Thursday, September 24, 2009
It's incredible how many men put off or just plain refuse to see their doctor about their prostate! Prostate Cancer kills more men in Australia than Breast Cancer kill women and yet we still refuse to talk about it.
Today I found out that one of my staff members has just had a family member diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 39. In her family alone 6 men have been diagnosed with it over the last 10 years and 2 have died.
Guys, this is real - there is no escape from it, you need to start having a PSA test from about the age of 35 if you have a family history and about 45 if not.
The women in our lives go through much worse in order to keep an eye on their health from being probed and squished by all sorts of contraptions. It's just a blood test & could save your life!
So go on what are you, a man or a mouse! Get to your doctor this week and get checked.
Have a good weekend
Thursday, September 3, 2009
- In Australia the average life expectancy is now 81.4 years.
- In the last 12 months 116,000 couples were married, but over 47,000 were divorced.
- 10% of Australian workers are currently unable to work due to a disability or illness.
- 1 in 5 Australian adults will suffer from mental illness.
- 7.4 Million Australians are overweight.
- 100% of Australians will DIE!
I know, it seems like such a morbid thought but like the saying goes "There are only two certainties in life - Death & Taxes". It is funny though that something that is so certain makes us so uncomfortable to discuss with our loved ones, yet we all will have to face our own mortality sooner or later (later I hope)!
Most of us have seen the Will kit ads or the funeral plan and life insurance ads and even ads for the local funeral home. If you are like me they make you feel a little uncomfortable - like it is their personal responsibility to remind us all that death must conquer all. Just as I am getting comfortably deluded that my happy life will go on forever just as it is - proves that insurance salesman are human after all!
Our natural aversion to thinking about our own death often means we a unprepared and leave a mess for our families to deal with after we are gone. This is why it is important to consider Estate Planning.
WHAT IS ESTATE PLANNING
Estate Planning is planning for the process of passing on our assets and possessions to our beneficiaries and planning for their future with out you. It involves creating a Legal Will that reflects the wishes of how you would like your assets distributed and a Financial Plan that ensures your wishes can be met. If you are a business owner there are a whole lot of other issues that also need to be considered such as succession of the business and how any debts will be paid.
WHAT IS A WILL
A will is a legal document that sets out who received your assets after you die. It may also include your wishes regarding your funeral arrangements and appoint a guardian for any dependents under 18 years of age left without a parent. Your solicitor can help you draft a legal will and if necessary will work with your financial advisor to make sure the appropriate structures are in place to carry out those wishes.
THINGS TO CONSIDER IN ESTATE PLANNING
Have you considered your family's need for immediate funds following your death?
Does your estate have sufficient funds to meet your family's future income needs?
Does your estate have sufficient funds to clear any accrued debts?
Do you need to consider personal risk insurance to fund any short fall in your estate to meet your wishes?
Do you have a current and effective Will?
Have you chosen a responsible and trustworthy executor?
Have you considered the timing of the distribution of funds?
Have you taken steps to minimize the risk of you will being challenged?
Have you appointed guardians for your children?
Have you decided who to grant powers of attorney to?
Have you identified capital gains or any other tax issues?
Have you considered whether certain beneficiaries should receive an income stream as opposed to a lump sum?
Does the trust deed of your superannuation fund pay your beneficiaries a lump sum or a pension?
Do you need to make a binding death nomination to ensure your superannuation benefits pass to your intended beneficiaries?
Have you considered if you want to protect your assets if your spouse remarries after your death?
Have you allocated special bequests for valuable items such as jewellery and family heirlooms?
Have you noted any special arrangements, such as care for a disabled child or a child from a previous relationship?
Have you considered how your business or business partnerships will survive you?
As you can see Estate Planning is much more than just a Will. Most people are suprised by just how long this list is, but it is important to think about all of these things and to seek qualified professional advice from your solicitor and financial planner.
It is unfortunate but many family feuds have started with the death of a loved one who had no estate planning or an inadequate will. If you really love your family then take the time to make plans. Dealing with the death of a loved one is hard enough without all the worry and uncertainty.
Please remember this is intended for general information purposes only and should not be construed as financial, taxation or legal advice. Before acting on the basis of this information, you should consider the appropriateness to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. I recommend that your obtain qualified legal advice.