in 50 states and takes minutes to create.   Other services like LegalZoom offer fixed pricing options for a few hundred dollars. Whether you choose an online service or want the help of a qualified professional, this document is explains your wishes should you not be able to speak for yourself.

 

3. Develop a Financial Plan

Everyone’s situation varies when it comes to finances. Services like Learnvest (a wholly owned subsidiary of Northwestern Mutual Life) offer a great resource to help you identify what insurance and estate planning information and provides you with a financial plan, check it out.

 

4. Insure Yourself and Others

Living with my father in the days after my mother passed, I assumed the responsibility for many of the things my mother used to do.   Paying bills and walking down the road to collect the mail were some of those things. There stuck in a pile of utility bills, donation requests from charities and a couple mail-order catalogs was a direct mail addressed to my mother from MetLife, I smiled. Then I sighed and looked up into the clouds, “you never got it did you!?!?”

“Seven of 10 working-age women, or an estimated 64 million women, have no health insurance coverage or inadequate coverage, medical bill or debt problems, or problems accessing needed health care because of cost.”

– The CommonWealth Fund

 My mother did many amazing things. She was a woman, who in addition to her caregiving responsibilities for my father, attended church regularly and gave what little money and time she had to help others she said, “Were less fortunate.” She never did think to get life insurance. Take an hour to compare prices and policies to see what makes sense for your family.

 

5. Organize Digital Details

 Mid-Twentieth Century Engineers at Zephyr American were responsible for some pretty important office innovations, but “export” and “share” features were never a part of Rolodex product roadmap. My mother stored more than most on notched cards and rotating spindles. My siblings and I use Google Drive to store and share my father’s Activities of Daily Living, Contacts, Prescription Information, Power of Attorney, Health Directives, etc. Go digital and start organizing your digital details.

 

Everyone’s situation with his or her aging parents is different and challenging in its own way, but these are the things I wish I’d thought about in advance.