planning for unexpected life events

Posted : February 26, 2018
Last Updated : February 26, 2018

planning for unexpected life events

You never know what life is going to throw at you. Being prepared for unexpected life events will help give you peace of mind.

Planning ahead for unexpected life events, including death and disability:
  • Gives you control; you make choices for your situation.
  • Relieves stress of decision making by caretakers/family members.
  • Saves money and helps you avoid financial disaster or setback.
  • Allows time for gathering information, comparing options, and determining which options help achieve what’s most important.

Long-Term Care

A majority of people who need long-term care are older. However, the need for long-term care can come at any age due to disabling diseases, car accidents, brain injuries, strokes, and other disabling events. For instance, it’s estimated that 43 percent of the approximately 12 million people in the United States who say they need assistance with activities of daily living are working-age adults or children.

Families and individuals who do plan ahead for long-term care will be in a better position to understand long-term care changes, weigh options, and make sound long-term care decisions. Consider taking these steps before you become ill or disabled:
  • Prepare a plan. Start with reviewing your income and expenses.
  • Make sure trusted family members know where to find your personal and financial documents in an emergency.
  • Think about setting up direct deposit of pay and benefit checks into your bank accounts.
  • Consider automatic payment of important, recurring bills.
  • Make sure you’re properly insured. Speak with a financial planner or an insurance agent you trust. Review your policy often as life changes.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Consider a durable power of attorney. This is a legal document giving one or more people the authority to handle finances or other personal matters if the individual becomes mentally or physically incapacitated.
  • Suggest a living will or other instructions about future medical care. Most people should have a living will specifying the type of medical care they want or don’t want if they become terminally ill and are unable to communicate their wishes.

Experts also recommend a health care power of attorney or health care proxy designating a family member or other trusted person to make decisions about medical treatment. Living wills and health care proxies are intended to ensure that someone’s wishes regarding medical care are honored, but they also can prevent unnecessary and costly procedures.


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