Suzanne speaks with Phillip George, an elder law and estate planning attorney from Safe Harbor Legal Solutions at 360-746-7169. As we get close to 2022, it’s time to talk about some key issues. No matter if you’re 45 or 95, one of the most daunting issues is starting retirement planning. This segment focuses on why it’s important to star retirement planning and to set goals. An elder law attorney specializes in helping people create plans as well as helping people if a crisis has struck. Planning ahead of time makes everything so much easier, both for you and your family — so do it for your family.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
Is it time for someone else to do the work for you? At Care Partners, our job is to prepare meals, do housekeeping and care for our senior residents. Our Network of fifteen vibrant senior living communities covering western Washington and Spokane offers independent, assisted living and memory care options. Care Partners is the best choice for senior living needs because we deliver quality care at an extremely affordable price. Let us do the work and you relax. Visit Care Partners Livingcom. The following podcast is provided by an approved senior care provider on the answers for elders radio network. And welcome everyone to answers for elders radio. As we are here in the month of November and we’re looking kind of down the just down the scope here. We only have just about six weeks left, believe it or not, of two thousand and twenty one and as a result, we move into January where obviously, obviously you know, laws are changing, things are happening, and so it’s really important for us at answers for elders radio to take the time and talk about some really key issues and you know, we’ve had great, great opportunities to do that this year and one of the things that I’m really excited about today to all of our listeners is this applies to every single one of you, whether you’re forty five or seventy five or ninety five. And I would like to introduce to all of our listeners Mr Philip George and Phil. You are an elder law and estate planning attorney from safe harbor legal solutions and fell welcome to the show. I Susanna, I appreciate you having me. It’s good to be here. Well, we’re glad you’re here because there’s a lot of questions you can answer and I would say probably one of the most daunting issues with with our listeners when they call us or contact us and answers for elders, is like, you know, I don’t even know where to start, I don’t know what kind of situations I’m into, and a lot of times families are in crisis and they haven’t taken care of issues, key issues. So you know, obviously a lot of these things, with preparation, can really happen up front, and so you know, I I’m really thrilled that we’re just going to talk in this first segment a little bit about why is it important to prepare? And the answer should be obvious. But I think there’s more things than we really realize, isn’t there? We really are Susan, you know a lot of people they when they think about retirement planning, like you said, they’re not sure where to start. They’re not sure who to go to, they’re not sure, they’re not exactly sure what they should be doing. They’ve got no idea that something should be done, but they’re not exactly sure where to start. And you know, I understand that a lot of times people don’t want to see attorney’s unless unless something bad has happened. Right if you’ve gotten in a car accident, you know you need to see an attorney. But if it’s planning that years and years and years out there, it’s hard itself to do it. And as an elder law attorney, and I know you’re familiar with this, but for folks that aren’t, and every law attorney specializes in two things. One it’s to help people create plans and the other is to really help people if a crisis has struck, if they need to jump onto governmental assistance like Vair, Medicaid and and I have to tell you and I know that you already know this, but planning ahead of time makes everything’s so much easier, not just for you but for your family. And and what I’ve really learned over these years is that when people are putting these types of plans together, they’re not doing it for themselves right walking it for themselves, they’re doing it for their families. It’s your family is going to be the one that has to talk to the doctor or the bank. The family is going to be the one that has to deal with the housing situation figure out how to bring you back home, and so you’re really doing this for your family and I would say if you’re looking for a push, if you’re looking for a reason to kind of just go out there and and actually do it this year, I would say do it for your family. You know, I’ve talked to just several people over the last year and it seems like we kind of as a society, have been jumping from one crisis to another, whether it’s, no kidding, yeah, it you know, financial upheaval, fiercely contested political contest, the whole thing. And what I tell people when they ask, is that if you really want to help your family avoid another crisis. Do this type of planning early, set things up ahead of time. It’s going to in the long run, it’s going to cost you a lot less financially and it’s going to cost your family a lot less emotionally if you can do this early. Well, and I also would would be remiss if I didn’t bring up the fact that a lot of times people think, well, I want to lose control. It’s like no, if anything, your desires are going to be honored if you have them written down, you have, you know, your healthcare directive to somebody that you trust. If you don’t have those, you know, lined up, what can happen on the opposite end is, you know, you can lose, you know, a your ability to choose, and that’s the challenge with a lot of things. It’s like the best way not only that you can do things, things for your family, but also honoring your own wishes and, you know, making sure that your dignity is intact, and I think that’s really a key part of this. And isn’t that so important? You know, as as Americans, we so value our independence and we so valuable ability to make our own decisions, and you know, this is really one of those situations. If you don’t write down how you want things to work, if you don’t go through the process of figuring out how you want things to go, when something happens to you, I got to tell you, somebody else figure it out for you and I hate room for those and it that’s where that’s where it ends up, is the court. Yeah, end up messy. Yeah, so, Phil when you meet with the family, I guess what? What? What are your primary object when are you know, objective, objective when you meet with a family for the first time? So my perfect objective when I meet with a family for the first time is to really determine what their goals on right and usually so I’m going to just speak about mom and dad as the clients and then we speak about, you know, the kids and the peripheral people in the family. But with mom and dad it’s really what are your goals? What do you want to what do you want to to achieve? So I’ll ask the kids to lead just so I can have a second to talk with mom and dad privately make sure that they want to be there first of all, because a lot of times Bush but figure out exactly what they want to achieve and and how they want things to look ideally, and then I will bring the kids back in and we’ll start talking in a kind of a more will start talking in more detail about how to actually achieve those things. But initially it is it’s it’s being able to define what you want your life to look like in is it it I want to stay in my home until the very end? Is it I would like to move into a retirement community if something happens to my husband? Isn’t I would like to live with my children in the future? or Or is it I would want, you know, one of my my nieces or nephews to make decisions for me instead of one of my own kids, because I don’t want to cause fights in the family. All those things are so important to flesh out again time so that you can avoid those big fights with your family if you don’t have those in place, especially with families that are contentious, which you you know, sadly that is very much the case these days, and so you know siblings can have rivalry, they can have issues with each other and that can cause dissension with everything. But if you have everything laid out, I know, and and here’s the other think piece of it that I remembered distinctly when my mother was dying, and this is, you know, my personal story, but the two doctors came to me and said she sam we need to talk to and they took me out in the hall and they said here’s your options. Okay, as your mother’s power of attorney, you know, you could keep her on oxygen and it and but she can’t eat any more food because she’s lost her ability to swallow. She was, had had a massive heart attack. She was, you know, not going to make it out of bed. She was up to high levels of oxygen at this point and basically what they said is we can keep her alive for, you know, probably two or three weeks, yeah, or we can initiate comfort care and she can go quietly and peacefully and she’ll go probably die within the next couple days. And I remember being faced with that decision. You know, number one, she couldn’t eat any food. She’d be hooked up to a feeding tube. Yes, she’d be able to talk to us and have the dialog, but what quality of life would it have been at the in her last days? And I just felt this was up to me to make that decision, and every family is different. I made the choice to initiate the comfort care because I felt like her quality of life was more important to her, because I was her advocate. I she in trusted me to make that decision. But it was a huge, monumental decision. But I will tell you something. The reason why I felt comfortable making that decision was because mom and I had had that uncomfortable conversation years before. You know, don’t make me, you know, lay there as a vegetable, you know, don’t make me do these things. And I, you know, I remember hearing those words when I made that decision and that was the comfort and the confidence that I had to make that decision, that I don’t feel guilty down the road. And so when you’re talking about a family like this, this is an amazingly powerful situation because I will tell you, you know, when I had to make that decision, there were other family members saying, oh, but what if she wants to talk to people, what if she wants to do things, because I had everybody’s chiming in, you know, and and I just remember that so distinctly. So I’m sure you find that, like you said, you talked to the senior first and then you bring the family members in. So obviously those are all everybody’s on the same page. Is that correct? And they have to be. And so you know, I’m I’m we were talking beforehand and I’m also on the board of directors for the welcome Hospice Foundation up here and I see for you to talk about it. And you know, families trying to decide at the last minute and if you really want to ease the burden on your family as you get older and is you approached a time that’s going to come for all of us, those uncomfortable conversations with your family help them make those decisions. Don’t put your family in a position where they have to say, okay, you know, it’s it’s I want my mom to now be put on comfort care without having had that conversation with them first. Don’t put them in a position where they’re going to spend the next several years of their life thinking back on that situation and wondering if they’ve done right. You know, you really really help them by just having these conversations earlier. Just have these conversation. Communication is everything, absolutely, it’s yeah, yeah, so you do seminars, do you not? And helping helping people understand, you know, the objectives that they need to do and talking about setting goals. Do you know? I do. We have seminars on a monthly basis where we basically help people look at retirement planning in a different way and we’ll obviously continue talking about about kind of different ways to plan, but helping families again plan in a different way to help them. Yeah, well, and so in the meantime, how do our listeners reach you, phil that’s perfect. You can reach me. You can go to my website at www dot safe legal solutionscom. You can reach me on the phone at three s zero seven, four, six, seven, hundred and sixty nine, and I can zoom anywhere in the state. Well, we are very excited to have you and in our next segment everyone Philis going to be with us for the hour. He is an elder law attorney license in the state of Washington. He can help your families set those, you know, those goals and things in a retirement plan. And maybe there’s some other issues that you need to have, like qualifying for Medicaid, veterans aid and attendance benefits. All of those different things. That’s what he’s here for, and so he will be with us in our next segment is we’re going to talk about goals. What are the goals that you primarily need to set up and how do we work them? Coming up right after this we at answers for elders. Thank you for listening. Did you know that you can discover hundreds of podcasts in our library on senior care? So visit our website and discover our decision guys. That will help you also navigate decision making. Find us at https://answersforelders.com/
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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne Newman found herself on a 6-year journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including Health & Wellness, Life Changes, Living Options, Money, Law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.
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