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Estate Planning And Elder Law Are Stoopid! Only Bad Things Happen When You Plan Ahead!

“You tried your best and you failed miserably.
The lesson is, never try.”

—Homer Simpson


Electrical Excitement Or Deadly Dull

Remember the last time you sprang from bed, vibrantly alive and enthusiastic for the day? Red corpuscles rampaging through your body like a million volt electric current! Excited to get on with the task at hand. Eager, even anxious, for the starting bell. Like a Kentucky Derby thoroughbred pawing the ground, bursting with anticipation… That 5 a.m. Christmas morning feeling, back when you still checked new-fallen snow for reindeer hoofprints. First solo excursion with your new driver’s license… Your first date with that special someone!

Remember that feeling? Pretty great! Now turn it around 180 degrees. Imagine the polar opposite emotions.

Fear. Uncertainty. Dread. Vitality draining away. Muscles going flabby. Thick brain fog setting in. Getting dizzy. Cannot focus.

Suddenly, spring cleaning the garage becomes an existential priority. From a distance, as through a glass, darkly, you hear yourself proposing the impossible: “Hey honey! Let’s go pick out some curtains!” “Can’t we go visit your sister?” “How long has it been since my last colonoscopy?” Gravity irresistably presses you back into your La-Z-Boy. You are frozen more solidly than the Tinman in Oz or Han Solo in carbonite. Immobile.

What is the difference…Progress versus Procrastination, Approach versus Avoidance?

People can get excited about almost anything! Quilting, rodeo, billiards, mountain climbing, hunting, the list goes on…

Is there a Kryptonite for enthusiasm? A reverse-Geritol? Yes! Imagine one subject, a single topic that is Sominex for the Soul, COVID of Conversation. Dampening the liveliest party.

Shutting down any vigorous dialogue. Guaranteed.

Imagine: Estate Planning and Elder Law. Watch your friends’ eyes glaze over! Cure the worst insomnia! Stifle any conversation! Simply start talking about trusts, long-term care, probate, financial security, the next generation… So boring… ZZZzzz…

Are You Opposed To A Comfortable Retirement?
Are You Against Financial Security?
Are You Looking Forward To Nursing Home Poverty?


But does it truly seem as if we are comfortable with failing to plan? Certainly, many folks appear hesitant to take the future seriously. But still.

Do we feel calm and satisfied with ignoring the times to come? Or maybe a little guilty? Isn’t it a difficult dilemma? Everyone tells you to plan. And, deep down, you feel the need. But at the same time, you want to run away screaming.

Perhaps what you need is a knapsack of noise. Diversions. Cagey questions, shifty statements, slippery slopes, equivocal excuses! Banish that Inconvenient Truth with oblique objections.

Sometimes you need convenient, confusing questions. Distractions. Relief from your anxiety and guilt at neglecting adult responsibilities.

You have come to the right place! For 32 years, The Elder Law Reporter has observed many good-spirited, hard-working, conscientious people offer up transparent evasions that would not fool a small child. Sifting through the vast haystack of these lame excuses, we found the golden needles! You need to bob, weave, duck, dive, skirt, shirk, fudge and elude. We can help! Please accept the following fool-proof “reasons” to avoid LifePlanning™ like the plague. As our gift.

Now, the next time your bride/life partner/ conscience says, “Honey, may we please go to a LifePlan™ Workshop and get our ducks in a row?” you will have a snappy comeback. LifePlanning™ Is Unnecessary And A Total Waste Of Time & Money Because:

Aren’t you are always impressed when your brother-in-law leads off with a bold, sweeping, negative statement? You should do the same!

First, in a loud, commanding tone of voice, firmly state: “LifePlanning™ is Unnecessary and a…”

Second, quickly follow with one of these argumentative gems:

#1 … Waste Of Time Because I Am Not Going To A Nursing Home. Ever!

Federal government says 70% of people will need, on average, three years of skilled nursing care services. . Is it ridiculous to think that you might be in that 70%? Or that your spouse would be? Of course it is! No way you will ever need that care. Not for the 3-year average. And when they say that 20% of folks will need care for 5+ years? Ho ho ho. Not for you!

And you may even be correct! 10,000 people every day are hitting the “gateway ages.” Happy Birthday! 10,000 of us are now sixty, sixty-five, seventy… There are not that many “nursing home” beds. So maybe assisted living? Maybe at-home care? Maybe you win the long-term care lottery and die early. There’s a cheerful thought!

#2 … Waste Of Time Because My Children Will Take Care Of Me!

For sure! When we were growing up, everybody had lots of kids. Big families. Many hands make light work. There was a time, quickly passing, when this was the norm. It is what you did for your folks.

But you did not want all those rug rats. You had two. Maybe three. But surely the in-laws will cheerfully lend a hand. As everyone knows, there is nothing your children or son-in-law would like better than to empty your catheter bag. Or colostomy collector. Or wipe your various body parts. In the middle of the night.

And besides, your kids have nothing else to do. No kids of their own. No husband or wife. So there is no way they would ever refuse. No. Way.

How can you be sure? Easy! Your kids remember every birthday, anniversary, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, Easter, New Year. They are not overworked. They have no stress. Is it ridiculous to think that they might have something to do instead of taking care of you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 3 years (on average)?

#3 … Waste Of Time Because I Do Not Have Enough Money!

Do you believe that ignorance is bliss? Would you rather not know uncomfortable facts? Are they right when they say “You can’t handle the truth!” ?

Long-term care is terribly expensive. No kidding. And it is getting worse daily. No joke. And long-term care exhausts lifesavings for hundreds of Michigan families daily. But what happens next? The answer is Medicaid. Medicaid is how America pays for long-term care. And that’s the truth. Who can afford $300/day for care? Who can afford $500/day? Not you. Not me. Not anyone else. And when you are broke, it is Medicaid that pays.

Medicaid is not Medicare. Medicare is insurance you pay for out of your Social Security check. Medicaid is insurance you pay for out of your tax dollars, out of your paycheck and Social Security.

Medicare covers immediate needs. Medicare does not pay for skilled nursing or assisted living or at- home care (except a few days for rehabilitation).

Medicare does not care how much you own or what you own. Medicaid covers long-term care. Medicaid pays for hospital, skilled nursing, assisted living and at-home care. Medicaid does not care how much you own. Medicaid cares about what you own. You can have a $700,000 house. And a $125,000 Ferrari. No problem. But no cash.

Medicaid pays for you to have a shower. Every week. Need it or not. Also pays for you to have a roommate. Do you like roommates? Also pays to wash your clothes. In a huge vat with everyone else’s. That sounds sanitary.

You may not be a Bruce Wayne-style multimillionaire, but you have plenty of money to pay for your own room. And a shower everyday. And to send your laundry out. But not if you spend yourself broke first. Like everyone else does. Like most so-called elder law attorneys advise. Spend-down! Harrumph!

Do you want a roommate, communal laundry, shower a week? Is it ridiculous to think that you could have better? That you have earned better? When your Medicaid “insurance” does the heavy lifting, your lifesavings can be intact to supply the little things. The little things that make all the difference. Is that ridiculous?

Or is it ridiculous to have spent a lifetime doing all the right things. Working hard. Saving. Paying it off. Paying it forward. Taking the overtime.

Clipping the coupons. And now, in sight of the finish line, blowing a lifetime of savings in short order and leaving yourself and your spouse at the mercy of government benefits. Maybe that is what is ridiculous.

#4 … Waste Of Time Because The Laws Will Change!

The sun will come out Tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar That tomorrow There’ll be sun!



Annie was right. The sun will come out tomorrow. The Bible says so too. Ecclesiastes 1:5, look it up. And just as sure as the sun will come up, laws will change. Are you surprised by that? Have you ever been able to use the same tax forms two years in a row? Of course not. So, the laws change, sometimes in strange and unfortunate ways. Are you against adapting to this reality?

Over the last 32 years, thousands of Michigan families have followed the LifePlan™ approach. Would thousands of families still follow LifePlanning™ if it was a failure? Would you recommend your family and friends if it did not work? Neither would anyone else.

Laws change, politicians gotta be political. Does that mean your values change? What if planning were based on the things most important to you, rather than the shifting winds of political gamesmanship?

Three core values are the foundation of LifePlanning™: No Poverty, No Charity, No Waste.

No Poverty. Did you work your whole life to be poor at the end? Are you against getting a small return on the tax dollars you have paid in? Do you like the idea that your end-of-life choices will be dictated by government bureaucrats, regulations, and decrees? Is it ridiculous to think that when your savings are intact, when you have money, you call the tune?

No Charity. Have you always relied on the kindness of strangers? Are you the type who always wants a special deal you haven’t earned? Does it make you happy that people who do not contribute get everything, while the folks who make it happen get nothing? Why shouldn’t the workers get the same deal as the takers? You are not a charity case, you just want a little equal treatment, a little fairness. How did that get to be a bad thing?

No Waste. Are you against leaving the leftovers to your kids? Are you opposed to the kids actually getting what you left them? Even if there was a divorce? Or bankruptcy? Or student loan debt? Or a viral pandemic? Is it ridiculous to think that rich people might have figured out how to securely transfer wealth from one generation to the next?

If rich folks think giving their kids a leg up is a worthy goal, why don’t your kids deserve the same? Even if the dollar amount is much less?

These are the 3 pillars of LifePlanning™. Laws change, values do not. When fundamental values guide decisions, you get consistent results. Solid planning, solid results.

24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
25 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock.
26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand.
27 The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!”

—Matthew 7:24-27

Could you refuse even more great excuses? Of course not!
Here’s a sneak preview of the next five for next week:

#5 … Waste Of Time Because I Only Have A House And An Ira!
#6 … Waste Of Time Because I Hate Medicaid!
#7 … Waste Of Time Because Medicaid Nursing Homes Are Lousy Nursing Homes!
#8 … Waste Of Time Because Medicaid Is For Poor People!
#9 … Waste Of Time Because I Am Not Getting Older, I Am Getting Better!

Is Now A Bad Time For A Real Solution?

Perhaps you already have all the answers. Maybe this is no problem at all. Possibly you do not believe in the passage of time.

Your habits and values have earned you peace of mind and financial security. LifePlanning™ is the easy part. You worked for the peace that only comes with financial security. What is most important? Legal Documents? Avoiding probate. Is that the best you can do? Is family about inheritance? Or are the deeper things most significant?

Is any of this easy? Do you want to get lost in the overwhelming flood of claims and promises? Or would you like straight answers?

Well, here you are. Now you know. No excuses. Get the information, insight, inspiration. It is your turn. Ignore the message? Invite poverty? Or get the freely offered information. To make wise decisions. For you. For your loved ones.

The LifePlan™ Workshop has been the first step on the path to security and peace for thousands of families. Why not your family?

It is not chance. It is choice. Your choice.

Get Information Now.
(800) 317-2812

Simple Questions… That Nobody Asks Until It Is Too Late.

Things Everybody Takes For Granted… But Shouldn’t

Would You Happily Put Your Kids In The Back Seat Of A Pinto?

Eyewitness: “the car exploded “like a large napalm bomb” when it was hit”

Why does anyone plan their estate? Why did you spend all that time and money for a will or trust? If you are like most people, you plan ahead for peace of mind. Sure, the future is uncertain, but we are not helpless. Estate planning and elder law can ensure that our life’s work will serve us. And our families or loved ones. Too bad most planning does not work that way.

What does everybody know about the Ford Pinto? It was a good-looking car. Economical! Popular in the 70’s. Millions sold. But it had an unfortunate tendency to explode on impact, engulfing its passengers in a gasoline fireball. With disastrous consequences for all concerned. Yikes!

I love my 1956 Chevrolet BelAir. Less than 26000 miles on the odometer. All original, from the canvas “carpet” to the radio with tubes rather than transistors. But the dashboard is painted steel, no padding. Seatbelts? Not in 1956. The steering column is solid metal. That ends in a point. Disturbing tendency to turn the driver into a shish kebab in a head-on collision. Airbags not invented yet. Whoops!

I do like to drive my BelAir… it is not a museum piece. But I drive it carefully. Cautiously. Defensively. With my kid in the backseat.

Today’s cars are loaded with airbags, mirrors, collision avoidance systems, backup cameras, beepers, buzzers, bells and whistles. New cars have airbags all over the place. Some slam on the brakes automatically. The Caddy even tightens your seatbelt before a crash. Nothing to worry about. Whew!

Your Estate Plan Is An Edsel

Most estate planning is like the Edsel. Obsolete from the get-go. Answering the wrong questions. And doing it poorly.

The Wrong Goals: Avoid Probate. Save Taxes. Get It to the Kids. These things all happen after you die. But you are not dead yet. Shouldn’t we be a little concerned with what happens before you die? Maybe taking care of you is the best way to take care of them.

How do you feel, loading your kids into the backseat of a 1975 Pinto? Taking them to school. Driving around town. Going to see grandma. Safe? Secure? Or are your eyes locked on that tiny rearview mirror. Fearfully scanning for danger?

Why Is LifePlanning™ Never Obsolete?

LifePlanning™ is not a Pinto. Or a 50’s Edsel. LifePlanning™ is focused on you. On the real concerns that affect you and your family. Incapacity. Dementia.

These dangers are real. Ignore them if you like. At your peril. That is what the Pinto folks did. With explosive results. You can take an outdated, obsolete approach. With an estate plan that has not evolved since the 1950’s. Resulting in Nursing Home Poverty. No choice for you. No legacy for the kids.

LifePlanning™ maximizes the things that are most important to you. We all have to go sometime, but why rush it? Why not remain alert? Independent? Engaged? Aware? In charge? Why shouldn’t your choices matter? Refuse to let others decide “what to do” with you! Reject dependence.

LifePlanning™ gets you the benefits you have earned, while preserving life savings. Not for the kids, but to supplement those earned benefits. Eight thousand dollars a month ($8,000/ month) for assisted living. Fifteen thousand ($15,000/month) for skilled care. Who can afford it? Medicaid is the way America pays for long-term care. Medicaid wants you broke. Medicaid is the government solution.

LifePlanning™ says OK! You earned the government solution. But since when was the government solution adequate? Why did you work? Take overtime? Save and invest? You do not have to settle. You can make your lifesavings work for you while receiving the benefits you earned.

Is A “Pinto” Plan “Good Enough” For Your Spouse And Family? For You? Why Don’t You Deserve “Cadillac” Planning? Is The “Cadillac” Plan Too Good For Your Spouse? Your Family? Why?

Thousands of middle-class families have used LifePlanning™ to get the peace of mind that comes from loading your family into the safest, most comfortable vehicle possible. Without thorough planning you will spend yourself into Nursing Home Poverty. You get what they feel like giving.

Not what you have earned. Not what you want. Not what you deserve. With a whimper, not a bang. Quieter than a flaming fireball of dramatic death, but just as devastating. To you. To your family. Are you really opposed to getting a small return on all the tax dollars you paid in?

Without LifePlanning™ , you are driving a Pinto. Do not have good answers to the questions. No one has your back. Maybe things will work out. Maybe you will get home today. Maybe. Why not be sure? Do you think security is a bad thing?

LifePlanning™ preserves your lifesavings. You never go broke. Your earnings serve you throughout your lifetime. And that means…
You stay home. Longer. You get the help you need, that your spouse needs. Clear-eyed. Relevant. Participating in your own care.

The Choice Is Yours. Does Quality Of Life Matter To You?

We Wasted 2021. See It Through in ‘22!

Last year, the number of regular folks planning their futures dropped. Significantly. Fewer people focused on planning ahead, LifePlanning™. I fear 2021 was a year of wasted opportunity for regular families. Devastating.

Get the information you want. In- person workshops and one-on-one meetings. Recorded and live-streaming webinars. Like you, we have never stopped serving. As you seek out new ways to accomplish your life’s work, we are on the same journey. By your side. Making the rules work for the people who play by the rules.

Sixty minutes to personal control. Now and as long as you wish. Because you earned it. Avoid Nursing Home Poverty. Thousands of middle-class families have learned and use these techniques. Why not yours?

Got Questions? Get Answers!
Get Answers Now… The Call That Changes Your Life…
(800) 317-2812

Come To An In-Person Workshop…
Livestream On-Line And Get Answers
To Your Particular Questions Whatever It Takes To Serve!

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Can The Last Days Be The Best Days?

Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
—Dylan Thomas, 1947

Newsflash: Life Is Not Easy

Don’t we live in a loud, demanding world? Personal and professional responsibilities compete for each moment of attention. Spouse, Children, Parents, Job, Commitments. And you want to do it all. For everyone. To satisfy each person’s need. You run as hard as you can, as fast as you can. Will it be enough? Will you be satisfied with your choices, your decisions? Have you had enough practice with the balancing act? Navigating through conflicting imperatives is second nature to us now, like breathing out and breathing in. Does that make it easy?

Gratitude comes in moments of calm reflection. As you consider your own life, who are your heroes? With whom do you seek to spend time? Business partners? Professional colleagues? Bankers or financial advisors? With whom do we spend the most time? Are our brief moments with loved ones: good friends, grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters, wife, husband, children… are they insignificant? Are personal, intimate experiences and relationships without meaning? Are commercial attachments the most important?

You are an adult. A grownup. You know the truth that younger people seek to deny. You know that: Life is choices. Balance is critical. There are no easy answers. Hard decisions must be made. Family responsibilities are real and must be honored. Obligations to business team members and others who rely on you are genuine, too. You cannot run away from the tough stuff. You cannot pretend it is easy. You cannot wish it away. That is not how the world works. Whatever the storybooks say.

Hold Yourself To Account

When your mother closes her eyes for the last time, will she regret that you did everything possible for her comfort and support in her twilight hours? Or will she wish that you had closed another deal? Taken some more overtime? Kept your nose to the grindstone?

Will your aging father be disappointed that you spent as much time as possible with him and provided well when you could not be at his side? Or will he be distressed that you preferred his companionship to another company meeting?

Having done the very best you can for your loved ones in their time of need, will you feel guilty? You have run the race, fought the good fight, poured yourself lovingly into care for your loved one. You were there when you could be. You provided for care when you could not. Is it ridiculous to think that you could be contented, even quietly proud, while grieving the loss of that special person?

Something Is Gained And Something Is Lost In Living Every Day

Not many World War II veterans are still around. There are a few. Like my father. Winding down a life that stretched almost 97 years. Still “sharp as a tack” he still does things according to his own notions. He has no mental limitations and has never seemed to appreciate his own physical limits. So, my brothers and sisters and I have been taking turns living with Dad, a couple weeks at a time. For years. A couple weeks at a time, sharing the opportunity, so that Dad is never alone. Well, hardly ever.

Recently a checkup revealed a serious progression of congestive heart failure. Not unexpected, not welcome either. So we decided to spend a few more days with Dad. Two of my brothers were already staying there.

On the way to his house, one morning, my brother called to redirect me to the hospital. Dad was unresponsive. The EMTs said his heart had stopped and they put him on an external pacemaker in the ambulance.

Dad woke up in the hospital. And immediately demanded to go home. And rejected the idea of a pacemaker. Which the doctor said was his only chance for continued life. Which Dad firmly refused again. Consistent with earlier statements.

So the doctor got the palliative medicines ready. Turned off the machine. And… Dad kept going without the machine. An astonished doctor said he would not try to explain it and that Dad could go home.

When will that final moment arrive? Not yet. But 8 children, 20 grandchildren, and a couple of new great-grandchildren got one more opportunity to know Dad.

Available Options Are Unacceptable

When my mother suffered from the dementia which led to her death, over 10 years ago, their LifePlan™ preserved 50 years of lifesavings. Mom’s months in the nursing home did not mean Dad’s impoverishment. Dad has spent the last years with security and peace of mind.

But now the limitations of the system have struck home. More profoundly than ever before. Hospice has been wonderful, a Godsend. But Dad now needs round the clock care. No one wants him in a long-term care facility. Least of all himself.

But how to provide care? My family’s solution only works if you had 8 children most of whom could work remotely. And we are not all medical people. We do not know what to do. Or how to do it.

The current situation is simply not acceptable. Dad is ready, willing and able to hire a Certified Nursing Assistant, even an RN. But the demand is so great, they are hard to find. At any price.

Does it seem right to you that the person you have hired to keep watch overnight gets more sleep than you do? Well at least you didn’t wake your caregiver by snoring. As she woke Dad. Twice. As the video shows.

Large families like my father’s are few and getting fewer. There once was something called the “Sandwich Generation”. When your children were willing to care for their own kids and care for you as well. The Sandwich Generation is almost a thing of the past. Not quite gone yet, but…

Over the last 32 years there have been tremendous changes in long-term care. From “Nursing Home or Nothing!” to a wide range of options and choices. From an acceptance that your lifesavings would be quickly eaten up by long-term care costs, to the realization that there are programs that can preserve those savings. For yourself. For your family.

At-home care has changed also. The “friend from church” or “neighbor lady” who could be counted on to help out for $5/hour… gone. She has either retired or been hired at $20/hour by an agency. An agency that charges $40/ hour for caregivers with minimal training and no credentials. “Caregivers” who cannot stay awake.

For 32 years, I have rejected traditional notions of estate planning. Traditional planning is failure planning. My firm pioneered and advocates for LifePlanning™. No Poverty: You will not go broke. No Charity: Your caregivers will get paid. No Waste: Your heirs will get their inheritance.

Maybe it is time to reject traditional notions of at-home care. Are you opposed to living your last days independently in familiar surroundings? Is it a ridiculous idea to expect you could receive cheerful, professional, wide-awake care without a nursing facility? LifePlanningTM™ has always focused on preserving your lifesavings so that your lifetime of work and thrift would continue to serve you until the very end.

But what if the services are not available? What if the money does not matter because the choices for care are so limited? Or not acceptable? Who will fill the gap? Who can you trust? Is now a bad time for a new solution?

Is Now A Bad Time For A Real Solution?

Perhaps you think you already have an answer to this problem. Maybe you do not see this as a problem at all. It is possible that you do not believe in the passage of time or its effects on you.

For many years, that’s how I felt about my father. He seemed to never age. Always the same peppery mix of cutting humor, sentimentality, ferocious attention to detail, and strength. He has not changed in his personality, but he is no longer independent.

My brothers and sisters and I have been privileged to be with him almost the entire time. Without each other, this moment would have come years ago. We have come to terms with the situation. But I am determined that everyone should be able to make good choices.

Peace of mind and financial security are waiting for everyone who practices LifePlanning™. You know that peace only begins with financial security. Are legal documents the most important? Is avoiding probate the best you can do for yourself or your loved ones? Is family about inheritance? Or are these things only significant to support the foundation of your family?

Do you think finding the best care is easy? Do you want to get lost in the overwhelming flood of claims and promises? Or would you like straight answers?

Well, here you are. Now you know. No excuses. Get the information, insight, inspiration. It is your turn. Ignore the message? Invite poverty? Or get the freely offered information. To make wise decisions. For you. For your loved ones.

The LifePlan™ Workshop has been the first step on the path to security and peace for thousands of families. Why not your family?

No Poverty. No Charity. No Waste.
It is not chance. It is choice. Your choice.
Get Information Now. 800-317-2812

New Year’s Resolutions
Safe To Go Back To The Gym?

Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions
From the Home Office in Grand Rapids, Michigan, here are the top ten New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Exercise more
2. Lose weight
3. Get organized
4. Learn a new skill or hobby
5. Live life to the fullest
6. Save more money / spend less money
7. Quit smoking
8. Spend more time with family and friends
9. Travel more
10. Read more


Alert Readers will may notice that LifePlan™ made the list 3 times:
#3 Get Organized,
#5 Live Life to the Fullest,
#6 Save More Money.

New Year’s Resolutions Are Hard!

By now, of course, you have probably can’t remember your New Year’s Resolutions. Forget about trying to actually carry them out. Well, The Michigan Elder Law Reporter is always here to help! Are you against achieving 3 New Year’s Resolutions all at once? Is the beginning of another mad and merry year a bad time to get started? Is it a ridiculous idea to think that attending a LifePlan™ Workshop could be the start of something really big for you and your family?

LifePlan™ Workshop Resolutions Are Easy!

At the top of this page are the Workshop listings. Go. Pick a date and location. Pick up the phone or email us. Or sign up on our website by clicking HERE. Pick up your date. Come to the Workshop. In a few short minutes (60 minutes, but it goes fast) you will have accomplished 3 of the top 10 most popular New Year’s resolutions. And enjoyed some fresh-baked oatmeal raisin cookies, too.

Well, here you are. Now you know. No excuses. Get the information, insight, inspiration. It is your turn. Ignore the message? Invite poverty? Or get the freely offered information. To make wise decisions. For you. For your loved ones.

No Poverty. No Charity. No Waste.
It is not chance. It is choice. Your choice.
Get Information Now. 800-317-2812

Read the Print Version

Are You Against Peace of Mind?
What Is A Will? Probate – Who Cares?
What Is A Trust? Why Do Trusts Routinely Fail?
Why Don’t They Ever Talk About The Real Problem?
Why Are They Misleading You?
Is Now A Bad Time?

American Middle-Class Values Are Universal
The Future Is Middle Class

Sometimes do you feel surrounded by gloomy complainers who think you should be as anxious and angry as they are? At Christmastime, they complain about everything: gift-giving is bad, Christmas dinner is sinfully extravagant, family time is traumatic. Sad. Proof positive that misery loves company.

Gloomy Gus and Miserable Mary take especial twisted delight in accusing you of all manner of wretched, greedy, evil behavior. Your joy in simple pleasures both infuriates and depresses them. They have “issues.” Every glass is half-empty. All emotions are tainted. Lurking beneath each good deed is a selfish and unworthy motive. The pinnacle of their dismal happiness is to accuse America of unique and awful sin. COVID responses have only deepened their malaise.

What rubbish! Just as your (vaccinated!) immune system rapidly isolates and destroys deadly viruses and bacteria, we need to inoculate ourselves against this deeply stupid and self-destructive whining. Childish and immature? Yes. Infantile and unserious? Definitely. That does not mean we can ignore this injurious infection. Sunshine is the best disinfectant!

Is everything bad and getting worse? Are you an awful person? It is easy to observe that throughout human history, humans have wanted the same things. Why do they ridicule the notion that we are all the same underneath?

You spent a lifetime working and saving. You paid your bills. You raised your kids. You showed up. Nose to the grindstone. Happy warrior. Fighting the good fight.

Lucky for you, you are an American. Being an American means that your efforts count. You can get stuff. And keep it. And enjoy it. Some people like snowmobiles. Other people like Precious Moments™ figurines. Bowling balls and pool cues. Snap-on Tools™. Surf boards. Quilts. Pottery. We like our stuff. It is good to get stuff. The more stuff, the better.

Abundance. Prosperity. Wealth.

How do I know that it is good to get stuff? Look around. Everybody, in every country, around the world, is trying to get stuff. Stuff like yours. Stuff we take for granted.

It starts with sanitation. Toilets. Clean water. Pretty soon folks want electricity. And a bank account. For their savings. Then cell phones. Then McDonald’s™ hamburgers. Then a place to call their own. Then a house. And a car. Health care too. People like to live. They like to live with their stuff. It’s not just you.
Everybody’s doing it.

How do I know? Glad you asked…

Extreme Poverty Almost Gone

The world is becoming middle-class. America just got there first. Not getting blown up in WWII probably helped. Working really hard and believing the America Dream also helped. And now, according to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in the 2020 Goalkeepers Report, the world is catching up.

Worried about Extreme Poverty? It is practically a thing of the past. Look at the graph. Go to the website. All good news!

Got Personal Hygiene?
Get Running Water and Toilets…

What about safe water? Again, check out the chart. More people than ever are living healthier lives. Who knew that things were so good? The truth is that other folks want the same things you do. And, like you, they are willing to work to get those good things. Is it ridiculous to think that other people want flush toilets, clean water, and a place to wash their hands? Did you think anyone was choosing to wash in sewage?

financial services for the poor chart

Who Needs Banks and Banking Services The Most? Poor Folks

And what about money? Once again, trust your own eyes. Even in the poorest countries. Even the poorest people in those countries. 30% of the poorest people in the world have bank accounts. A safe place to store the fruits of their labors. Giving them a way out of poverty. Promising them a brighter future.

The job is not done. Not by a long stretch. Be of good cheer. Progress is tough to derail. Not even the COVID pandemic or some of the hysterical reactions to it have significantly slowed the train. So. Let the nattering nabobs of negativism tell you how bad everything is… Then give them a reality check. Pow! Right in the kisser. Metaphorically. Rhetorically. Confidently.

The future is middle class.

Middle class folks want to make things better for the family members they leave behind. It is a new kind of problem for most people. Including most Americans.

You Got Stuff, You Die Who Gets Your Stuff?
The Last Will and Testament

Funny thing about stuff. It lasts longer than you do. What happens then? The answer to that question is the beginning of estate planning. For a very long time, only the pashas, potentates and princes had anything worth having. But that began to change. Slowly at first, but eventually lots of folks had stuff that was still around after they were gone and still useful.

Who gets it? That was a big problem. The answer was a new kind of court, the probate court. A special place where all this could be settled out.

Along with getting stuff for themselves, folks wanted to give the next generation a leg up. They wanted to say who would get the left-overs. And that’s where wills come in.

Your Last Will and Testament is simply instructions to the probate court. That is it. Your Will only works if it goes through probate. Lots of people will tell you, “I don’t have to worry about probate, I have a Will!” And now you know better.

How much does it cost to probate your leftover stuff? A frequently cited number, attributed to AARP, is 4-10% of the value of the estate. That seems about right to me.

Why so expensive? Because you left a big mess. While you are alive, your name is on your stuff. You are large and in charge. It is as if you were carrying items around in a store. In your arms. As long as you are steady on your feet… no problem. But if you slip and fall… Whoops! There goes all the stuff you were carrying. And now you have made a big mess. You were in complete control of your stuff. Now nobody is in control. Stuff goes flying. Good luck sorting it out. Nice easy job, cleaning up the mess.

But cleaning up the mess is exactly what the probate court does. The probate court is a janitor. Your will is simply a note found in the mess. Let’s hope the janitor finds the note. And reads it. And follows it. And is not distracted by everything else going on…

Probate is not a curse inflicted on innocent people by a vengeful deity. Probate is the necessary and unavoidable consequence of the rise of the middle class. Together with a failure to plan ahead.

You Got Stuff, You Die Who Gets Your Stuff? The Trust

Is it ridiculous to think that most people would rather not lose 4-10% of their leftover life savings? Are you opposed to keeping what you have earned? Maybe then avoiding probate would be a good idea. Are you against finding better ways to get the job done? I didn’t think so…

That’s where the trust comes in. Trusts hold your stuff, like a shopping cart at the store. You are in control.

Put things in. Take things out. Re-arrange. It is all up to you. The key is that when you “slip and fall”, your possessions are in the cart. Sure, you went flying. Call the EMTs! But your stuff remains in the shopping cart/ trust. No fuss. No muss. Nothing for the janitor to do. Your successor trustee steps up and divvies up the stuff to your deserving and grateful family members. What could be easier? Are you surprised that trusts are so popular?

The Huge Dirty Secret of Trust-Based Planning

Is it ridiculous to think that a highly profitable industry based on cleaning up messes might want to go on cleaning up those messes? Can continue collecting those fees? If you were collecting 4-10% of folks’ leftover lifesavings, would you be in a rush to cut off that gravy train? Is it bad to wonder why 90+% of trusts fail? Is it cynical and ill-natured to wonder whether the astonishing failure rate of trusts has anything to do with probate industry profits?

Why do trusts fail harder than the Wizard of Oz? The simple reason, which is well-known to your banker, insurance agent, financial advisor, attorney, and anyone else with the slightest familiarity, is that hardly anything gets into the shopping cart.

You paid for a bright and shiny new trust/shopping cart. And that is what you received. It is beautiful! Leather binder. Lots of pages. Wow! And it is empty. And you are still carrying all those items around in your arms. So when you slip and fall… oopsie! All your stuff STILL goes flying, STILL makes a huge mess, STILL requires probate.

How Do They Get Away With Such Piracy?!

How does the probate industry get away with it? Simple. In that fancy binder of yours, there is a memorandum/ letter/instruction booklet/ brochure. In that document, the responsibility of getting your stuff into your trust is placed squarely on your shoulders.

Did you know that? Would it be a waste of your time to, right now, dig into that fancy binder and find that memo? It is in there, I promise.

The memo is how the probate industry turns your kids’ righteous indignation at having to pay for probate into sheepish surrender. It was Mom and Dad’s fault! They did not follow the instructions! Aww gee! Heh heh… betcha ya didn’t see that coming!

What if there was a law firm that did the hard work of tracking down your assets with you and getting them into the trust. Would you be surprised if the process took longer? Would it be a shock that it cost more? Would you be against getting what you paid for?

Would you be surprised to learn that there is no free lunch?

American Middle-Class Values
Are The Wave Of The Future

Do you reject the idea that a rising tide lifts all boats? Is it too farfetched to think that today’s “rising tide” are the peaceful virtues of the middle-class lifestyle? Rapidly spreading across the globe. Raising hundreds of millions, billions of our sisters and brothers out of poverty. On to the path for a better life.

Our better future has its enemies. Craven, miserable, alive only with jealousy and envy. You extend the helping hand of friendship; they see only the claw of exploitation. You offer to help build, construct, improve, they seek only to tear down, demolish, devastate.

You are winning. Ever more desperate, they are losing.

Peace of mind and security are waiting for everyone who embraces productive work. While you are here. And after you are gone. Waiting for you. You have a choice. Despite what “everybody else” says.

Well, here you are. Now you know. No excuses. Get the information, insight, inspiration. It is your turn. Ignore the message? Invite poverty? Or get the freely offered information. To make wise decisions. For you. For your loved ones.

No Poverty. No Charity. No Waste. It is not chance. It is choice. Your choice.

Get Information Now. 800-317-2812