Planning for the Future
Considering and trying to be prepared for all possible outcomes.
Editor's Note: While this columnist is no longer writing for dLife.com and we have ceased to update the information contained herein, there is much to be read here that is still applicable to the lives of people with diabetes. If you wish to act on anything you learn here, be sure to consult your doctor first. Please enjoy the column!
November 2009 — Now that it appears we are slowly coming out of the American economy's recession, the focus of our household has changed. No longer are we concerned about where we will receive health insurance or if we will need to make hefty COBRA payments, as Greg's job is quite stable these days. No longer are we concerned about income loss should I lose my job, as we have built up our savings by living fairly cheaply the past year.
So we recognize that now is our time to start thinking long-term goals and plans, especially as we enter our mid-thirties and past the immaturity of our youth. Diabetes weighs heavily on these goals and plans.
Currently, I am in pursuit of developing a full freelance writing career. That will mean less income, which means there's that pesky health insurance thing again. Because of that, it would benefit us if I find something part-time to keep up on accounting skills should I need to seek out a full-time job with benefits again in the future.
The future. It could mean complications from diabetes. As much as we hope it will not, we still need to think about them. Where would our income come from if Greg, our primary breadwinner, were to become unable to work?
Life insurance is hard to come by with diabetes. It is not impossible, but we choose to invest in order to save money for the future. It doesn't have to be risky to invest, even in this still shaky economy.
And like I said, there is always the possibility that I would be able to return to the formal workplace setting, though I would not match his income entirely. Obviously, any complications I might encounter would be less devastating on our income. No matter to whom it would happen, medical bills from complications could eat away at our savings.
Not only do we need to make sure that we plan for our financial future with possible disability, we need to take care of legal matters. We have never signed wills or living wills, a task that I'm almost embarrassed to admit to our friends who already have done so.
Still, with diabetes looming over our heads, and with the financial matters that could arise from complications, it is important now to take care of these things. And if we can add planned giving for our preferred diabetes research organizations to our wills, so much the better.
If our financial and legal futures are healthy, the most we can hope for is that we never have to tap into the plans we make now for our lives ahead with diabetes. That we will be sitting across the dinner table from each other, celebrating our fiftieth wedding anniversary retired and complication-free.
(Now if only we could be guaranteed our five cats would all be around in another forty-two years, too…)
Read more of Rachel's columns.
dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
In junior high school, I'd gotten my hands on one of my father's old English books and read a story by Nathaniel Hawthorne, "The Great Stone Face". The story is based on the natural mountain/rock formation in New Hampshire of the same name (you can see an image of it on New Hampshire state quarters). In the story, there was a legend that the person whose face looked like The Great Stone Face would be "the...