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From the Colonel - Early August edition - Here's a story about planning for the unexpected
Hi folks. I hope you are having a great summer! I wanted to share a brief story with you, with some unfortunate circumstances and the potential for the future.
A friend of mine’s mother is in her early 70s. She experienced a horrible and unforeseen event with the death of her husband within the last year. They had also just moved to the local area within the last year.
Her husband was the main earner in the household. They had purchased their new home under the assumption that they would have his income for the foreseeable future.
Then the unthinkable happened. And now my friend’s mother is saddled with a huge house, a large monthly mortgage payment (without her husband’s income), and trying to deal with the grief and the estate.
It is a lot for one person, as you can imagine!
I have watched my friend learn some lessons from this that he wanted to pass on.
First, you have to plan for the unexpected. It is not pleasant, but it is the reality. When a loved one passes, it can take up to 6 months or longer to receive the life insurance benefits. You need to have a reserve of cash for your loved ones to survive in the meantime.
Second, don’t saddle yourself with more house than you need. A 2,800 square foot, 4 bed, 3 bath might seem right for 2 people, but do you really need that space? How many relatives do you have who might visit? Are they actually going to visit?
Third, even though people may say not to make a change immediately after a life changing event, you have to deal with the reality of your finances. Dependence on Social Security as income limits your options. You might have to make a change (for example, selling the larger home and downsizing) due to unforeseen circumstances. Look at that before you make large purchasing decisions. Play out the scenarios based on either one of you having a catastrophic event. See where the gaps are.
Fourth, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are many organizations and resources who can help in a time of need, especially with grief counseling, etc. It might help your loved one think clearer.
As I said, this just recently happened to a friend of mine. I hope these lessons from their difficult time can help someone else in a similar situation.
Thank you for reading. I hope you have a great rest of your summer.
Fathom Realty, Chapin, SC
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Dan Lang is a realtor/broker in Chapin, South Carolina. Dan retired after 29 years of service in the Marine Corps as a Lieutenant Colonel. He has personally moved more than a dozen times during his ca....
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