Have You Thought About Your Digital Afterlife?

Close to 90 percent of American adults are connecting to the internet, and in the process they are accruing a vast number of digital assets. This can include files (e.g., emails, photos, videos and documents) as well as accounts (e.g., financial, business, social media, email, retail shopping and cloud storage). Yet many Internet users have not thought about what will happen to their digital estates when they die or are no longer capable of managing them. Why internet users should …

5 Questions I Wish I Had Asked Before They Died

I’m a caregiving expert, with more than 30 years of experience in the field of aging, so you’d think I’d be fully prepared for a loved one’s death, especially when that person is older or has been battling illness. Yet even for me, death caught me by surprise. My mom died a year and a half ago; my oldest sister, Karen, just a few months ago. I’ve had my hands full with caregiving for many years, but there are so many …

It’s August, So It Must Be Make-a-Will Month

So August is National Make-a-Will Month. Who knew? Getting a will isn’t the most pleasant of tasks, and consequently, too few people do it. A recent survey of more than 2,000 people by the online legal service Rocket Lawyer found that 64 percent don’t have wills. The biggest reason cited by folks: They just never got around to it. Some said they didn’t want to think about death. You might believe that only wealthier families need a will. You’d be …

Silence Could Be Costly in Family Financial Planning

Parents and their adult children say they want to have honest conversations about finances and retirement issues, but they just don’t agree on when to talk, according to a survey released today by Fidelity Investments. And when these discussions do eventually occur, they often don’t get down to the details needed for proper financial planning, the Boston-based investment firm found. Lauren Brouhard, senior vice president of retirement at Fidelity, urges families to bite the bullet and talk – before parents retire …

Is Marriage More Loving, or Boring, in Retirement?

Is marriage more boring or more fulfilling in retirement? (Hint: It’s better than you think.) Do spouses in blended families have different financial priorities for their own children than for their stepchildren? These were some of the questions that 5,415 people were asked in a study called “Family & Retirement: The Elephant in the Room.” Folks weighed in about their hopes and fears when they retire, whether they’d sacrifice their own financial security to help their adult children now, and …

Family Affairs: Do Your Kids a Favor

This is a guest post by Bart Astor. The other day I saw an ad with the headline, “Do your kids a favor.” It went on to say, “You checked for monsters under her bed, sent her to the best school, and helped her buy her first car. Now, do her one more favor.” That favor involves making plans in advance and communicating your wishes to your children. The ad, for a funeral home, takes a subject people don’t like …