Perhaps it’s because I’m sick yet again. Perhaps it was the fact my husband’s medicine is causing more heart episodes, not less. Maybe it was because I had to make room in the office file cabinet for this year’s receipts. But I started thinking about final arrangements. I made a list of insurance policies and what benefits are payable, and I’m making a list of my and my husband’s retirement funds and how to access them, and we’re preparing advance directives for medical care.
While this may sound ghoulish, I think these are things we all need to think about, and for which we must prepare. The Bible speaks often of prudence, of being thoughtful and careful, of seeking wise choices. “The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.” Proverbs 14:8
It turned out my husband was having the same thoughts, and it was the first time we have ever sat down and talked about “those things” seriously. But it felt good to clear the air, to take stock of where we are, and to know where we might be when it comes time to retire.
As people with disabilities, I think it’s particularly important. I have no idea when or how Social Security kicks me off of SSDI and into retirement. I’ll need to talk to someone to find out, and see what changes that entails. I can’t find anything on their site, and it won’t give me a projected retirement benefit because I’m already receiving disability benefits.
We have no long term care insurance (nursing home or in-home care) and I admit it’s because I’m afraid I’m uninsurable. And now that my husband has heart issues, we both might be in that group. But my folks wound up in an assisted living facility. Our local senior resource agency is working on a “village” to keep seniors in their homes, and I hope it will be in place by the time we need it, but will we be able to pay for care to stay in our home?
These are tough, unpleasant questions, but they’re things with which we need to grapple. Most of us aren’t fortunate to have family close by. My son lives 12 hours away, and his career as a wildland firefighter means he’s gone for half the year. My daughter and son-in-law live 1300 miles away and have taken on the responsibility of raising his young niece and nephew as well as their own two sons. It’s up to us to find and maintain a support system. It’s never to soon to start.
Dear Lord God, We thank you that so many doors are opening for this ministry. Please open hearts and minds as well so that more and more of your children will feel welcome in your churches. Thank you for all the people and organizations, from many faiths and traditions, who are working for this cause. We ask that You continue to inspire and to strengthen them. Keep us ever mindful of the blessings with which you bestow us, and help us to use them prudently. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen