Do you remember the Y2K “disaster” of twenty years ago? Tension was so high that TIME magazine ran a cover asking whether this was “The end of the world!?!” with bylines including “Y2K insanity!” and “Will computers melt down? Will society?”
In what was described by TIME magazine as a “ludicrously shortsighted shortcut,” computer programmers across the world had been using two digits instead of four to represent the year in dates in their programs. As the year 2000 approached, fear grew that everything we used that had a computer inside—from microwaves to airplanes—would crash when the year rolled from 99 to 00.
Y2K prep was off the charts. Wilderness-survival bootcamps shot up in popularity. Gun purchases increased. People stockpiled food. Many spent New Year’s Eve in bunkers. Thankfully, as it turned out, it was a non-event thanks in no small part to a new generation of programmers who worked tirelessly as the potential doomsday approached.
The amount of time, money, and energy people put into preparing for a potential event that might possibly cause some trouble (and that was mostly outside of their control) is interesting when you consider that there are still those who put off planning for things that are far more certain to cause them problems down the road.
Statistics tell us that seven out of ten people will need long-term care as they get older, but there are still some who ignore the need to plan for what would likely be a financially devastating healthcare scenario if faced unprepared.
Medicare and other health insurance options don’t cover the costs of home caregivers, assisted living, and nursing homes. I know it’s easier to ignore it, but ignoring something like this only makes it worse. Educate yourself about what options will be available, what your preferences will cost, and how you’ll pay for them. Planning for long-term care is not an admission that you’ll need care, it’s taking control of the situation just in case you do.
Statistics also tell us that ten out of ten people will die. It’s fair to say that after you’re gone, it’s not your problem anymore. But most that I talk to about estate planning aren’t doing it for themselves. They plan so that their spouse and children are left in the best possible financial situation in an otherwise tough time.
Doing what it takes to keep your family out of probate court and protect them when your things pass to them doesn’t have to be complicated. But it won’t just happen by itself, either. Educate yourself about your options and take control.
Don’t be short sighted like the computer programmers of the 80s and 90s. Planning after an emergency hits can feel like you’ve lost control. Planning before problems arise is just the opposite—it’s taking control. You’ve waited long enough. Take the first step by ordering a copy of my book at YourPlanMatters.com. Then come in so we can help you plan ahead and take control.