Monday, January 22, 2007


I’m not a big fan of actuarial tables. I know they are useful, but over all of them hangs the notion of death. Because of that, it is like pulling teeth without anesthesia to get me to sit down with the financial planner, all because of the one question: “How long shall we plan to have your money last?” Umm. Forever? Try again. It isn’t even so much the fear of being penniless and homeless. I think (knock wood) we have enough safeguards in place for the “normal” course of events. It’s that creepily superstitious feeling of choosing the date of our deaths for a spreadsheet. Chuck and I are 15 years apart. I’ve always said he has to live to be 115 and I have to live to be 100. Then we die at the exact same moment, asleep in our own bed, our bodies still nestled together the way we have done for all the nights before that one. But the financial planner guy doesn’t know how to lock that into a spreadsheet. And I don’t know where to go to strike that bargain with any higher authority.

I’m fine with the fiscal part of the decision making. Mutual funds, Roth IRAs, diversification, small, mid and large cap investments, saving, and the miracle of compound interest - see, they just roll off the tongue. Sure, I worry about whether or not we’ve chosen the right investment vehicles, but we just do the best we can. The big stumbling block remains, well, death. Be glad blogs didn’t exist during the time we were working with our lawyer to draw up our wills and all the other attendant documents! But we came through that process just fine. Although we never did have to declare the date of our death during that process...

So today we will go to a meeting with a young man who has studied such things and we will lay bare our financial souls. I will try to breathe through any waves of emotion that threaten to overtake me. I will attempt to be detached and clinical. But I know I will still want to answer THE question with: “Forever?” I’ll let you know how it goes.


gerry rosser said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment.

"Forever." I have this theory that nobody really believes they are going to die. Oh, sure, we know we are going to die, but we don't believe it. How can we?

Anyway, hope the planning goes well.

barbie2be said...

thanks for stopping in on my blogging for choice post.

if you are not locked in, you should talk to someone at fidelity. they have plans that will help you make forever happen. they can plan your funds based on when you think you will need them.