Monday, September 29, 2014

You Have a Choice – Have that Tough Talk before Your Family is Left in Ruins

You Have a Choice – Have that Tough Talk before Your Family is Left in Ruins
Today, I’d like to open that proverbial box. The one that sits at the back corner of the room and, for one reason or the other, most of us either don’t get to talk about or don’t want to talk about. What if you were suddenly gone from the face of this planet and your family (or those for whom you are financially responsible) had to manage on their own – beginning tomorrow?

Okay, don’t freak out. This isn’t a fun discussion for me, either. Given that I was born and raised in the West African nation of Ghana where discussions of this nature are a full-blown taboo subject, this isn’t something I’d naturally like to bring up. However, we both know, or at least we should know, that failing to address the possibility of us not being around tomorrow isn’t going to keep anyone around for even one more nanosecond than we’re supposed to be, is it? Of course not!

I don’t expect you to be thinking or talking about death every day. But I strongly believe that if you have a family – wife, husband, and/or children who depend on you financially – and you’re really serious about taking care of them to the best of your abilities, you must address the issue of making sure that they will have the financial resources necessary to continue life as they know it, should the unthinkable happen to you. Pardon me, but there’s just no other way for me to sugarcoat it.

Of course, you are being responsible by working and making sure that your family has a comfortable life today. And just like me, you intend to be around till a very ripe old age to see your great-great grandchildren. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that, and I pray you get exactly that. However, that still doesn’t change anything about the real possibility that we could be gone tomorrow. Then what happens to our family’s way of life? Will your children be able to afford the college you dreamed of and are currently saving money for them to attend? How about the roof over their heads? Losing a loved one is terrible enough, but having to endure a financial lack on top of that is one thing I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Unfortunately, however, it happens every day to unsuspecting families.

Yes, it’s important. I’ll take care of it soon. After all, nothing is going to happen to me or my spouse.

I don’t know exactly how to label that thought: denial, carelessness, or plain old arrogance? I recently met a widow who’s now living on public assistance because she had to give up the family home she lived in with her late medical doctor husband. She told me the subject of death never came up in the 18 years they were together, because in their culture, such a discussion is frowned upon. I certainly do respect my culture – and yours, too. But we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that cultures consist of some great things, some so-so things and, let’s face it, some pretty ridiculous things, too! I’m sure that if the late doctor had known precisely how long he had to live, he’d have put things in place to prevent the financial ordeal his wife is facing today, wouldn’t he?

OK, I Get It. I have some insurance coverage through my employer.

That’s great. But how much exactly will your loved ones need, and how close is it to what they will receive? Will that check be enough to take care of your family’s day-to-day expenses in the case of yours/your spouse’s demise? Here's another story: Wife dies suddenly. Husband knew she had coverage at work, but wasn’t exactly sure of the details because in the part of the world they come from, talking about this stuff is a bad omen. In fact, he said, just raising the subject might be perceived as wanting to profit from your spouse’s death, so people just don’t bring it up. Come to find out his late wife’s coverage was an “accidental death policy,” but since her death wasn’t accidental, the family receives nothing. I’m pretty sure this lady loved her husband and their three children and wouldn’t want them to suffer financially. But isn’t that’s exactly what’s happening now?

Obviously, I don’t know your particular situation. Here’s what I know: I cannot make you do anything that you don’t want to do. You’re the boss of your life! But at least I’ve made my point. Now, I hope you’ll do what you know in your gut must be done. I wish you all the best!
Want an independent assessment to confirm that you are on the right track when it comes to saving for your retirement, including the money you will leave to your heirs? Come in so we can help you to  objectively evaluate your current approach. Visit or call 877.656.9111 right now to book your complimentary session


  1. I had to share this...thank you for writing this article Mr. Asare!

  2. Mr. Asare,you couldn't have said it any better.Nyame nhyira wo

    1. Meda woase menua. As an eyewitness into so many preventable sad outcomes surrounding this very issue, the least I could do is talk about it - and hope it doesn't fall on deaf ears.

  3. Waw thank you for this. am going to rethink again.


Chime in with your comments or questions: