Now that You're Wealthy and Retired
by Thomas A. Damron
Don't kid me. I know you left the work worries behind and headed for the sunbelt to enjoy more happy days of retirement without the headaches of worrying about whether the private snowplow you hired shows up on time or if your pilot can take-off in the snow this morning. You tend to discard the worries of getting to the airfield because you know your Rolls Royce can easily handle the snow covered roads. However, that is only if your chauffer doesn't get held up by the late bus schedules when it snows.
Your only worries now are the sunburn on that bald spot on the crown of your head and the thousand dollar burger that is overcooked so badly that it ruined the taste of the Beluga caviar on the bun. It isn't a worry, but you are somewhat upset that the city widened the street and now the common folks can actually see your house.
On the serious side, if the paragraph above either describes you perfectly or not, you still face the need of planning for the robust retirement you've earned.
If you actually have wealth, if you are one of the millions of citizens who don't, it makes no difference, retirement years and days are what you and you alone make them.
I won't bore you with the details of all the other pre-retirement and death plans because you've probably already done estate planning, funeral and last wishes planning, wills and trusts, insurance, and long-term care to name a few. Those are the things that every planner discussed with you endlessly as you prospered and created your estate
I'm talking about the other planning needs that are not quite so obvious in your vision. Those are the keys to retirement success. Let's take a look at the important ones.
Raconteur Your Living Ideas. Talk about how you want to live the rest of your life. Weave in the fun with this subject. You should plan for your life's ending with more vigor than you planned for life's beginning. After doing the ground work of what you envision as your ideal retirement, go and then live as raucously as you see fit for as long as you can sustain your plan."
Personal Possessions. Carefully identify what are they and exactly who is to get them once you're no longer here to treasure them. Specify in writing where you want them to go. Tell the person that's getting them so they know.
Final Parting Luncheon. I have planned, and funded, a goodbye luncheon at a local hotel with an attached guest list that I keep updated as friends and associates pass on. I have specified the music to be played--don't laugh--but my preferred song to be played is Sinatra's "Send in the Clowns."
My suggestion is for you is to go ahead and set the designated funds aside well in advance. Make arrangements with a selected facility. (I'm using a semi-luxury hotel and have specified that guests may order from the then Menu of the day.)
Consider making a video and having it played at the luncheon and say goodbye in person. Most facilities have television sets and DVD players available. Remember, this should be your celebration of life, not a morose one of death. Make them all glad they knew you and imprint your memory in their mind
Final Wishes Folder. Create a folder that contains all the data that your survivors would need to take rapid actions to fulfill your wishes when your death occurs. In that folder, place copies of your living will, your medical directions, and the names of your executor and holders of your power-of attorney to act either at death or during a serious health crisis.
Your Designated Support Aides. Name those that are in it, specify their contact information, and detail your wishes for communicating with them should you become seriously injured or ill and then after you die.
Recognize the Grief. We all assume that nothing is normal after a death. However, death is the single one thing that we all share in common regardless of our status in life. But, we must recognize there is always unnecessary disarray where there shouldn't be and that's where your plan can assist in easing the grief.
Plan, in your own way, how your survivors should handle the five stages of grief; Denial-Anger-Bargaining-Depression and then, Acceptance. Your view of each of these stages can set the tone of how your survivors can soften the impact.
My Final Listing Includes the Things I Want to do Before I Die. Make your prioritized "bucket" list of all the things you want to do before you depart this World. Establish a plan to make them happen one by one until you've satisfied your goals.
Encourage your loved ones to become more willing to discuss your final plans of death. It's really for their benefit to know what you have in mind for them. Let them openly know what to expect from your last wishes. It creates harmony in the long run, eases tensions, and makes the end far more pleasant for all concerned.