Your 2019 Year End Personal Report Card
As 2019 draws to an end, this is a time to conduct your personal end-of-year review. It is time to go beyond reviewing your financial health. Check the status of investments, legal documents, retirement contributions, and making last-minute donations to charitable organizations. Take advantage of funds left in your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and get needed dental work, glasses, or other medical services that have been delayed. Don’t stop there; financial paperwork is only a piece of your year-end personal report card.
Financial health, physical assessments, and medical treatments are not the only areas in need of attention. A key area is a review of your Advance Directive paperwork. Who knows your wishes and will speak for you when you are unable to speak for your self? Advance Directives are crucial for individuals of all ages, as serious accidents or illnesses are unexpected.
- Do you have an Advance Directive?
- Does your Living Will reflect your current wishes?
- Have you had a health crisis since outlining your wishes and your forms need modifications?
- Are your choices of Healthcare Surrogate and Financial Power of Attorney still appropriate?
- Are those individuals still able to carry out your wishes?
- Are any home modifications needed to remain safe, and age in place?
- Do you need to purchase Long Term Care Insurance?
- Do you need to self-fund for long term care needs?
- Is your Last Will & Testament up to date and reflect your current wishes?
- Do you need to update beneficiary information?
- Do I want to be an organ donor?
On the relationship side, what needs repairing or recharging?
- With whom do you need to offer an apology or make amends?
- Who do you need to honor, recognize, or thank for acts of assistance or kindness?
- Do you want to reconnect with someone you have missed?
- What do you want to complete, accomplish, or address in the new year?
Don’t forget about yourself! Address outstanding issues, declutter material and outstanding relationship stress. Be sure to do something special for yourself each day. Make the most of the time allotted. Share your gratitude with someone who could use a kind word, smile, or a hug.
Resources for Advance Directives include: The Five Wishes, Death Over Dinner, and The Conversation Project. The holidays are a great time to share your wishes with family, allay their concerns and address any questions that surface. Having your family around to hear from you directly what your end-of-life wishes are, and how you want to be cared for when you are unable to share your care wishes, is a gift. It is often a very hard gift to share, due to the emotions associated with recognizing that you are sharing how you want to live while dying. Once shared, you will experience peace of mind and know if there are any issues between family members that need to be resolved.