At the age of 71, my father died suddenly, and it was a devastating loss. He and my mother were the only surviving grandparents for our two children who were 16 and 20 at the time, and we gathered at their home nearly every weekend.
As is so often the case, he was my mother’s caregiver as she struggled with her own serious illness, and his loss left us all at sea. They’d lived nearly one hundred miles away from our family, and although we’d visited frequently, the distance made care-giving nearly impossible. We tried home health care, then had to face the inevitable, despite my mother’s unwillingness to leave her own home.
The choice wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t really a choice.
Our family was struggling: The long hours driving back and forth, the hazard of mother being by herself for hours at a time, her deteriorating health. Eventually, we had to place her in a facility, but not before I’d been forced to consider and take early retirement, even though I didn’t want to quit working.
Once the dust settled on my life again, I wanted a second career, and my experience led me to insurance sales. It’s been motivated because of my past. All of those what ifs.
What if my father had been insured properly? What if they’d planned for this? My parents were the product of a different time, a time when this kind of thing wasn’t naturally considered or planned for, but that world doesn’t work today, not when every family member needs to be a breadwinner. Caring for family members who are ill or elderly is financially impossible for so many these days.
The time to consider our planning is when we’re younger and able. I recommend to my customers making a plan as early as your late forties to fifties while you can qualify and get the best rates. My experience with my parents made my job far more important to me, simply because I know how much this matters.
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