Is that part of your plans? Often many people only want to think lineally and don’t ever want to imagine any negative experience. Some also think they can pray away ever misfortune or unpleasant life experiences. But is that real or possible? Is there anyone who can avoid being sick, ill, injuries, accidents death? What about our families? What about unemployment, lay offs and disabilities? All kinds of unpleasant things happen to people, good or bad always. Are we that special or super human to think we are immuned?
But here are some practical life issues we should consider:
- Being human
- Having dependants
- Life’s risks
The above factors should always prompt us to plan for unforseen surprises in life. It’s absolutely okay to be optimistic about life but we should always prepare for the “what ifs” in life also. In other words, hope for the best but prepare for the worse. What are your plans if things don’t go according to plan? Do you have a “plan B” or you just live day to day and go with the flow?
It is important to protect yourself, your dependants, assets, properties, and secure your future wellbeing by making appropriate plans and provisions.
What exactly do I mean?
- What would you do if you fell ill and couldn’t work? Would you and your dependants thrive? Would you be fed, sheltered, clothed, afford medicines or healthcare and be secure or safe?
- If you lost your job would you have enough savings or alternate source of income or means of making a living? How would you pay your bills and afford your living expenses?
- If you lost all your money or assets, would you thrive? How?
- If your spouse divorced you, became ill, disabled or died, would you thrive? How would you cope emotionally, financially or practically? How would you manage?
- If you were injured, disabled or died, how would your spouse and other dependants cope? Would your family be okay?
- Have you identified who would be your next of kin or substitute decision maker(s) or Power(s) of Attorney? Who should make decisions for you if you became ill and couldn’t speak for yourself? Who do you trust to make decisions about your health and wellbeing? Do they know you well or your wishes, likes or preferences?
- Who would be the best person to look after your children or make decisions concerning your children if you couldn’t speak, became incapacitated or died especially and your spouse wasn’t alive, capable, willing or available? Who would be the kids guardian? Who would decide where they should live, school, what to wear, eat, medical care? Do you trust the person? Would they act in their best interest and according to your wishes? Do the kids know the identitied or chosen guardian? Who knows about this? Do you have a legal or a proper document expressing your wishes? Where can that be located?
- Who would you trust to make decisions about your property and assets if you couldn’t do it temporarily or permanently? Is your substitute trustworthy? Are they financially responsible? Have you put that in writing or explored your local rules/laws?
- Have you identified and noted who should make decisions when you die? Preferred funeral, what should happen to your body, what funeral homes, where you should be buried? What about your properties and assets? Any bank accounts, life insurance or safety deposit box? Do your family or any significant persons know about your arrangements?
These are difficult questions that most people ignore because of fear, anxiety, denial or some unknown reasons. Many people do not plan for these events they are a fact of life. In fact, it is important to stay in control of your own affairs to ensure your wishes will be carried in the event such situations occur. Future planning helps to minimize the negative impacts of life’s emergencies or unforseen and unexpected events. Planning for the future secures your future and that of your loved ones especially those who depend on you. In addition, future planning save your family from disagreements, disputes and associated stress.
Please take charge and be realistic because we may all have our kind of surprises and bumbs. It is not a question of if but “what, how and when. Be prepared always for the unforseen. Life has no guarantees and at times gives us no warning. Protect yourselves by making plans. Talk to experts and seek guidance when necessary.
Food for thought.
January 30, 2020.