I had a discussion with a couple recently. I paused and asked them if it was okay for me to ask, what I believed was going to be an uncomfortable, unsettling question.
Turning my attention from the husband and fixing my focus on his wife, I said the following; Let’s pretend one hundred days ago your perfectly healthy husband came down with Covid-19. He was admitted to the hospital, was transferred to the ICU and then three days later died. Explain to me the steps you took during those next one hundred days to keep you and your family’s life going.
There was silence, uncomfortable silence. Then the husband began to speak, at which I raised my hand and said, “I’m sorry. You can’t talk. You’re dead”. Turning my focus back to his spouse, I asked what did you do to keep your family going and to continue on, financially? The reply was a quiet “I don’t know”.
Here's the deal. I used Covid-19 as the set-up for this question; but it could have been a car accident, cancer, any number of other things. When I have had conversations like this, the person whom I’ve made the surviving spouse looks at the spouse who is now deceased in my example. That spouse always wants to provide the answers to my questions and give guidance to the spouse left, to pick-up the pieces. Yet, I have to remind them, they’re dead and they can no longer provide any help.
Conversations like this are very uncomfortable. It takes quite a bit of courage to even ask these questions; questions of wills, life insurance, income replacement, medical insurance. It goes on and on. We all seem to believe everything is going to be okay and that life will go on without difficulty.
The fact is, life does go on; but, without the one lost. There isn’t always time to prepare. That’s why we all need to plan for the unknown events now, not later. If you want to truly live free, construct and have your end-game in order now.