I learned as an insurance broker and disaster recovery planner to consider worst case scenarios. It helped me design air-tight insurance programs and risk management procedures for my clients. We reduced uncertainty and everyone could sleep better at night!
In those days, my focus was on risks such as forklifts, deep fryers, and youthful drivers. As the State Farm ad dramatically illustrates, we’ve seen a lot! But I won’t regale you here with nightmares and near-misses.
It’s inevitable that now as a financial organizer (daily money manager), I bring a “hope for the best, plan for the worst” mindset. It seems that an extended pandemic has inspired more and more trusted advisors to think about risk. Especially those of us who work with seniors.
What’s the risk?
When a client (or their family or financial caregiver) asks, “What’s the risk – what could possibly go wrong?”, I have memorable responses from my 14 years as a financial organizer.
But why not use the question as a conversation starter? What concerns do they have? What keeps them up at night? Not to worry: putting these fears into words and saying them out loud will NOT magically turn them into actual events. It will just make us better prepared for them – just in case.
Design an action plan to prepare for the risk.
A Personal Money Manager™ action plan often includes:
- Creating an “owner’s manual” that lists a client’s contact information, trusted advisors, and financial and household accounts with as much detail as is appropriate.
- Making regular incoming and outgoing payments automatic to eliminate the worry of missing a bill or check.
- Consulting with a trust and estates attorney (https://www.naela.org/) for a custom Power of Attorney. (Insurance companies and other institutions like Medicare often require their own authorization forms to allow me to speak on a client’s behalf.)
In closing, I don’t want to leave the impression that I am a pessimist! After all, a positive outlook is a great asset to financial organizing / daily money management. It also makes my work that much more effective and fun.
So, here’s proof that at heart I am truly an optimist: I recently renewed my passport. And while I am not thrilled with my photo, I look forward to filling its pages with stamps as soon as possible!
Photo Credit: ID 160964156 © Fizkes | Dreamstime.com