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Off the Beaten Path

Have you ever thought that most of what you hear sounds pretty much the same? Whether it is “news”, information on all sorts of topics or even planning advice, it seems that we do not get a lot of variety or depth. What we get are the same points addressing the same things in our lives and uniformly not supplying much information beyond what we might term common sense. Oh yes, those points are all in tiny bite size portions because everyone knows we do not have much of an attention span.

This may work for you. You might like receiving easily digested information and believing that you are well informed and prepared for what life involves. Watch out! Life is not all that simple and straightforward. The information you have received may not be complete and your carefully planned path might not work out as you expected. Have you considered what might happen differently than your present expectations?

Planning, whether for yourself or your clients, is not all that easy and straightforward when you do it well. Your client may have shared his or her goals and plans and relied on you to help the client invest and organize to meet those goals. But did you advise the client about some of the things that can and do happen to people on their way through life that knock them off that planned path?

Did you address what the client might do to prepare for his or her early death and how loved ones might be provided for in that event? What if your client suffered a life changing injury or illness that would prevent continuing in his or her job or enjoying his or her hobbies and interests? What if your client suddenly became responsible for a sibling’s children if that sibling died leaving their care to the client? There are many more possibilities that strike someone, somewhere every day.

We are not saying that one or more of these or other similar events will happen to your client. We are suggesting that since these types of events do occur, it is wise to think on them and know what course of action to take if one of them does in fact occur. When your client is dead, it is too late to do a good job planning the estate and providing for loved ones. Do you help your clients think about things not in their planned path of life or do you assume that things will be just fine for them and it is a waste of time to think about the “unthinkable”?


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