February 11, 2008
"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans." The first time I heard that was as a senior in high school. It didn't even make sense to me then - you know, back when I was bulletproof. My, how times have changed.
My father had back surgery late last week. 67 years old and under the knife for the very first time. He was understandably anxious going in, and even more so in his zeal to 'escape' the hospital once it was over. I stayed with he and my mother for a few days to try and help out while the recovery process kicked in.
As is my nature, I asked my dad what he thought the surgery was going to cost. Granted, he has supplemental insurance on top of Medicare, so his out-of-pocket was going to be minimal. Even so, his 3-hour surgery and 1-day hospital stay was expected to top $50,000.
Since he told me that, I've thought a lot about all the unexpected things that can happen to us while we're busy planning our next big family vacation or a friend's 40th birthday party. Car accidents, skiing accidents (been there!), the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job...we never plan on these things happening, but they do.
Although nobody ever expects the unexpected, some are prepared financially to handle it, and some are not. 1 out of every 6 Americans has no health insurance. How would they pay for a $50,000 surgery? Over 42,000 people died in car accidents in 2006. How many families were prepared to deal with that kind of tragedy? 30% of Americans will at some point in their lives be involved in a drunk-driving accident. How can anyone trust the odds that they'll be spared that fate?
The short answer to all these questions is, "they can't". Life is going to happen. To all of us. Even though we can't orchestrate our lives in a way that no bad things ever happen and only good things do, we can prepare ourselves financially for the unexpected. As my dad used to say on our camping trips, "You're guaranteed to go to bed hungry if you count on catching your dinner." In other words, relying on nature's bounty wasn't going to put food in our bellies - best have a backup plan. (in our case, a full cooler)
If you own a note, but aren't financially ready for the curveballs life throws, give us a call. We are happy to discuss your options, whether it be paying a lump sum of cash for your entire note or just a part of it. Life happens to all of us - won't you be secure in knowing you're ready when it does?
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