Dan Taylor was an attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dan died on December 24, 2009. He was fifty-seven years old. I never met Dan; I only knew him through his writing1. I thought of him as a kindred spirit and a friend. He could be feisty, he was a free-market fanatic, and he loved working with people. Dan's contribution to the financial services industry was significant. Here is a paraphrased sample2 of Dan's advice to affluent Boomers:
Talk to your spouse.
Discuss the Big Picture. What do we want for long-term health care? What are we afraid of? What are we excited about?
Talk about money. What do we have? Where is it? How do we get to it?
Discuss your home and living arrangements. What's our house worth? How will we use it? How/when do we leave it?
Talk about giving. What do we want to give? What do we want to keep? When/how do we want to do it?
Discuss long-term health care, again. Where do we go? What do we need? Who will provide it? How will it be paid for?
You can't take it with you. How will we be remembered? Who will remember us? When do we talk about our memories? To whom?
Consider these three trends:
1. Wealth redistribution policies will [may] mean higher taxes and/or means testing of senior benefits.
2. Nationalization of health care [likely] will result in more medical tourism, fewer caregivers, and higher costs.
3. Interdisciplinary collaboration of advisors will [likely] be required to deal with increasing complexity and diminishing capacity.
If you have not discussed these issues, you should do so. "You need to take charge of this for your family or wealth won't be the only thing you leave behind."
I must add just one thing that I'm sure Dan would endorse:
Tomorrow is promised to no one.
Until next week,
PATIENCE, DISCIPLINE, and CONFIDENCE in the FUTURE! mh
2 The Boomer's Financial Guide to Multi-Generational Planning, Lyn Fisher and Sidney Le Blanc, editors, Financial Forum Publishing, 2010.