Planning for Life's Ups and Downs

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Life can be tricky. Unexpected things happen and the best thing we can do to overcome these obstacles is to have planned for the unimaginable. A few months ago, we had a girls' weekend with some of my friends and the floodgates always seem to open when we all get together! Many of us have 1-2 children and a few mentioned they haven't completed their family's wills or worked with someone for their life insurance plans and it got me thinking. 


Women have more economic power than ever before... but we also have more responsibilities, and seven out of ten mothers work outside the home. More so, the number of women small business owners grew 68% between 2007 and 2014 [oh yes, you're looking at one right here].  I guess it's safe to say we are embracing our new roles as entrepreneurs!

Having said that, the risk of Chronic Illness-- whether our loved ones or ourselves --speaks to the need to make sure we are prepared for the future. The average caregiver of an older adult is a woman in their late 40's who also works full or part time, and since we have a longer lifespan than that of our male counterparts, we run a greater risk of developing a chronic condition that could impact our health and well-being. 


I'm not standing on my soapbox because I know the ins and outs of everyone's financial planning is very different, but I am here to share about some first-hand experiences that have made me see planning a bit differently as I get older. Not only the financial impact of these issues for us, but for the people we love and care for most, including our kids, spouses, and potentially parents. 

Today, I'm listing a few small steps and action items you can take to plan for the future risk of chronic illness and other unexpected events that may arise down the road. 

When a family member of mine got diagnosed with the dreaded "C" word, it got me thinking about the what-ifs and made me want to sit down with Jeff to talk about the potential in our future for having to work through similar type illnesses to make sure we have planned accordingly. 

These conversations aren't "fun" by any means, but they are necessary... the last thing you want is to be unprepared, so if you talk through these issues now, you'll both be in the know of how you can get through the rough and tough stuff if it comes your way. This gave me peace of mind to know Jeff's thoughts and him know my requests... taking that first step in your financial planning journey helps you determine what's most important and helped me to be more self-aware of our life insurance policies and what we are doing to protect ourselves and our family.

Yep... it's a must. We set aside money each month for emergencies... accidents happen, people get sick and the best thing you can do is to have a "bucket" to pull from when it knocks on your door. Even if it's just $50 a month, it's something and it can be that little nest egg you have to pull from so that you won't have to deplete from other accounts, which can help eliminate stress and anxiety.

Whether you run, take yoga, walk at the park with your little ones, or bust it out at the gym with cardio and strength training like me, you need to take care of yourself. I know as moms we put everyone else's needs above our own, but we also need to make sure we're investing in us, too. Another way to take care of everyone is by making healthy choices for dinner... try eating in and cooking together instead of that weekly night out. Small changes add up to big results for your health AND your wallet! 

And heavens to Betsy make sure you're visiting your doctor(s) for your annual well-visits, yearly check-ups, etc. Stay on top of the news when it comes to health issues that impact us most like heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and a list of others.

Finally, map out an action item and goal list to ensure you're not missing anything important. Discuss your family health history or ask relatives about issues that might run in your family, meet with a financial advisor to seek guidance on how to plan for the future. 

I found this Value of all you do calculator and thought it was extremely useful in seeing the value I provide to my family, which helped me understand the value I add to those I love most. 

Raising kids is challenging enough. But what happens when you have to help take care of your parents at the same time? Check out this video below for the lessons Renee has learned as a member of the “sandwich generation.”


As always, I love to hear your ideas, tips, and advice on issues that matter to all of us... I would love to heart your real-world experience in planning for the future in terms of illness, financial preparedness, how you plan to achieve your goals, and lessons learned from past experiences. 

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  1. Such great advice. My husband doesn't always want to have those hard conversations and I get it but it's been to be prepared than not. Once our second child was born we finally got our children added to our will. There was a clause about kids in it before but it never stated who would be their guardian, etc. I was very serious about picking the perfect person god forbid something happened to us. Nothing is more important than my babies and having that taken care of eases any anxiety.

    1. i'm not going to lie... these are the types of conversations we all hate having, but they are the ones we HAVE to have. and yes, NOTHING more important than our little ones