Posted in advice

The Plan

We all love plans.  We love when things go according to plan.  We plan for vacations, weddings, and even for college.   We plan for our future.  From the time of being little children, we start planning what we hope things will be like when we are adults.  When things don’t go according to THE PLAN, everyone loses their minds.  Many of the problems we have are because we weren’t planning for plan A to fail.  The only thing you can count on is that things will and always change. We seek order in a universe where chaos can only increase, and yet we still find it hard to plan for the most definite thing.

So, what is definite?  Death is definite.  We are all going to die someday.  Some of us will have a long life and others, unfortunately, will die young.  It may be an accident or on purpose. It may be something we can control or something we have no control over at all.  Regardless of how, it is inevitable that we will die.  Yet, very rarely do we plan on death.  Why? Because we’re dead. At that point, we don’t have to care about anything let alone the plans we made. 

The problem is that the people left behind care.  They care about the plans or the lack of plans we made for them after we have left this plane.  Many of the plans that we make while we are alive circulate around the idea of staying here longer and enjoying our time while we are here, but rarely about what will happen when we aren’t.  So let’s talk about the level of planning we do in life, and then dig into the planning we should do when we are gone.

I love going to the gym and working out, so that I can eat whatever I want, and so that I can go places without wanting to take a nap every five minutes.  I can’t go to the gym everyday because of the weather or because so many people think they can hit their fitness goals in the first months of the year (I call them the resolutions).  They take up every piece of equipment at the gym, and have absolutely the worst form.  Then give up after they didn’t lose 50 pounds that first month, and wonder why they didn’t hit their target while downing a cheeseburger every day.  They made this plan and I made mine, they ruined my plans and now I have to make new plans.

Those new plans mean that sometimes I need to eat things  that I don’t 100%  enjoy because nutrition is a thing too.  I have to figure out how to match the effort that I put in at the gym at home, and not everything that is helpful for your body can be consumed through just everyday foods.  The amount of calories we would have to consume to get 5 grams of creatine is absurd.  If you want a good amount of protein, among other nutrients, you may not be able to burn all of those calories with your new at-home workout.

Today, there are so many options to workout at home.  It hasn’t changed much in 40 years.  Back then you bought a tape and put it into your VCR.  Today, there is an app.  The big difference is instead of having a room full of tapes or DVDs you have access to as much if not more than ever before on your phone, computer or smart TV.  From beginner to expert, from slow to fast, from light to heavy you can find a home workout that will work for you on one application and with nutrition plans.  I have a membership to my local gym, but I have backup in Beachbody now called BODi for when the gym is full, or I just don’t want to leave the house.  I use the supplements and the diets, so that I hopefully will be here long enough to see my grandkids graduate high school, maybe even college.

My dad went to the gym all of the time, and watched everything he ate.  My grandparents made it to their 80s.  My father howerver worried all the time, and that worry regardless of his fitness took him from us at 60 almost 61 years of age.  He had been to the hospital many times for stress attacks, and one day it turned into a heart attack.  My dad did have a plan, and my mom can live comfortably because of it.  They saved money, but my dad also had multiple life insurance policies and retirement plans that took care of all the things my mom needed and the things she will need.

Sitting at the funeral home taught me a valuable lesson in the cost of losing a loved one, and what plans have to be made for their final farewell.  The funeral for my father was well over $20,000, and that was just for the plot, vault(which was required), coffin, transportation and labor.  He got the second least expensive coffin, the least expensive was cardboard and still cost almost $10,000.  Death cost about as much as a car without all of the financing options, and not nearly as joyous as getting a new car.  The last thing anyone wants to think about when saying goodbye is the price tag.  So while death is definite and difficult, many of us never seem to plan for it.  That lack of planning makes it so much worse for the ones left to deal with it.

At least my dad was older and had his debts paid off, so my mom only had to worry about the funeral costs.  So many of my friends have died these last couple of years.  Some of them made a series of bad decisions, some died from health issues outside of their control, and others died tragically in accidents they could not foresee.  I know a lot of people my age have mortgages, car payments, student loans and so on.  Those debts don’t magically disappear with our death, and  our spouses and kids may have to take those over so they don’t lose the house, car or go bankrupt.

So, one plan we should all adopt is saving our money for when we die, and making sure that if our death happens sooner rather than later, there is something in place to provide those that remain a sense of stability.  So, they don’t have to worry about how to survive and much less how to bury their loved ones.  If you have debt or a young family, there is nothing wrong with having a life insurance policy, at least enough to cover a funeral.  You can increase those plans to whatever size you may need if you want to pay off debts or supplement the loss of your income for your spouse and children.  When you are old you may not need those anymore, because you will have saved up your money to basically insure yourself.

Make your plans.  Go on vacations, have date nights. and go to college.  Make your plans to stay here as long as you can, but make a plan B for your family just in case plan A doesn’t work out.  Whether you need a plan to stick around longer or a plan for when you aren’t, I can be of assistance.  From nutrition to exercise to financial planning to insurance, I would be glad to help out with any plans that may need to be laid out.  


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