Things to think about

Less pleasant stuff we need to deal with

There are certain things we need to make decisions about and actions that we need to take while we are able. I am just beginning to think about these things and I certainly have not figured them out. This section will be sparse for a while. I will add items as I encounter them.

Plan ahead

Kenneth Feinberg has had, as he puts it in his article in the March 26, 2015 New York Times, “…the unenviable task of putting value to the lives of people who are already dead.” The tragedies he has dealt with include the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the General Motors ignition switch failures, Boston marathon bombings and Virginia Tech shootings. He learned some things firsthand. After 9/11 sought the advice of a financial planner for himself. He updated his will, bought additional life insurance and chose a trust and estate firm to handle things in the event of his death.

In the article Feinberg relates what is to me truly amazing. The 9/11 fund offered free financial advice from Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and others to all claimants receiving compensations. But “…only 78 out of 5,300 eligible claimants took advantage of the opportunity. The “overwhelming response” from all the others was that they didn’t need advice.

He says in his closing paragraph: “Nobody is immune from life’s misfortunes. … We all face uncertainty and risk. All the more reason to pause today and carefully plan for tomorrow.” As retirees, we are most likely more cognizant that the end is looming. Forethought and planning for what is clearly a foreseeable event are that much more important.

NB: There is a difference between simply managing my portfolio and planning for my estate and how assets and money will be distributed. The latter involves legal and practical elements that require knowledge and expertise.

Other things

Don’t just sit there. Keep active. Read, learn and do things that interest you. It keeps your brain active.

Final things

Don’t just think about it. Implement it.