Estate Planning for Women | Why Sooner Is Better Than Later
Author: Stacy Hanley
A year after my grandfather died, my grandmother (“GiGi”) – aged 80 – decided to move into the St. George retirement community in Roswell, GA. Fast forward 18 years and GiGi is 98 today (and still a pistol)! Here’s what I mean.
In her mid 90’s, GiGi finally had to give up her car. One day, my aunt Heidi went to pick her up to run some errands –one of the stops was the liquor store. Long story short, they strolled out of the liquor store with 5 handles of vodka. Needless to say, Aunt Heidi was shocked. GiGi assured her “Don’t worry – it’s not all for me.” She may have lost her ability to drive, but she was holding on tight to her role as the community bootlegger!
This funny story aside, after my grandfather died, my grandmother made her own decisions on how she would live out the rest of her life. She wanted a low-stress, active social life. She wanted to be close to her family but still maintain her independence. By keeping her mind sharp, her body active, and her attitude positive, she has accomplished just that. Not only is she an avid reader, bridge player, and crossword puzzler, but she also just gave up filing her own income taxes within the last year!
I share this story about my grandmother because she is an anomaly. I see so many women who have not made any sort of elder care plan. 80% of men die married, but 80% of women die single. Widows outlive their husbands by an average of 14 years. Given these statistics, women MUST prepare for the fact that they may end up living out their years alone.
Gigi was fortunate to make her elder care decisions while her health was still good and her mind still sharp. She is living out her days on her own terms.
Without a plan, many women end up in bad health, unable to make care decisions for themselves, or worse, they run out of money. This situation forces their children into a tough spot, as they have to come up with a care plan for mom or provide the care themselves. According to caregiver.org, the average caregiver of an elderly person is a 49-year-old working woman who provides 20 hours per week of unpaid care.
When I speak to women about this issue, most say they do not want to be a burden on their children, but yet they have taken no action to alleviate the potential burden.
If you fall into this category, it is time to formulate a plan so that you can live your remaining years as you want to live them!
Estate Planning with Lefkoff-Duncan
If you’re ready to take the driver’s seat to your future, Lefkoff-Duncan is here to help. Our experienced team will assist you in all of your estate planning endeavors so that you’ll never again need to wonder if you’ve done enough to take care of the ones you love. Give us a call at your convenience at 404-262-2000 to get started.