Updates and Reviews Crucial to the Planning Process

Jessica Lanning

This comes from what I refer to as “the cobbler’s kids’ file.”  That comes from an old expression that “the cobbler’s kids have no shoes,” which refers to the fact that a busy cobbler will be so busy making shoes for others that he fails to make shoes for his own kids.  It’s a phrase used to express that professionals in any industry are too busy helping their clients to use those skills to help themselves or those close to them.  I don’t want to be one of them.  And, well, I can’t ask my clients to do things that I won’t do myself.  Just doesn’t fly.

Discovering what’s missing and out-of-date

I spent the weekend before my summer vacation fast and furiously finishing all those projects I’ve procrastinated on for the last eight months.  I don’t know what it is about vacation that makes me do this, but there’s nothing like a deadline to get things done, so I did.  They included:

  1. Updating my earthquake kit.  Important, right?  The food, water, and medicines had expired.  The batteries needed replacing.  One of the crank flashlights no longer worked.  The light sticks were outdated (do they expire?).  Not good.  All fixed now.
     
  2. Reviewing my “master binder” of financial, health, and personal documents.  This is a binder with copies of all my important documents in one place.  I agree that the medium is a bit outdated, but so are my husband’s technological skills.  This is the go-to binder for my sister and best friend when they fly in from the East Coast after my death to my distraught family to “take care of my affairs.”  Important, right?  I discovered that two of my life insurance policies had been sold to other companies, so I updated that information with the new companies.  The kids’ information was outdated and their passports expired.  We don’t have an original birth certificate at home just in case.  Not good.  All fixed now.
     
  3. Visiting my safe deposit box.  Now where did I put that key again?  I went to visit, cleaned out old documents, put in new ones, revised my list of contents and updated that for my master binder.  I’m reminded that I need to do a better job protecting my originals from fire and theft.  Not good.  All fixed now.

These things are a pain.  But it feels so good to get them done, whether you are the “financial master” of the household or the one who would need the most hand-holding in case of death or disability of one’s spouse.  The kids got a kick out of tearing open the water packets from the earthquake kit and watering the plants, tasting the outdated “food” (it wasn’t that old, and I’m not sure it’s food), and talking about being prepared in an emergency.  Oh yeah, I guess we should review those fire and earthquake drills, too.

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