Friday, August 19, 2011

Planning for theFuture

Yesterday I woke up with a horrible case of the flu. Now, the flu is not deadly (at least to a relatively healthy 37 year old woman), nor is it a long term illness. I feel much better today.  But, as I lay in bed under a big, heavy blanket even though it was 80 degrees outside, I thought about how we would handle things if something happened to me.

Three things occurred to me.

1. I can no longer take my health for granted.
2. We need to get start saving again.
3. We need to have a Will and Powers of Attorney written up.

We need me to be as healthy as I can be. If I would have a long term illness or injury, we would be sunk.  I should already know this, as I had a separated pelvis when I was pregnant with my last baby and spent three months in a wheelchair. But, somehow the birth of the baby has caused me to forget how awful it was.  This flu made me remember what it was like when both parents could not climb stairs, pick up children or even make dinner properly. I cannot take my health for granted anymore.

However, even perfectly healthy individuals are in car accidents, have heart attacks or sustain other life altering injuries. Steve was perfectly healthy before he tried to lift an air conditioner the wrong way. So, we should be prepared for the worst. That means having a decent savings account (although what I used to think was decent was sorely lacking) and having a Will and Powers of Attorney in place.

The money is easy to think about. I can come up with a budget and a plan for saving. The Will and Power of Attorney is a more difficult. No one ever likes to think about what would happen if you died tomorrow. But, we also have to decide who would help care for our children if I was unable to do it. As they get older, it will be easier for Steve to manage the day to day activities, but right now he would needs a ton of help. His mother lives with us, so it is not an immediate need, but we should have another person in line.

Have you thought about what would happen if you became unable to function? What plans have you put in place?

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