When Financial Advisers sit around and talk shop, discussing financial planning, long term care, life insurance – those sort of things -- inevitably someone will chirp: “Everything boils down to preparing our clients for the three dangers they face in life: You can live too long, die too soon, or get sick along the way.”
We all laugh and then pause, staring into space.
- If you live too long, you can run out of money. That is the biggest fear we all have, although for some, spiders rank pretty high. Every year, we find cures for more diseases (Well, I don’t, but someone out there does) and we replace worn out body parts. And Botox does whatever Botox does. And yet, we wonder whether all this progress will mean we will outlive our money and finish our days in poverty.
- You can die too soon and never have the chance to complete your plan. Although we keep people running longer, the fickle finger of fate can still find its way into your household. When couples say I do, there is an implicit pact that they will help each other create the money needed to last through retirement. But early death prevents years of planning and dreaming from taking hold, subjecting the people we care about to finish their days in poverty.
- Just when we think we have everything figured out, something unexpected happens. This is especially true when someone gets sick or disabled, throwing all the best laid plans astray. Unless, the plans take getting sick into account, we will spend the rest of our days living in poverty.
There is nothing laughable about any of this, unless it’s a nervous laughter, meant to fill the silence. Live Too Long, Die Too Soon, Or Get Sick Along The Way – three outcomes in life that spoil the dreams we had for ourselves, our spouses, and our families.
Don’t let them happen to you.