Preparing to be a widow is not a topic anyone wants to talk about, much less think about. Yet, the one thing certain in life is that we will all pass on and leave loved ones to live without us.
Sometimes, I get to spend some one on one time with Nelson Nash, my mentor and the founder of Infinite Banking Concepts. He was telling me how he is preparing his wife to be a widow.
Now some of you are thinking - “How morbid?” But, as a life insurance agent and a wife - I had a positive response to his preparation ideas and reason.
He is doing this because he has seen so many wives end up as widows and have no idea what needs to be taken care of financially. In fact, family finance is one of the tasks that is typically done by one spouse or the other and not usually done "together". It's the one thing that spouses just let the other handle.
Is this your situation? One person in the family takes care of the finances and the other has no idea what was going on financially. I have seen it take months for the widowed just to get into investment information. At a time when a spouse should be grieving they are stressed because they don’t know what bill to pay, where the life insurance documents are, or who to call for normal day to day things.
Until Nelson told me his story about preparing his wife, it never occurred to me to do this. In fact, I should be doing it with my own husband! He knows what needs to be done at home but instead of me making him do things, I just tell him, “If I die you better make two phone calls. You better call Wade and Mindy.”
We are not prepared for him to be a widower. I am not so sure I am prepared myself - I don’t even know how to use the darn snowblower and change it over to the mower deck. I know "big issues" but with the snow we're known for getting in North Dakota it could be a big issue. The bottom line is that I don’t want to rely on my neighbors to take care of me forever.
Please have those conversations with your spouse. Make him/her pay the bills for a few months so they know, include them in on bank conversations, and be sure to talk and share the stresses and numbers of the farm with them. So many times we are trying to protect them from the stress when in fact it may be far more stressful when they don’t have you around to ask.
Keep in mind, death may not be the only time this happens. I also see this alot when it comes time for an unexpected divorce on one side or the other. Instead of the spouse passing away, you are fighting about the finances because there was never conversations or someone is left with a lot of unknown debt.
In summary, know what is going on. Don’t stick your head in the sand and expect someone to take care of you just because you don’t want to know. It may be hard at first but as Nelson said, it took his wife three months and she had it all down. Like riding a bike….all takes time.