Life happens: What I learned from being struck by a car…
A few weeks after I shared my intent to retire with the executives at work “life” happened. I was taking care of errands and walking through a parking lot when two cars collided on the road parallel to it. One lost control.
This is what I learned:
- Life happens fast. Have a plan.
- Make sure you have an uninsured/underinsured motorist rider on your auto or home insurance policy. A good one. Keep in mind that many states have low insurance minimums for auto policies creating a mismatch between an injured persons expenses, loss of income etc. v. recovery of insurance funds.
- Insurance company lawyers are good at what they do. Even the insurance company that you have been paying premiums to for years will not want to pay out. If something does happen, engage your own legal team to represent your interests and do it early.
- Before you need it, review, and understand any disability insurance offered by your employer.
- Take a few minutes and complete a health care proxy (goes by different names depending on state). It is quick and easy to do. Have it in a place where your family can access it.
- Consider the value of a living will.
- Check to see if your will needs updating or modifications. Years go by as we tend to put them in a box and forget about them.
- Review your life insurance. Consider if your family has grown or changed since you put life insurance in place. If so, additional life insurance may be appropriate.
- For all your insurance policies consider when you put them in place. Do they reflect your current lifestyle and cost of living?
- Review your financial accounts to ensure beneficiaries are correct.
- Consider creating a secure place containing information about financial, insurance and social media accounts that your family can access in the event of an emergency.
- Having an emergency contact list in one place could be valuable during stressful times. One that includes family members, employer, lawyer, accountant, doctors, insurance company, and financial advisors would be helpful.
- If you take medications consider keeping handy an up-to-date list including dosage, who prescribed it and why.
- Have the family “chat”. Tell them what you want if something, however unlikely, goes awry and where to get the information you have put together.
- Add a note to your calendar to periodically review each of the above steps.
Before “life” happens to you consult with a legal eagle and/or a retirement or financial planner. They can help guide you on what documents you should have in place. Have a plan.