I Don’t Care

I once witnessed an “international incident” – of sorts. An American engineer said “I don’t care” to his Swiss counterpart. With that, the Swiss engineer stood up and shouted back in disbelief “We are spending billions of dollars and you don’t care?”

In my books, I write about the need to have difficult, but important, conversations regarding aging and estate planning. Tensions are typically high when discussing such subjects. The slightest miscommunication of word or intent can lead to unnecessary conflict and sadness. I have witnessed more than a few well-intentioned conversations that went awry because of simple miscommunication. 

Still yet, the conversations should be had. So what steps can be taken to minimize  the potential for misunderstanding? Here are a few things to remember when planning such a conversation. (And you should not undertake such a conversation without a little upfront planning).

Try not to use colloquial terms, which are informal words or phrases used in everyday conversation but are usually specific to a geographic region. These are easily misunderstood. I remember on my first trip to Kentucky that every cola was called a Coke.

Don’t use ambiguous terms which are open to interpretation. For example, the phrase “I’m down” can mean “I’m sad” or “It’s Okay with me” depending on the context.

Keep in mind that there may be generational differences in the meaning of a word. For example, the word “bug” is used by younger generations to refer to an app problem. Whereas, someone in their 80’s may think you are referring to an illness.

Difficult conversations are not the place for sarcasm or humor. Which is especially hard to contain for yours truly. However, this can also lead to misunderstandings if the listener is not familiar with the speaker’s tone or intentions.

Be specific in the terms you are using when discussing estate or care planning. If you are not familiar with the myriad of terms, my books “First Steps For Success” and “Embraced Living” give a great foundation in these areas and suggestions for where to begin this process.

Back to my opening story. The American engineer had simply said “I don’t care which you choose”. The Swiss engineer took this to mean that he literally was disinterested in the whole program. You can imagine his concern. It was all cleared-up and a few laughs were had. But there were some tense, undue, moments.

Thanks for reading. Please like and share with those who are struggling with these issues!
And remember to take the next step.

For more information on how to bring a little order to life’s chaos, visit https://www.StepsForToday.com and check out my books:
– First Steps For Success https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08RQZJ2VD
– Embraced Living https://www.amazon.com/dp/B093RZGJ81

When Life Gets Upended

I’d bet most of us had a similar childhood experience; learning not to play board games while sitting on a bed. It’s inevitable. Sooner or later, someone, or perhaps a pet, will come along and upend the entire game. The unplanned upheaval creates such chaos and confusion that the only thing you can do is start over.  Readers of this blog know where I am going with this…..

Many of us have experienced a life-event which so completely wrecked our plans and dreams, that all we could do is pick up the pieces and start again. Even in such difficulty, we learn from our experiences. We learn that we can’t really control the risks that accompany life.

        But we can have a plan for when life throws us a curve.

After all, we buy auto insurance because we know the risks of driving a car. That’s an obvious example of how to mitigate a risk to our financial, physical, and even mental health. But what about the risks associated with not having a plan for household finances, health emergencies, aging, retirement, and even death itself? There can be significant financial, physical, and mental health risks associated with not planning for a crisis, or even for everyday life.

        Often, we just don’t know where to begin.

That’s why I wrote First Steps For Success. It’s a great resource for:

  • Creating Emergency Medical Information sheets for your family
  • Understanding the need for, and how to create, a budget
  • Getting started with long-term financial planning with risk management solutions
  • Learning about the different types of assets and how to protect them
  • Describing types of property deeds and how to pass them down
  • Risk management techniques for everyday living
  • Information about commonly available health care plans
  • Knowledge regarding wills, trusts, and estate planning
  • Building a long-term plan for managing life, health, and finance
  • Getting enough knowledge to comfortably get started with financial, tax, legal, and healthcare professionals

Whether you’re just getting started in life, or finally getting around to making real plans for the future, First Steps For Success can get you started in the right direction. Available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08RQZJ2VD.