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Sticky notes, simply paper or helpful financial tool?


In this high-tech world, my scheduled appointments somehow magically end up on my computer, my staff’s computers and my mobile phone. I kiddingly refer to my phone to as my outboard brain, because with it, I can find the answer to almost any question.

With technology, reports that used to take me hours are now completed in the blink of an eye. And yet, in spite of this high-tech world, I still keep sticky notes on my computer to help me remember things. I guess I’m a bit old school and new school combined. Adept at typing on a keyboard and I can still write cursive with a pen.

Since the month is nearly over, I need to add some electronic reminders that September is Life Insurance Awareness Month. Life insurance is easy to overlook, forget, or even ignore because it’s not a pleasant topic to discuss.

But it is a subject that needs to be moved from the back burner to the front. Ignoring the subject can be catastrophic, especially for a family in the midst of mourning the loss of a loved one.

Who needs life insurance? Many people have an image of young parents with infant children. And they certainly should have coverage, but life insurance is needed at almost every stage of life.

Your children might not be infants, but if you’re carrying a mortgage and you have college tuition coming up in the near future, I believe you need life insurance. Even if your children have finished college and you’re looking at retirement, there are still many reasons to have coverage.

It’s easy and exciting to discuss an upcoming retirement, but nobody likes to talk about death. It’s not a very pleasant topic. Even the complex language of life insurance can make it difficult to discuss.

That’s why it’s wise to have an educated professional walk you through the maze of available programs. Personally, I like to encourage clients to consider life policies where the death benefit can be used for long-term care while the insured is still living. That’s getting your dollars to do double duty.

In any event, it's important that you take time to review your needs and coverage. And while you’re doing so, I suggest you take it a step further and make certain your legal affairs are in order.

Have you drawn up a will yet? Do you have need for a trust? These legal documents are important because in the event of your untimely demise they can help direct where your money goes and under whose supervision.

I don’t want to appear to be handing out legal advice, but having all your legal documents in order can help pass the baton from one generation to the next. And it can certainly help reduce the potential of families bickering over money.

Whether it’s on your computer, your refrigerator or somewhere else, I suggest you attach a sticky note to remind you to review your life insurance and legal affairs.

You may not consider life insurance and wills or trusts to be exciting topics. But they are matters that you’ll probably have to deal with sooner or later. Choosing to act now can help prevent a lot of strife. Taking no action is not really a choice.