If you fail to plan...
You plan to fail.
Most of us do not set out to ignore planning. Sure, there are times it's nice to get in a car and take turns as the spirit moves you... but even then you likely have an idea where you want to finish, even if it's back home.
Juggling life can make it tough to take a breath coming up with a well-thought out plan.
It starts in school. We decide we want to earn a ribbon for being first to tie our shoes or get the top score on a test. It's not a plan yet. It's an idea or dream. The plan comes as we plan what needs to be done to make the plan realistic.
Another saying I've heard a lot recently, "Hope is not a plan."
Unfortunately, a lot of us like to lean on hope. This hope is really a wish. Our fairy god-uncle might show up with a job offer or the down-payment on a house; we just can't count on it.
We enter college with a plan and a path to graduation and a career. It might change and that's OK. Good plans are flexible.
The last plan we need is an estate plan of some sort. Whether it's a simple will or a more elaborate trust; we need to dot the i's and cross the t's so others don't have to guess at what our plans were.
This final plan also needs to be flexible. The plan for our family and our stuff changes with the circumstances.
There is a plan for a family with young children (who should take care of the kids if something happens?).
There's another for people so blessed they need to make a plan how to distribute their resources to family; their favorite charities; and Uncle Sam.
We have one of those plans, but it's out of date. The kids are grown and life is a lot different from the hill where we live.
The paperwork is in the house to begin planning; this week it's time to stop wishing it gets done to doing it.
Some studies show 51% of Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 don't have a will (and it's not much different for other ages).
February is a short month it can remind us our lives our relatively short. Since we don't know when the Merry-go-round stops, we need to get planning. I hope you join me.