Middle Class Estate Planning
What is so different about you? What enables middle-class folks to rise and win, time after time? Facing and beating challenges? At seven years old, I began helping another kid on his paper route. Lucky for me, there was a block of triple decker houses and Paulie did not like climbing stairs. A few years later, my next younger brother and I had our own route. Hot in the summer. Cold in the winter. Raining or snowing from time to time. On foot. We did not always whistle while we worked. But the Carrier boys delivered the Evening Bulletin 6 nights a week. And early Sunday mornings, before church, the Journal-Bulletin.
You have done the same. Throughout your life, you took the overtime. The second job. Doing what it took. My weekends at Notre Dame were spent delivering pizza. As a law student, I worked full time on the graveyard shift as a security guard. Just like you. What else could we have done? We had a job. We saw the need. We got it done.
We learned it from our folks. After beating the bad guys in WWII, our parents went to work. Dad taught school all day, came home, changed clothes, and put in 8 more hours at the Narragansett brewery. For 16 years. Mom was an RN. After raising 8 kids, she pinned her nurse’s cap back on and resumed nursing. Details vary, but your family lived the same values. How do I know? Thirty years of talking to and planning for your folks. And you.
And now COVID. The Elder Plague. Death rates: way down. Therapies: better and improving. So much winning. But we are not done yet. COVID is real. COVID can strike close to home.
By a series of commonplace coincidences, a team member tested positive for COVID. Since the beginning, the Carrier Law team has taken every recommended precaution. And come up with a few of our own. Hand sanitizer, videoconferencing, outdoor workshops, social distancing, masks, working from home, plexiglass barriers, temperature checks, screening protocols, Clorox-ing conference rooms, prudent behavior.
Not perfect. Last Friday, I spent a few hours (in the rain) climbing through trees on one of those courses. Team building with several paralegals. Outdoors, yes. Distanced, yes. Wearing masks, yes. Until that triumphant team photo at the finish. Mask off. Picture! Mask on. Well. Then we waited for the results. One more thing to be taken in stride.
Aren’t we all waiting on “test results”? What will your “Alzheimer’s test” reveal? Of course, there is no such “test.” We find out only as time goes by. With COVID, we face reality, we do not wish it away. Most of us will eventually face dementia. Personally. Not just our spouse or a loved one. Lots of statistics. One bottom-line fact.
The trouble in American life today, in business as well as in sports, is that too many people are afraid of competition. The result is that in some circles people have come to sneer at success if it costs hard work and training and sacrifice.
– Knute Rockne
We, the middle class, do not deny reality. We accept it, make our peace, and do the best we can. With optimism and good cheer. Lots of critics have lots to say about us baby-boomers. But all agree that when we see what we want, we go get it. Make it happen. Rejecting the counsels of gloom and doom. With open eyes and stout hearts.
When you are facing long-term care, dementia, end of life issues, there are a million questions and few reliable answers. Many people, including otherwise competent financial planners, well-known attorneys, and respected members of the community, seem to believe that you should go broke when facing these issues. Maybe they are unaware of the options. Perhaps they are in denial. Is there a moral imperative that you should go broke? Some “experts” seem to think there is.
Americans play to win all the time. The very thought of losing is hateful to Americans.
– George S. Patton
Like you, I completely reject the idea that losing is okay. Like you, I believe in winning. We all have challenges and sometimes we do lose. But we never “get used to it.” Why should we? Losing is a bitter pill. I may have to take my medicine, but I do not have to like it.
If you want to go broke, as some folks think you should, you do not need me. The state is very good at making a bonfire of your lifesavings. The state helps only when you comply with their rules. And for most folks, compliance means poverty, insecurity, loss. Unacceptable.
[W]ith firmness in the right as god gives us to see the right let us strive on to finish the work we are in…
– Abraham Lincoln
LifePlanning™ at Carrier Law
LifePlanning™ is middle class Michigan’s tool kit for winning. Comply with their rules? Yes, absolutely. If you want to win, you must know how to play the game. Thirty years of study, experience, testing and delivering results have produced the LifePlan™ system. Techniques and tools that preserve, protect, and defend your right to decide how you will live. You earned that right through decades of work and conscientious stewardship. Isn’t it ridiculous to suggest that impoverishing yourself, your spouse, your family is somehow noble? Isn’t it foolish to reject your own life experience for the defeatist counsels of the “wise”?
LifePlanning™ means your choices matter, whatever the test results. Are you like thousands of Michigan families who played by the rules and earned homes, cottages, farms, lifesavings? Would you like the rules to work for you, for a change? Are you waiting for the test results? Are you waiting until it is too late? Would you like to know now?
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