My parents planning for the unexpected saved us after our family’s worst moment
Facing our mortality can be challenging. It is not an easy thing to realize that one day you may not be here to see your grandkids graduate or live out your retirement years traveling, enjoying time with your spouse. From my personal family experience, creating a plan and having a difficult conversation may be the best thing you can do to help your family.
In December of 2014, my parents were planning for retirement within the next few years, discussing trips they might take or possibly moving to a retirement home. As their daughter, I asked if they were ready for this big life transition. I asked questions like:
“Do you know what kind of income you need?”
“Is your house paid off? Should you pay off your mortgage before you retire?”
“When is the last time your Will was updated?”
As you can see, I might be a little forward and pushy. You might be too, if you saw these things daily in your career.
With the last question, both of them looked at me with a sheepish look and stated, “We updated our will in 1989. Is that a problem?”
Since 1989, their children had grown into adults, grandchildren were born and divorce had affected our family. My parent’s financial situation and family make-up had changed drastically in 27 years. I wanted my parents to have the peace of mind that in their golden years, they had planned for the unexpected and knew that the other would be cared for no matter what the circumstance. It took six months and many strong-arm maneuvers on my mom’s part, but in July of 2015, they had finalized an estate plan and new Will. My dad decided to retire on September 15, 2015 and the next day they left for a two-week trip to Europe with family.
You might think that this is where the story ends, as they traveled, setting off into the sunset so to speak, but that is not the case. On February 12, 2016 in the early morning hours, my father died suddenly and unexpectedly from a swollen windpipe and swelling of the soft tissue in the throat. My parents had spent the day together having lunch, doing some home repairs, having a day like any other in their 50 years together, but then everything changed.
Our family was turned upside-down. We lost a beloved father, grandpa and spouse. The suddenness of his loss caused the hardest days my family has ever lived through. We were left picking up the pieces of our broken hearts. However, we did not have to worry about how my mother would take care of their house, how the bills would be paid, and if we had enough set aside for his funeral... All of those questions had been taken care of months before, during the estate planning process. The piece of mind that things were in place was invaluable. My mother and our family were able to grieve without the worry of financial decisions and stress.
I am forever grateful that my parents made the decision to plan for the worst-case scenario before it occurred. You never know what day will be your last. As an employee of TS Prosperity Group, I believe in the power of planning for your family. We want all families to prosper and leave a legacy they are proud of.
I truly am blessed with a father who cared more about his family and their well-being, then his own feelings about mortality. He was not excited about putting together that estate plan, but in the end, I know it is exactly how he wanted his family cared for when he was no longer here to do it.
At TS Prosperity Group, we IGNITE PROSPERITY® by helping our clients do more with their money. Whether it’s saving a little extra cash each month or accomplishing a long-term strategy, our goal is to help you transform your financial life. Call and schedule an appointment today, one of our team members would love to help you do more with your money at TS Prosperity Group. TS Prosperity Group is based in Council Bluffs, Iowa, with clients across the midwest. For more information visit tsprosperitygroup.com or call 844-487-3115. #igniteprosperity
Director of Client Impact/Chief Operating Officer
Kristi joined TS Prosperity Group in 2007 and today serves as Chief Operating Officer. Kristi works with all departments within TS Prosperity Group (Administration, Operations, Investments and Sales) to help implement strategy, goals and processes for the success of TS Prosperity Group. Kristi was raised in Council Bluffs and a graduate of Lewis Central High School. Kristi is active within the Treynor Community. She has served on the Treynor Little League Board, coached youth sports, and assisted with numerous Treynor Athletic Fundraising events over the past 9 years. Kristi is a graduate of University of Nebraska at Omaha in Management Information Systems. Her work experience includes 8 years investment brokerage operations, 8 years as licensed real estate agent/broker, 15 years as small business owner and 9 years in Operations for TS Prosperity Group.