Often when I hear people say, they are going to “put off” an activity until later, or make a huge financial decision (ie buying a house), I will ask them “What if you were hit by a bus tomorrow”? I usually get stares of course, but what I am asking them, is to really THINK about the choice they are making. Can they REALLY afford that item – do they have a “back up” plan, if they are “hit by a bus”. What if you put that activity, trip visit off, and you are hit by a bus, and you can’t do what you had “planned” on doing?
Now you may be saying “well, I will just look both ways before crossing the street”. Good idea of course, but what if the “bus” is being driven by a drunk driver? Or it is a sudden heart attack? Or it is STUPID cancer?
We were hit by a bus on March 8, 2010, when Alexander was diagnosed with STUPID cancer. That was by far the last thing on our minds when we sat in that ER. But, there we were, hearing those words “I am sorry but…” With in the last 2 years, I have gone to 4 funerals or services for people who died unexpectedly. They were fine one day, and the next they were gone. Their families forever changed. I remember once I thought I saw a friends mom at Panera – I thought about going to say hello, but she with with a group of ladies, and I didn’t want to interrupt. I thought about stopping by to visit her at home, but I never did. She died suddenly while playing tennis. How I wish I had stopped to say hello to her!
I have heard many people say, they “can’t” take time for family or friends because they are too busy with work. These people are not brain surgeons, they are ordinary people, doing ordinary jobs. They are working so hard, and are more often than not underappreciated by their workplace, yet, they just keep working hard, and giving up their own lives and familes for this “job”. I know people HAVE to work, because you have to afford to live. But MANY people COULD cut back on their lifestyles, and work less and enjoy their FAMILY more. Some people, just don’t know how to say NO when they are asked to work extra – they will just go above and beyond, and really get no reward for their efforts.
I am not saying that you should just quit your job, and live like today is your last day, because that would be foolish. But, I am asking are you READY for this to be your last day? Consider these things:
1. Do you have a Will? EVERYONE needs a will!! If you don’t have one, that the government will get your assets first!
If someone dies without a will, what happens?
- When a person dies without a will, the Probate court must decide how his or her assets are to be distributed. The distribution of property is governed by Massachusetts law, under which the decedent’s next of kin usually inherit the property. The major pitfalls of dying without a will are:
- the decedent’s personal wishes regarding who receives particular property may not be fulfilled
- the decedent did not take maximum advantage of tax-saving mechanisms.
The same results can apply when someone has left an invalid will. In order to probate the estate of a relative who died intestate, you must generally obtain authority from the Probate Court to distribute the decedent’s property, depending on the type of property left in the estate.
2. Who will take your children if you were to die? Maybe you want your sister, but you would NEVER want your brother. If both parents were to die, a judge can decide what will happen to your children. Be sure to have it in WRITING.
3. LIFE INSURANCE – this is a NEED and not a WANT. Unless you have medical issues, getting term life insurance is not that expensive. You may have it with your work, but you need to have it OUTSIDE of your work too. Again, getting “hit by the getting fired bus”. Term is the ONLY way to go – whole life is not worth it!
See this page for an explanation : http://www.daveramsey.com/article/the-truth-about-life-insurance/
You need to also have Life Insurance if you are a Stay at Home Parent. If you were to die, the other parent would need to hire a cook, a nanny, a maid, a driver and a nurse.
4. Do you have an emergency fund of 3-8 months of living expenses? When you are hit by that bus, and can’t work, you will still have those bills to pay! You won’t build it up overnight of course, but you can do it!
5. If you are in debt GET OUT by taking baby steps!
6. Get on a BUDGET!!!
(can you tell I am a Dave Ramsey Fan?)
Okay – enough of my rant for tonight! Look both ways before crossing the street, be ready to be hit by a busy, ENJOY your life, and ALWAYS put your FAMILY first!
I will end with the final words of Cole, a boy we knew from the hospital –