Life Is Constantly Changing
Each stage of life brings new adventures along with the occasional challenge. Being organized for each stage of life could have a huge impact on how well you deal with the changes and challenges.
Young adults tend to live in the moment (for the record, I love that) and thinking about the future isn’t always a priority during this stage of life. The focus, during this stage of life, is time with friends, starting new careers and figuring out how to handle new financial obligations. It’s pretty exciting and overwhelming.
If you have just graduated from college or moved out of your parents home planning for retirement probably isn’t on the forefront of your mind right now. And that’s OK! However, do you know where your vital records and important information are and how to find them? Who has your birth certificate and social security? At this point, those documents should be in your possession and put in a secure location.
I can tell you, from personal experience, it is stressful when you don’t know where those things are or how to find them. It’s a long story, but I have a Mexico story involving my husband and a misplaced birth certificate. It was not fun.
This is a great time to set up a smart filing system that can grow with you as you transition from one life stage into the next. This is what the Ducks In A Row System is designed to do…grow with you.
Another very important document to consider having is a durable power of attorney.
Durable powers of attorney help you plan for medical emergencies and declines in mental functioning and can ensure that your finances are taken care of. Having these documents in place helps eliminate confusion and uncertainty when family members have to make tough medical decisions. (Source: Legalzoom.com)
Even though, you will probably never have to utilize it, a durable power of attorney protects you and makes life a tad bit easier for your spouse and/or parents.
One of the most joyful (and sometimes overwhelming) stages of life is parenthood. The importance of every decision seems to be amplified because your choices no longer affect only you. They affect someone you love more than life itself: your child.
There are so many things to consider, and during this stage of life, your time is no longer your own. In between changing diapers, feedings and baby proofing you are trying to sneak in a nap or shower for yourself. Saving money for college may not be on your radar right now.
However, if you have young children, it’s very likely that they will someday attend college. You even know, on the day they are born, what year they will probably graduate from high school.
Yet somehow, our children growing into college-age adults happens faster than we expect. Many parents say, “I can’t believe they are already graduating from high school! How did this happen so fast?” My own daughter is already in her second year of college. Seriously! How did it happen so fast?!
Luckily, my husband and I have been mentally and financially preparing for this stage of life for about 17 years. Making monthly contributions to a college savings plan has allowed us to focus on this new adventure without having to stress over tuition costs.
And, as she reaches young adulthood we are going to help her get her ducks in a row so that she is ready to tackle the world.
Aging and Death
Even though we know certain life events are unavoidable we are still surprised when they occur. The big one, of course, is death. We all know that death is an inevitable stage of life. It’s not a novel idea. However, death usually does shock us. It’s one of the most emotional events any human can experience.
Dealing with the death of a parent, spouse or any loved one can be a very overwhelming, heavy time. We cherish beautiful memories and mourn a great loss. This emotional rollercoaster ride can take a big toll on our stress level. When we are under such stress, it can be hard for our brains to make clear, rational decisions.
While in the pit of despair, no one wants to be worrying about things like:
- Who needs to be contacted and where is all the contact information?
- Is there a life insurance policy?
- Is there a will?
- Where are the insurance policies and other vital documents located?
- Did they have a lawyer? If so, who is the lawyer?
- Did they have any special final wishes we need to honor?
It’s a lot to take on, but it can all be a bit more manageable if everything is organized and prepared in advanced.
We are never static.
As life moves forward family dynamics shift and change. That’s the beauty of life. If all goes well, we grow into wiser, better versions of ourselves. Being organized and planning ahead for big life events like family vacations, college, retirement and even death prepares you and your family for almost anything life throws your way.
Even if you aren’t looking forward to the change, at least you will know exactly what to do when life happens because you will have all your ducks in a row.