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1.14.8: Dealing with Death

  • Page ID
    88065

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    It is a fact that we will one day die, how will you prepare for that day?

    Advance Care Planning

    Advance care planning involves learning about the types of decisions that might need to be made, considering those decisions ahead of time, and then letting others know—both your family and your health care providers—about your preferences. These preferences are often put into an advance directive, a legal document that goes into effect only if you are incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself. An advance directive also allows you to express your values and desires related to end-of-life care. There are two main elements in an advance directive—a living will and a durable power of attorney for health care. A living will is a written document that helps you tell doctors how you want to be treated if you are dying or permanently unconscious and cannot make your own decisions about emergency treatment. A durable power of attorney for health care is a legal document naming a health care proxy, someone to make medical decisions for you at times when you are unable to do so.

    Organ and Brain Donation

    Data shows that 90% of adults support organ donation but only 60% are actually signed up as donors.

    Organ donation is the act of taking healthy organs and tissues from one person and giving them to someone else. Making the decision to donate your organs is one of the most generous gifts you can give. There is no age limit for donation or to sign up. In 2021, one out of every three people who donated organs was over the age of 50. You’re never too old to make a difference — as of 2021, the oldest organ donor in the United States was 92.

    While many people think that signing up to be an organ donor includes donating their brain, the purpose and the process of brain donation are different. Rather than helping to keep others alive, such as with kidney donation, brain donation helps advance scientific research. One donated brain can make a huge impact, potentially providing information for hundreds of studies.

    Why donate:

    • 106,008 men, women, and children are on the national transplant waiting list.
    • Every 9 minutes another person is added to the transplant waiting list.
    • 17 people die each day waiting for an organ transplant.
    • Every donor can save 8 lives and enhance over 75 more.
    Become and offiicial organ donor

    Are you ready to save lives? You can provide lifesaving organs to as many as eight people. Every registration counts.

    Sign Up To Be An Organ Donor

    Retirement and Savings

    Retirement requires a lot of planning and consideration. In addition to finances, you need to think about when and where you’ll retire. Experts advise that you may need as much as 80 percent of your pre-retirement income to continue your current standard of living. The exact amount will depend on your individual needs.

    As you plan, consider these important questions:

    • At what age do you plan to retire?
    • Can you participate in an employer’s retirement savings plan? This includes 401(k) plans and traditional pension plans.
    • If you have a spouse or partner, will they retire when you do?
    • Where do you plan to live when you retire? Will you downsize, rent, or own your home?
    • Do you expect to work part-time?
    • Will you have the same medical insurance you had while working? Will your insurance coverage change?
    • Do you want to travel or pursue a costly, new hobby?
    • Will you qualify for social security?

    Social Security provides you with a source of income when you retire or if you can’t work due to a disability. It can also support your legal dependents (spouse, children, or parents) with benefits in the event of your death.

    While you work, you pay Social Security taxes. This tax money goes into a trust fund that pays benefits to:

    • Those who are currently retired
    • To people with disabilities
    • To the surviving spouses and children of workers who have died

    Each year you work, you’ll get credits to help you become eligible for benefits when it’s time for you to retire.

    Saving for retirement

    Get tips for building your retirement savings in the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Top 10 Ways to Prepare for Retirement

    Use a retirement calculator to find out the best age to claim your Social Security benefits.

    Make a plan with the Retirement Saving worksheet


    This page titled 1.14.8: Dealing with Death is shared under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Sally Baldwin.

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