This article was written by Stacey Golden-Lisnock in the latest issue of the Lead Up for Women Magazine in the Lifestyle section. If you like the article, please click the link below to download the magazine.
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If I had known the journey would be this long, I might not have taken it on. But now that I see the results of the hours and hours and years and years of effort, it is all worth it. I'm finally helping people who want to be helped.
I've been on a path to help people my entire life. I remember trying to save high school friends from hanging with the “wrong crowd.” I've always wanted to help people when they did not (necessarily) want to help themselves, let alone help from me. That's a hard road to travel. It is less than rewarding and often very lonely.
The end result for me was a career in financial services, again trying to get people to do the right thing. It’s always a struggle, never easy. After 30 years, it took a toll on my health and forced me to sit on the sidelines for a good part of 2018.
I didn't see it coming. I was doing what I always did—holding myself to A+ standards when it no longer mattered since I was not being graded. Yet I pushed myself to the breaking point, and one day everything stopped.
During those months of recovering from ill health, I realized I should have been better prepared with my legal and personal paperwork. I wanted to be sure I had all my ducks in a row if this was “it” for me. I was so sick, and those thoughts could not turn into action until I began feeling better.
I started to buy workbooks designed to help organize your estate, and I (still) failed to take action. At some point, I decided that a course would be the best way to get things in order once and for all. It wasn't until the lockdown in March 2020 that I got busy with my plan to create a course to help others (and myself) to be better prepared when life has other plans.
It all happened gradually, but things started to fall into place. The right people showed up, and I changed my beliefs about what it would take to make the business work, and things started to take shape. This time around, I got help right away. A business strategist and a virtual assistant were the key to my sanity in the startup process. I remember the angst I felt in making hard decisions, like what to call my company, what my logo would look like, and how to set up all the technology.
I see real progress when I step back and clearly see how far I've come from my worst days (recovering from a serious case of shingles with underlying Lupus – autoimmune) to the place I am today, helping others to get their personal and legal documents and wishes in order.
Oh, what a journey. The Beta Test Group validated what I thought I knew all along—there are other people out there, like me, who want to be prepared in advance of a health crisis or death. They understand that if they leave a mess and become incapacitated or die, it will take an enormous amount of time and money to figure it all out. Not only that, the chaos and family fighting these situations cause are devastating and life-changing to the survivors. If more people under- stood this, they would not be so casual to put off doing the work necessary to have their information in order in advance of a health crisis or death.
The pandemic has made us all aware of our mortality, unlike ever before. We were so unexpectedly hit by it, and it affected every single one of us. But prior to COVID-19, almost 900 people died for every 100,000 people, according to the data of US deaths for 2019. The #1 and #3 causes were heart disease and accidents. Either could stop you in your tracks without warning, which reminds us that no one is guaranteed tomorrow.
Now is the time to act. It may seem so obvious, but the time to get everything up to date and in order is when you’re healthy and cognitively sharp. Yet, the majority of us have failed to take action to ensure our family is not put in a panic and frenzy if the worst should happen.
The instances of cognitive impairment are staggering. In a recent article, they reported that approximately 33% of seniors over 80 will have some form of dementia. Once a person becomes un- able to remember vital information, they are no longer able to help with the legal and personal data that is required for a smooth transition. We’d like to believe we have all the time we need, but statistics are not in agreement with that belief.
A good percentage of you have had a health setback or accident that put you out of commission for a while. Or perhaps you had a health scare. Whatever you’ve been through, you know how it could have turned out, but it didn’t. You are still here, and you have time to get yourself organized and up-to-date, finally.
I’m aware we each have unique situations, and the family dynamic is a big piece of the puzzle. But whether you realize it or not, we all are creating our legacy. And without taking any action to be prepared in advance of a health crisis, accident, or death, you’ve made an (unconscious) decision to leave a disorganized mess for someone else to deal with. That’s not the definition of a stress-free legacy, is it?
If this article has motivated you to learn more on this topic, send me a text at 714-709-2027, and I will gift you a 30-minute consultation to determine where you are in the process of having the best possible legacy for your family. There is no obligation to work with me, and I may be able to give you valuable insight and resources during our time together.
About the author:
STACEY GOLDEN-LISNOCK is a financial advocate dedicated to helping people to leave a stress-free legacy. Prior to creating the Got It Together Now! — Emergency Info File Course, she was a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) for more than 30 years. After being ill in 2018, she changed her focus from financial advisor to financial advocate. She enjoys educating people and motivating them to take action on important topics.
She also hosts a weekly podcast, Legacy Therapy — Planning Techniques for a Stress-Free Legacy.
To book your 30-minute consultation (gift) to see where you are in the planning process, you can text her at 714-709-2027. For more information, visit www.GotItTogetherNow.com. You can email Stacey at [email protected]