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How are you behaving during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic has required many hospital workers to put in long, stressful shifts. By no means am I a medical expert, but the way I see it, there’s never a good time to be hospitalized. 

My wife and I had been at the hospital for the birth of all our grandchildren, but not so for our most recent grandchild. With the new hospital rules limiting visitors, even my son was fortunate to be allowed to be there for the delivery.

As it turned out they were in and out of the hospital so fast we kiddingly refer to it as a drive-by delivery.

During the summer, one of my friends had a stroke and was hospitalized for a short while before entering rehab. Just prior to Thanksgiving, some long-time clients were in a severe car accident and both ended up in the ICU.

The point I want to make is that prior to the pandemic we needed hospitals. We still need them, of course, but it’s vital that the men and women in the health care industry are more dedicated than ever.

The pandemic turned a busy healthcare industry into a profession that’s nearly overwhelmed. Meanwhile, I suspect that many have put off both routine and necessary medical care because they don’t want to be anywhere near the pandemic.

When we get past COVID-19, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a rush to hospitals for non-pandemic related medical procedures.

From a financial perspective, experience has shown me that it’s difficult to enjoy wealth without health. It’s always sad when a family’s financial wellbeing takes a significant downturn because of an illness or death.

We’re in a free society and everyone can make his or her own choices. It’s called personal responsibility, and behavioral and financial responsibilities are a part of it.

Financial responsibility includes such basics as having adequate life insurance coverage. More often than not, this means far more than what’s provided by your employer. Disability and income replacement coverage are also important. Often overlooked, they’re vital in case you or a family member is hospitalized or ill for an extended period.

Financial responsibility also means making certain your legal affairs are in order. Consider my clients who are both in the ICU, for example. Money isn’t the issue, but having their legal affairs in order permits the family member with the financial power of attorney to make and authorize financial decisions.

That’s important when unexpected costs arise, like building access ramps at the house. The pandemic has reminded us all that our health can change in a heartbeat and that we need to be darn certain that our financial affairs are in good order.

I also mentioned behavioral responsibility. Medical experts have been encouraging everyone to wear masks and maintain social distancing, but I believe behavioral responsibility is more than that.

Not to offend anyone, but for years experts have been concerned about obesity. It’s important to watch our diets and to exercise.

As my clients lie in bed at the ICU, the medical experts believe they survived because they’re strong and in good health. Nobody knows what lies around the corner. So before you make that turn, I suggest you get your financial affairs in order and do your best to maintain good health.

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E-mail your questions to kenmorris@lifetimeplanning.com

 Ken is a registered representative of LPL Financial. Securities and financial planning offered through LPL, a Registered Investment Advisor, member FINRA/SIPC. Ken is Vice-President of the Society for Lifetime Planning in Troy. All opinions expressed are those of Ken Morris. LPL and Society for Lifetime Planning are independent companies. Investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.