Tsue ~ That's What She Said: Family Plans ~ Are You Prepared For The Future?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Family Plans ~ Are You Prepared For The Future?

It's funny how life events can sneak up on you, especially when your daily routine is so demanding.  Between college visits, applications and financial aid forms, I have certainly been elbow deep in our family's finances, although a recent event certainly through my husband and I for an unexpected loop. My mother in law is ill.

As the oldest of three children and certainly just into my own middle years, my parents are quite a bit younger than my mother in law.  We lost my father in law a few years ago, as well as my grandmother.  Emotional, jarring and all encompassing events we are certainly not anxious to revisit with another elder family member any time in the near future. Although my husband and I thought about how we might be called upon to help our elderly relatives as they move further into their golden years during those times, the busy motions of grieving and the chaos of our everyday lives seemed to distract us from taking as close a look into what might lie ahead for us in the future.  As life has a tendency to do, that time is here well before we anticipated it..

As my husband and I are thrown into the arena of unprepared planning for my mother in law's long term care, so many other planning issues are pressing us for attention.  How ironic, although I am quick to mention that my own parents are not so golden, I was struck by the age they are wearing after a recent family dinner.  While I doubt that this natural progression happened overnight, rather that our current focus on my husband's mother has opened our eyes a bit wider.  Even though I have little doubt that my parents have thought ahead about plans and needs for their own future, my husband and I certainly have not.  The last thing we want to do is be a burden to our own children.


My husband and I hope to retire, eventually, and move from the 'burbs to a quite place on one of the Lakes, but a quick look at our current plan puts our grand scheme under great question.  With college expenses for one quite literally knocking at our financial door, only to be greeted by the same expenses for another four years later, I am beginning to doubt that we have our fabled ducks in a row.  Everyday occurrences and expenses tend to cause a visible ebb and flow to our savings.  If we were to endure more significant unexpected events, I wonder if we would be in a position to ride them out.  Although we certainly had grand dreams after we married, such much has changed over the past few years, reconsidering our plans made then are certainly on the pressing part of our agenda.
I have no doubt we will learn a great deal from our experiences in helping my mother in law.  We will know just which sensitive questions to ask my own parents, as well as be well versed in the planning tasks we need to investigate for our own future.  The key will certainly be in not putting off our long term financial strategy for free time to present itself in the future. Our frenetic family schedule doesn't suggest many wide open days ahead.
Do you and your husband or spouse have a solid future financial plan?
Have you drafted a will?
Have you had to care for an ailing elder?
Sending a child off to college?
Tell me about it in a comment below!  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Information sourced from Genworth Financial The opinions above are both honest and of my own experiences.

4 comments :

Crystal Threeprncs said...

No,No and No. No financial plan, will,kids in college or savings planned. I guess we better get on it!

Pam said...

After the stock market crashed our solid financial plan in our golden years is to collect cans on the side of the road. (jk, maybe)
We are working at redoing our financial future now.

Grace Hodgin said...

We have a 401 K plan and only invest in saving bonds. It they go belly up like every thing else I guess I'll be helping Pam recycle cans from the side of the road. What we have is not nearly enough but at the moment the best we can do.

Melanie a/k/a CrazyMom said...

Plan for the future...?? what a great post and an eye opener; we are still trying to save money for college yet alone think about retirement, but we have to start at some point, it will get here sooner rather then later I know. Will have to look into long term financial strategy, thanks to you. I do work at a law firm and we prepare wills.... mhhhh I guess I should ask them to prepare one for my family, never even occurred to me. Thanks for the reminder

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