National Women’s Health Week is a weeklong health observance coordinated by the U.S. Dept. of Heath and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. It runs from May 8 – May 14 and encourages women to take steps to improve their physical and mental health.
The theme this year is “It’s Your Time!” Some of the steps recommended for better health are getting at least 2 1/2 hours of moderate physical activity, 1 1/4 hour of vigorous physical activity, or a combination of both each week; eating a nutritious diet; visit your health care provider to receive regular checkups and preventive screenings; avoid risky behavior such as smoking and not wearing a seatbelt; and paying attention to your mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress.
These are great steps toward physical and mental health but what about also focusing on your financial health this week. If you are like most women, you are raising or raised your children, building a career or thinking about retirement, caring for your elderly parents, etc. Since women outlive men by 5 years and 2/3 of Americans over 85 are women, women need to be thinking about the steps they can take to improve their financial health as well as their physical and mental health. Women can overlook the need to be proactive to set financial goals, to address issues of incapacity, and to make an estate plan, leaving the decisions to their spouse, children, or worse, a judge.
Some of the aspects of financial health you should consider are:
1. Have you named guardians for your minor children? Nomination of guardians for your minor children can be made in your will or in a separate document.
2. Have you named agents to assist with finances of health care decisions if you become incapacitated? In California these documents would be a Durable Power of Attorney for Finances and an Advance Health Care Directive.
3. Have you considered life insurance, particularly if you are a single mother?
4. Have you prepared a will or a trust that will designate how you want your estate to be distributed upon your death?
5. Have you planned for your retirement?
6. Are you living within your means and have some cash tucked away?
Don’t wait any longer to take steps to improve your physical health, mental health, AND your financial health. At Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation, we can help with the estate planning aspects of financial health. Contact us for a complimentary consultation.