Insurance – Planning Ahead for Optimal Choices

By Roz Jones

Depending on your career track and options, you may have a retirement plan in place that you have contributed to. This is an excellent way to save for the future and help guarantee income after retirement. Sometimes your retirement income is all you need to live life in the manner you are used to and sometimes… not so much. 

There are lots of ways to increase your savings and make investments that will add to your income down the line. Your financial planner will have lots of information about ways to save that help you avoid taxes and maximize income. Make an appointment and see what’s right for you. 

Another great way to save for the future and provide income in the case of an extended illness and/or death is through insurance products. Life insurance and other insurance products can provide income when you need it most and help safeguard your family in the event of your death. Here’s how: 

Life insurance- Life insurance can protect your assets and your family’s way of life in the event of your death. If you should die, you can provide enough money to pay off a mortgage and income for your widow to get back on their feet and move forward. 

Did you know? Life insurance isn’t just about insuring a working spouse. You can insure your children, which keeps them eligible for coverage when they become adults – regardless of their health history. This is a very big deal should your child suffer a childhood illness that might otherwise become a pre-existing condition. Consider purchasing a life-insurance policy for your child to guarantee they get coverage when they become an adult. 

Asset insurance- Insuring your assets, like your car, is mandatory. Generally, so is homeowners insurance. Did you know you can also insure big ticket items? Properly insuring your personal items can be very important against theft and loss. If you are a renter, you should also insure your contents and have coverage for liability in case something happens under your roof. Though asset insurance won’t generate retirement income, it is important to insure yourself against all forms of loss so you don’t face expenses unnecessarily later in life. 

Annuities- Annuities are an insurance product that offer tax-deferred income after you retire. While life insurance pays out after you die, annuities collect income and pay out before you die. This can create another income stream that is outside of your work-related retirement plans. 

Insurance riders- A rider is a policy extension that adds benefits or modifies an insurance policy to enhance or expand the benefit. Riders can provide excellent income for medical events or other unexpected needs that pop up as we grow older. They sometimes can make all the difference in the quality and quantity of care or income if there is an accident or illness. 

Insurance is often an excellent way to supplement retirement income and safeguard against unexpected illness, injury, or death. Being aware of what is available and investing wisely can be a great compliment to your investment portfolio.

Talking to Aging Parents About End-of-Life Matters

By Roz Jones

There comes a time when family roles switch. Traditionally, parents are the leaders of the family and make the decisions and set the tone for how things are done under their roof. As parents age, this can shift if there are medical or other issues at hand. 

Sometimes families have to switch up roles and adult children must step in to help parents make end of life decisions. This can be uncomfortable if there hasn’t been much discussion leading up to the role reversal. Still, talking to aging parents about end-of-life matters is always a good thing. 

Why? 

Talking about end-of-life matters preserves dignity- If your parents lived life well, they likely made the best choices they could under the circumstances and deserve to live out their lives in a dignified way. When adults become frail, they appear to be more like toddlers than thriving and vital adults. It’s easy to forget that they were once independent and able to care for their own needs. Talking about end-of-life expectations can help them preserve their dignity by respecting where they want to live, what boundaries they have on their medical care and day-to-day living, and their wishes about their death experience and how their remains and estate are managed. 

Talking about end-of-life matters eliminates confusion- The earlier you can speak with aging parents about the legal protections available for themselves and their estate, the easier things will be in their absence. Being open about advance directives, wills, trusts, and other important topics makes things easier for you if you are managing their care or estate. Don’t wait until your aging parent is too frail or ill to engage in a mature conversation to find out what they have taken care of and what vulnerabilities there may be. The sooner the better.  


Talking about end-of-life matters brings families together- There’s something about facing mortality that humbles people and helps them keep the main thing the main thing. Talking with your aging parents creates an opportunity to say things that you don’t wan to leave unsaid and to say thank you for all they have done to raise you, love you, and be there for you when you needed them so much. Many people hold onto life because they have regrets or fears. You can help your parents feel peace and love by having important conversations that bring healing and comfort. 

Talking to your parents about aging and end-of-life plans isn’t morbid. It’s a mature and necessary part of life. The sooner you can sort out what your parents expect, how they are going to manage their expectations, and what role you will play in the plan, the easier you can be prepared and ready when the time comes. 

Funeral Planning Doesn’t Have to be Creepy

By Roz Jones

In many cultures, funerals are a joyous occasion. Sure, it’s sad to lose someone you love and depending on the circumstances, it might be more intense, but funerals are a celebration of life as well as an opportunity to say goodbye. 

Funeral planning doesn’t have to be creepy. People don’t have to dress in black and cry the whole time. Funerals should be a reflection on the life of the person who has passed and an honorable yet celebratory, way to remember them. 

Here are some non-creepy ways to plan a funeral:

Create a slide show or video- Gather an assortment of pictures, video clips, and other images put to music for an entertaining and positive way to celebrate life. Life is all about making memories and those memories become more precious after someone dies. 

Share stories that are funny- There’s nothing wrong with laughing during a funeral. Encourage guests to share funny stories that everyone can enjoy during the service. Making things lighter in the room can offset the heaviness of the occasion. 

Create a theme for the funeral- Families have themes for all sorts of gatherings, why not for a funeral? If your loved one adored something specific, make it part of their funeral. Celebrating something a deceased person loved is another way of honoring how they lived. If your loved one loved boats, racecars, or the color purple – incorporate their love into the celebration of life. 

Give back in their honor- A funeral for a teacher included bringing backpacks filled with school supplies in lieu of flowers. A funeral for a child who dies of kidney disease included friends and family registering to be donors for other children in their honor. It’s always a good thing to do something to help ease grief and loss. Giving people something to focus on can make attending a funeral easier. 

Leave a message for those you love- Your funeral can be special by leaving a video, letter, or recording sharing how much you love and appreciate them. Not everyone knows when they are going to pass on but sometimes there is a general idea. Your messages can soften the blow and make the funeral an opportunity to share your thoughts, hopes, and dreams for the people attending in your honor. 

Funeral planning isn’t something people usually think about until it happens. When emotions are running high, it can make planning hard. There are no rules for a funeral but there certainly isn’t a rule that they must be heavy and burdensome. Funeral planning doesn’t have to be creepy. It can be free and easy like the life you are ready to celebrate. 

Key Professionals Who Help Make Important Choices About Your Future

By Roz Jones

Your estate and everything in it is yours to make decisions about. You can decide to do whatever you want with your assets while you are alive and after your death as long as you are of sound mind in doing so. 

Wanting to protect your assets is normal and wanting to make sure you make good decisions is wise. You may not have the background or working knowledge about how to protect yourself legally, financially, and medically but there are experts who do. Their job is to offer you information and services that organize and carry out your wishes, making it possible for you to protect yourself as you grow older. 

Here are some key professionals who help make important choices about your future.

Financial Planners: As early as possible in your work life, it’s great to work with a financial planner who can help you best understand how income, taxes, investments, and savings all work together. A financial planner knows the current laws, what products produce the best results, and how to invest and save your money for whatever long-term plans you have. 

Insurance Agents: Like financial planners, insurance agents can help you save and protect your assets for the future. From insuring your car, home, and personal property to helping with life insurance and other forms of insurance that generate death benefits, or other income. An agent can help increase your income after you retire or in the event of a catastrophic life event. 

Primary Care Physicians: Outside of being the go-to for your healthcare, your primary care physician can help you create and carry out your advance directive and DNR notifications. Having someone to talk to with a wide-range of medical knowledge can help you sort through the options and make decisions that will protect you if/when there is a medical need. 

Probate Attorneys: There are attorneys who specialize in writing wills, trusts, and helping people make important decisions about their estate. These attorneys have streamlined ways to help you organize your information and legally protect your estate before and after your death. 

You don’t have to know all there is to know about medicine, money, and the law to protect yourself. You can access professionals who specialize in each of these areas and make informed decisions you can trust and count on when you need them most.

2 Legal Documents Everyone Needs Before They get Sick

By Roz Jones

Being ill is no fun. Neither is being unable to participate in making personal medical decisions. If you are unconscious or unable to articulate your consent for treatment, a medical provider or next of kin may have to make them for you. Preserving life is always the plan, but sometimes, believe it or not, you may not want that to be the plan. 

Here are a few scenarios where life-saving measures might not be your first choice: 

Scenario #1. A terminally ill patient with a disease like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s may not want to be fed through a tube or given antibiotics after a certain stage of their disease. 

Scenario #2. A brain-damaged individual who will have to live indefinitely outside of their home in a facility may not want to be on a breathing tube or dialysis or other artificial life-saving machines. 


Scenario #3. Someone with a pacemaker or other device may want it removed if their condition worsens to a certain point. 

Under certain circumstances, life-saving measures make perfect sense. When recovery is likely and quality of life is high, it is worth the effort and time it takes to recover or endure life-saving measures. However, there may be times or circumstances when you want to draw a line in the medical sand. 


There are two legal documents that will make it clear to providers and your family that you do not want measures taken and if you do, what they are and when they stop. 

An advance directive 

A DNR or Do Not Resuscitate 

An Advance Directive: An Advance Directive is a tool used to make end-of-life decisions ahead of time, alleviating medical staff and your family from having to make them. Your Advance Directive is a legal document that you can add to your will or trust so it is easily accessible if it needs to be enforced. 

A DNR or Do Not Resuscitate is a document that denies life-saving measures if your heart stops beating or you are unable to breath on your own. 

These documents will help you prevent life-saving measures that might prolong suffering or low-quality living. Consult your primary care physician to learn more and make the decisions that are right for you.