The Investment Scientist

Posts Tagged ‘death

ImageA few days ago, my wife came home telling me the story of a sweet old lady she had met at her army clinic.

She is a 75 year old lady from Thailand, married to an American veteran for 40 years. Her husband just passed away a few months ago at the age of 92.

She couldn’t stop telling my wife how much she missed her husband, that he had married her despite the fact that she was a divorced woman with kids and that she could barely speak English. She went on and on about how he had treated her like a queen, buying her all the pretty things women like and so on and so forth.

Now everytime she passes by her husband’s picture, she still cries; and yet the memory of her husband is all she’s got left, now that she has no income and the home she has lived in for 40 years is being foreclosed.

What happened?

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ImageI bet you didn’t know that this week, the third week of October, is … drum roll please … National Estate Planning Awareness Week!

Seriously! Congress established it in 2008 in House Resolution 1499.

I only know this after getting an email from my estate planning attorney friend. I think you should read it as well.

According to the resolution passed by Congress, “Many Americans are unaware that lack of estate planning and financial illiteracy may cause their assets to be disposed of to unintended parties by default through the complex process of probate.” The resolution goes on to state that “careful planning can greatly assist Americans in preserving assets built over a lifetime for the benefit of family, heirs, or charities.”

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ImageMy wife came home very sad today.

A colleague of hers got a call from her son’s teacher. He had come up to her to complain about chest pain when he suddenly collapsed right there in front of her.

My wife’s colleague ran to the emergency room only to find that her son was already pronounced dead. Doctors there couldn’t figure out how this could have happened to a healthy ten year old.

The child’s mother had refused to give up and gave CPR to her lifeless son for an hour until his rib cage nearly cracked.

My wife and her colleague used to swap stories about their respective children regularly and this son was the one she talked about most often. Now he is gone.

I don’t know her, but my heart is overwhelmed by sadness and I am reminded yet again that money and material trappings mean nothing. Life alone is the real treasure.


Author

Michael Zhuang is principal of MZ Capital, a fee-only independent advisory firm based in Washington, DC.

Twitter: @mzhuang

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