I have been married almost 10 years and we have had our ups and downs like all marriages.  Some downs have been due to our communication and finances.  It is hard to take two independent people and get them on the same track with their communication and finances.  In our marriage we have our home responsibilities split up.  He takes care of the retirement goals, such as life insurance, retirement planning, estate planning; and I take care of the day to day tasks, such as our budget, taxes, and home organization.   

                This has worked out well for us, except when we need to explain the intricacies of our specific tasks to the other partner.  Usually something minimal is not communicated and the other gets lost in translation.  We thought that something was wrong with us and that most people communicate well with each other, but found that this was not the case.  Ed, my hubby, is a financial counselor, and while meeting with other families noticed that most people have the same problem that we did.  One or the other spouse takes care of some part or all of the home responsibilities and the other gets left in the dark. 

                The sad part is that he started coming across family after family with sad stories that could have been avoided if the family would have taken action to get their home responsibilities in order.  Here are some of the sad stories he came across:

  • Ed talked to a close friend about health insurance.  This individual decided that they couldn’t afford health insurance at this point in life and believed that nothing bad would happen.  A week later this individual was admitted into the hospital and diagnosed with cancer.  She is now in financial ruin.
  • A good friend of ours parked her car in her garage, locked up her house, and went to bed for the night.  In the morning, she found that a burglar had broken into her garage, then into her locked car and stole her purse.  We talked to her 1 year after the incident and she was still trying to clear up the mess from having all her personal information stolen.   
               Well, we got sick of it!  These stories are not uncommon!  These things happen to friends, family, and even ourselves!

                Marc, Ed, Kelli, and I knew that something needed to change, but did not know where to start.  One day, while surfing facebook, we came across the quote, “How do you eat an elephant?....  One bite at a time.”  It was like a light bulb went off!  

                   We knew we could help people organize their lives if they did it one step at a time.  52 Weeks to Prosperous Living was born!  We took numerous financial organization and life organization programs and we organized and separated everything out over 52 weeks.  Then we researched each topic for each week in order to make sure the most up to date/accurate information would be available to our clients.  52 Weeks to Prosperous Living has not only helped my family’s life organization, but is now helping families all across America.     
My first thought in sharing your personal information was DON’T!!!!  We are taught this from a young age and rightfully so.  There are so many scams and criminals seeking your personal information for their own gain in the world today that it is hard to know who to trust.   

In most instances, people know whom they can trust.  Usually it is those people that they choose to be guardians for their minors, or someone they choose to take care of medical decisions that may arise in your life.  Whoever it is, make sure they know at least where to find your personal information in an emergency. 

Ed has a client who told us a story about his father.  I will call this client, Tom.  Tom’s father passed away in 2001 from old age, leaving his widow at the ripe young age of 85 to the care of their 5 children including Tom.  The 5 children spent the next 7 years caring for their mother.  They each took turns paying for all her expenses.  This was not an easy task for the 5 children, because money was tight for them without their mother’s expenses.  Sadly in 2008 Tom’s mother passed away.  The family decided to sell the family home and recover some of the money spent of caring for their mother.  As they cleaned out a shed in the backyard Tom came across an old coffee can.  In the coffee can was a significant life insurance policy his father had taken out on himself several years before.  This life insurance policy would have covered all the expenses the family had covered and more for those 7 years following the death of their father.  The father knew the life insurance policy would be safe in the barn, but he failed to realize that if no one knew the life insurance policy was there… no one was going to find it. 

The moral of this story is… Tell those people that you trust with your information where to find it if they need it!  Especially when you make an effort to protect you and your family with an estate plan, trusts, life insurance, final arrangements and so on, as you will do with the 52 Weeks to Prosperous Living program.  What good is getting all of this information in order if no one knows where to find it if you die?  Now, we are all going to die someday.  This is inevitable.  Make sure that when you die someone knows where your information is.

Check out the comments below on Week 4!  Keep up the Great Work!!!!