Why You Need to Have a Long Term Plan


Planning for the futureI am a planner.  Planning ahead has always served me well so I simply stick with what works.  It makes me feel more secure to go in to any situation having considered all the options.  At this point, planning ahead has simply become habit.  This goes for little things such as throwing a jacket in my kids’ camp bag in case it should rain to taking all necessary provisions to make sure that they would be taken care of in case something were to happen to us. 

So while I am not yet at the age when that first AARP magazine will hit my mailbox, I was eager to be a part of their kitchen cabinet for their “Decide.Create.Share.” initiative on long-term planning.  It is geared towards women of all ages to instill the importance of planning for the future.

Long-term planning is not exactly a glamorous topic, but it is an important one.  It is also one that women should take on since we live 5 to 10 years longer than men on average.  Because of that, we should know how we will spend our years of living in retirement. We also want to ensure that should anything happen to us suddenly, we have everything taken care of for our families.

The 40 Day Pledge

The 40 Day Pledge is a simple, secure, easy-to-use guide that will help you plan for your future in 40 days.  This ongoing program will guide you through seven key steps to assess your current living situation, create a long-term care plan and share your plans with your loved ones.  When you take the pledge you will have the opportunity to think about your finances, your health, your home and your personal wishes for the future.

Here are just some of the items covered in the 40 Day Pledge:

  • determine how much money you need today and the typical rate of increase in investments you would need to cover future costs
  • compare your estimated monthly expenses, monthly income, and accumulated savings during retirement
  • create a living will, health care power of attorney, financial power of attorney, and a letter of instruction
  • let others know where to find your important documents

Have you done any long-term planning yet?  How are you taking control of your future?  Does the 40 Day Plan sound like the opportunity you need to stop thinking about planning and start doing it?

I would love to hear your thoughts.  Like I said, I am a planner.  Yet there is very little conversation around long-term planning happening.  Let’s make it a less taboo, less scary, and less overwhelming topic by starting the dialogue now.

For more information, visit www.decidecreateshare.org or www.facebook.com/decidecreateshare.  You can also follow the conversation on Twitter at #40DayPledge or by following www.twitter.com/dcswomen.

40 Day Pledge

Disclosure: As mentioned, I am a proud member of the blogger kitchen cabinet for AARP’s Decide.Create.Share. initiative on long-term planning. As such I have been compensated for writing this post.


  1. I am going to send this to my parents they have GOT to get their living will and such in order. My husband and I have a will, we did it prior to our first child being born. However we REALLY need to look at our financials, thanks for the reminder!!!

  2. I am in a good place for long term planning. It is the recent future savings that I need to work on! Great tips!

  3. Great reminder! Makes me a little anxious even thinking about it which is a probably a good indicator that I really need to take action. Thanks!

  4. I need to get on this. I am financially planned, but nothing else!

  5. What a great resource! I need to take the pledge!

  6. My mom is a financial planner and she helps a lot of women. Women are notoriously not well informed about long-term financial planning. Thanks for bringing attention to such an important issue!

  7. I love challenges and pledges, because they help form great habits. Thanks for sharing this great resource!

  8. I need to sit down and figure this stuff out. My husband has more of a plan than I do, because of work.

  9. Like you, I’m definitely a planner and I think way, way ahead. These tips are a great breakdown for those who want to get started and aren’t sure how.

  10. We are meeting with our financial planners this month in order to help with things like this. Thanks for the great tips!

  11. I really need to get on the ball with this, what a great approach this site takes to long term planning!

  12. Long term planning is so important. Thank you for the reminder! It’s never too early to plan.

  13. This sounds like a great idea! Thank you for sharing a great way to plan for the future.

  14. Me and hubby certainly need to make a plan. We NEVER plan unless we are going on a trip, sigh..

  15. When I worked in banking I always had a plan. This is the kick in the pants to get back on track.

  16. Thank you for this! I definitely need to have a plan in place. Once upon a time I was a young, independent woman totally in charge of my finances but I’ve let that slide over the years. It’s time I regain a bit of control to help with the ‘what ifs’ and ‘just in cases’ that tend to pop up in life. Thanks again for bringing my attention to the pledge!

  17. I need to revisit this. Dh and I did our planning when we first married 20 years ago. Unfortunately, due to family issues, we need to change our will, and I think we never did a living will.

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