Originally Posted by Gabieta
Friar, During this time, I have worked with several survivors. While the emotional side of this issue is always heartbreaking, there are no words to explain when the financial side leaves the survivor in dire straits. . .
Eight months ago a good friend/neighbor died suddenly of a stroke. He's retired military, so unfortunately we had a front-row seat to the entire casualty-assistance process. Even when it goes well it's miserable.
It turned out that one of his duties was to fill out paperwork and make customer-service phone calls for his spouse. His adult son (active-duty military) stepped in to take that duty for his mom. Unfortunately he was then deployed to Afghanistan, so now I'm the designated adult male temporary admin support. And even when it goes well, it's miserable.
The son will be back from Afghanistan in another month or two, and heaven help any civil-service employee who hasn't finished the claims process by then. But it's all been a very thought-provoking eight months for me & spouse, with lots of what-if discussions. I've been informed that if I leave my spouse a young widow... she'll kill me. So now I exercise a lot and eat healthy (and sleep with one eye open).
When I retired, it looked as though our savings and my pension would cover everything. Today that looks better than ever. Spouse expected to retire to a military pension, too, so she declined my survivor benefits. Then she did a bit better with the last few years of her career than either one of us had ever anticipated, so when her Reserve pension starts in 2022 it'll be ~50% more than mine. If I was to kick off tomorrow she'd still have enough savings (and SS survivor's benefits) to bridge the gap until her pension. After that she's set for life.
Ironically my father's monthly pension/SS is not much less than my current military pension. Depending on how long-term care shapes up over the next decade, we may be able to self-insure ourselves... my pension for my semi-private room in a budget accommodation (much like my submarine duty) and her pension for a deluxe private suite.
Originally Posted by Danmar
Not yet but I will have to stay on my toes. She would make a very attractive, wealthy, widow.
I wonder what ads she gets from the Early-Retirement.org server when she's reading these forums...
Originally Posted by W2R
Yes, I need to see a lawyer and get a will drawn up. It will be very simple; $X to Frank and the rest to Christina. I wanted to just use one of those willmaker computer programs, but almost all say in the fine print that they don't make Louisiana wills. Louisiana has very weird laws because they are based on Napoleonic code.
I was waiting until after the move to Missouri to so that I could do it myself with one of those computer programs, but now that we are probably staying here I guess I have to spring for an actual lawyer to draw up a will.
FWIW you may still want to chug through Intuit's Willmaker (or something similar). It'll ask you a bunch of questions on your own time, and you can craft a will that works for your preferences. You can work at your own pace and research all the questions as much as you want without the pressure of the lawyer's clock ticking away at $250/hour. Then you can take the finished product to your lawyer, and you'll be ready with answers to the same questions while he's translating your English will into Napoleonic