Dear Family, Friends, and Folks Like Me,
Last weekend I was able to release my culinary skills on a lovely group of friends and it was so delightful, I thought I’d write a letter capturing that theme.
So, I’m writing to ask that you join me in promising not to take the path of so many of our elders in creating a disastrous family meal and that you follow a healthier recipe.
A friend recently heard the term, “Sandwich Generation,” for the first time. He asked me if it was because our peers grew up with Wonder Bread. Smiling, I responded, “Not quite.” I explained that the term is not because of what we ate as kids but because of what many of us are experiencing as adults.
If we step back and look at the generations of family to whom we are connected, most of us will have children, whether our own or nieces, nephews, or cousins, on one side and our parents or grandparents, and sometimes both on the other side. Accordingly, we will have loved ones looking to us for care and assistance from both sides.
Considering “sandwiches,” if our loved ones are the bread, then what are we? Yes. We are the stuff in the middle – peanut butter and jelly, roast beef, turkey – and because some of our elders didn’t understand or didn’t receive lessons on how to prepare a healthy, life-sustaining, family meal, many of us are starting to feel more like seamy meat-by-product instead of the tasty Portobello mushroom.
So, Dear Family, Friends, and Folks Like Me, take a couple of seconds to jot down this recipe for a healthy family meal:
- 1 lb of good health insurance, which may include long-term care insurance because, despite our denial, we will get old and most of us will live longer than anticipated
- 2 tbsps of life insurance: one for income replacement and the other for bills and larger items that must be or should be paid, such as mortgages and college educations
- 2-4 gallons of consistent retirement savings – about 1 cup per year
- 2 tbsps of powers of attorney: one for financial issues and one for healthcare issues; and
- 1 Will: so you can decide on who gets what and not the courts.
Combine all of the above with 3-4 trusted and honorable fiduciaries, covered by a trust if you own a home, and stir occasionally with a very good financial planner and CPA.
Then let sit for about a year, or taking it out more frequently to revisit growing family needs basis.
Let’s make a conscious promise that instead of making our children feel like overdone and gamy sandwich meat, we show them that they are part of a healthy, hearty stew from which everyone can benefit and be satisfied in the long run.
A votre sante!