The article, How to Slice Up Your Charitable Pie, by The New York Times columnist Ron Lieber got me thinking about charitable giving. I’ve always opened my checkbook in an ad hoc manner throughout the year when events or causes that have meaning to me occur, like Race for the Cure.
But something that Lieber wrote got me thinking, “Many of us would not be where we are were it not for the educational institutions that picked up the bill when we could not pay full freight. To my mind, that creates not just a debt of gratitude but a running tab that I hope to clear long before I die.”
That is certainly true in my case. And I think there are very few of us who could say otherwise. But does the University of Wisconsin-Madison really need my check? I suppose my friend in its development office would say yes. But this year I’m going to start paying that “running tab” by donating to the LIFE Lessons Scholarship Program.
This program helps young adults who’ve lost a parent and who are in tight (sometimes desperate) financial straits pay for school. I think back and my struggle might have been meeting the tuition bill, but theirs also includes moving on after losing a parent, and often becoming a parent to other siblings, like Brittney LaCombe.
Brittney is amazing. She’s raising her two teenage sisters while getting her degree in social work. You can watch her moving story here. As she says, “I work full-time, go to school full-time and take care of my sisters full-time.” That’s not a life most 20-year-olds imagine for themselves.
That’s why I just donated online to the LIFE Lessons’ Scholarship Fund. And I ask that everyone who reads this donate—whatever they can—as well. Pass this donation link on (www.lifehappens.org/donate-to-life-lessons) and let’s help Brittney and other young adults like her realize their dream of getting a college education.
A lot of people follow Suze Orman’s advice when it comes to making financial decisions. It isn’t any surprise, however, that she is not a “favorite daughter” among many insurance agents, mostly due to the fact that she is of the “buy term and invest the difference” school of thought. [While term life insurance is the right fit for many people, as this post shows, it’s not necessarily an all-or-nothing decision between term and permanent life insurance.]
But I digress.
The reason I’m writing about Suze is that she actually wrote an article in the December issue of O, The Oprah Magazine supporting an insurance product that many people either don’t know about or think is too expensive to pay attention to.
Here’s what she said about long-term care insurance: “I was blessed to be able to afford medical treatment for my mother, who lived to be 97, whenever she needed it, but I sure wish we’d bought her long-term care insurance decades ago.”
She goes on to point out that while the annual premiums (she quotes $1,000-$2,000) are a big commitment, long-term care insurance “can potentially save you tens of thousands of dollars a year if you’re unable to care for yourself.”
And, she also suggests that it’s not just for you, but something you can help your parents with—assist with premium payments—if they are unable to afford it.
Suze says, “… it’s a small price to pay to reap huge benefits for the people you love.”
I think most would agree. What do you think about Suze’s advice?
… Here’s why.
I’m not going to barrage you with a bunch of statistics about who’s likely to need it (although you should know, surprisingly, 37% of people who need long-term care are 64 years old or younger) or how much long-term care costs (a lot, just check here). Instead, I’m going to let you listen to those who have it talk about why they got it and when. So, let me step out of the way:
To learn more about long-term care insurance and it’s benefits, go here.
If you think YOU don’t need life insurance, then you need to watch this video of a high-school boy, David Leyden, who has advice to the contrary.
He told his single mother, as she lay dying in the hospital, that she could go, and he’d be strong.
Because she had no life insurance, after her death, he and his brother became wards of the state.
His life now is nothing like his mother could ever have wanted. But he’s overcoming his obstacles.
Life insurance isn’t for you. It’s for the ones you love.
We plan, we schedule, we arrange and then … life happens anyway.
Life can happen in frustrating ways—some big, some small, like this one from our Life Happens comedian. Watch his most frustrating moment, which he calls “just like a trip to terrible job fantasy camp.”
We want to hear how life has happened for you, too. Tell us your most amazing, frustrating, embarrassing or inspirational moment, and you could win a $100 giftcard. Entering is easy, just go here.
But before you leave, I’d just like to remind you that life can also happen in tragic ways. And sometimes, our planning does, indeed, help. September is Life Insurance Awareness Month, the perfect time to think about getting the proper amounts of life insurance in case … life happens.
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