Women's Retirement Radio

Barbara Bates Sedoric of LastingMatters.com - An End-of-Life Guide & Resource to Get Your Affairs in Order - Episode 17

May 24, 2021 Russ Thornton Season 2 Episode 1
Women's Retirement Radio
Barbara Bates Sedoric of LastingMatters.com - An End-of-Life Guide & Resource to Get Your Affairs in Order - Episode 17
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of Women's Retirement Radio, I was joined by Barbara Bates Sedoric of LastingMatters.com, a company she created to help deal with the problem of "What's in your head is gone when you are dead."

In our conversation, we cover the The LastingMatters Organizer and why you should check it out for yourself, your family, and your friends.

For more on Barb and LastingMatters, please check out these resources:

And here are a couple of articles that have featured Barb & LastingMatters:

Get in touch and let me know what you think or if you have any questions.

And thank you for listening.

Visit my website to learn more.

Disclosures

Russ:
Hi, everyone. It's Russ, and welcome to this episode of Women's Retirement Radio. I'm really excited today to be joined by Barb Sedoric of LastingMatters. Barb, how're you doing today?

Barb:
I'm doing great. Thanks for inviting me to speak with you.

Russ:
Yeah, I'm glad you could join us. Why don't you start by ... I know you and I have known each other for a few years now, although it's been a while since we've spoken. Why don't you tell us a little bit about who you are, personally, and then we can dive into what you're working on these days?

Barb:
On a personal level, I'm a boomer, I'm a wife, a mother, a grandmother of two adorable granddaughters. I graduated from Connecticut College back in the late '70s, and went on to the Institute for Paralegal Training, and secured my first job and started my career as a trust paralegal at a large law firm in Boston. I come from three generations of financial advisors. My great grandfather started his own firm, where my grandfather was a partner, my father was an advisor until he retired at 83, and I am also married to Tom Sedoric, who is a nationally recognized fiduciary at the Sedoric Group.

Barb:
Being organized and talking about all the what ifs in life seem to be part of my DNA and my family upbringing. I founded LastingMatters in 2014 as a combination of my training as a estates and trust paralegal, but also the personal experience of my mother's death, which is actually today 15 years ago.

Russ:
Wow, I guess this is maybe a timely for this conversation, and I am eager to dig into your work with LastingMatters. But something that really jumped out at me are the two granddaughters. How old are they?

Barb:
They are two and a half, and seven months. They were born almost exactly two years apart. One is, we call her our COVID therapy baby, because she's adorable. Anyway, have been part of our pod, and it's very exciting to be a grandparent.

Russ:
I can only imagine. But I especially imagine it's been something you're thankful for with all the COVID stuff going on here the last year plus.

Barb:
Yes. Fortunately, they live about 20 minutes away, so they've been part of our bubble and it's been great for both them and for us.

Russ:
Perfect. I know you shared a good bit with us there a moment ago, Barb. What's something interesting about you that most people would not know?

Barb:
I'm a lifelong learner, but I also like ... I guess I should say I also like to learn things that are challenging to me or something that I might be uncomfortable doing. In the past, I learned how to navigate the waters and learn boats, got a boat safely. I learned how to shoot a gun. That was a frightening education, but interesting, nonetheless. But I think the most interesting thing is that seven years ago, my husband decided that he wanted to try transcendental meditation, and I poo-pooed the whole thing, yet we went to training and we got taught, and we've now meditated twice a day for 20 minutes for the last seven or eight years.

Barb:
Honestly, I have to say that besides lowering blood pressure and creating calm in our lives, it really is amazing about how it changes your clarity in decision making. Where we would be waffling before, it clears your mind and allows you to make decisions more clearly, I guess.

Russ:
Could you speak to that just a little bit more? Does that help you make decisions individually more clearly and have more clarity, or does it help as a couple reaching decisions as well?

Barb:
I would say both. Where I might have waffled, sat on the fence about something or other that I think ... I tend to be more of the warrior in the family. It allowed me to see the pros and cons of both sides and then make a decision faster as an individual, but also the two of us are able to compromise and come to decisions together, I guess, with more ease. Also, we always [inaudible 00:05:11] for whoever it's more important to. That's where we go, in our marriage, though.

Russ:
Yeah. Well, that's fantastic. Thanks for sharing that. I know you mentioned your two granddaughters are not quite five years old yet. But let's say a five-year-old came up to you and says, "Barb, tell me about what it is that you do," how would you explain your work to a five-year-old?

Barb:
I guess I would tell a five-year-old that ... I would ask them first if they like to read and if they like books, and I would tell them that I wrote a book that you can actually write in, and that the book was filled with lots of questions and lots of places for people to write down their answers, and I created the book in order to help people like their parents to write down important information that will be useful to somebody else in the family member when they may not be around to answer those questions or tell them where to find things.

Russ:
Interesting. Before we jump a little bit more into details, how long have you been working on LastingMatters?

Barb:
Well, pretty much after the experience of my mother's sudden death. I really, at that time, said to my father that I did not want to have the same experience when he died. He'll be 90 the end of the month, by the way.

Russ:
Wow.

Barb:
I started asking him all kinds of questions. I wanted to know what he had, where it was located, and what were his wishes, et cetera. That catapulted me into using my organizational skills and my training as a estate and trust paralegal, to put together ... I spent four years interviewing people, hearing their stories about all the things went wrong after somebody died, and really boiling down the nuts and bolts of anybody's life and all the details that are missing from most planning, financial planning and estate planning, that end up being really important when somebody dies, and having to track that down.

Barb:
I would say that probably 2006 was the start of thinking about what I could do to help others, and then I launched LastingMatters in 2014. It was very hard from the beginning really to define, well, I wanted to make planning for death or incapacity something that was a morbid or morose, so something was actually more instructional and easygoing and just not make it a scary thing. That took time to do and create, I guess, a brand that is more the importance of what this information is about when somebody dies.

Russ:
Clearly, no one likes to think about, much less talk about, death or mortality. But have you found that in your work, in conversations with people, that your approach and using LastingMatters has made it a little bit less taboo or a little less intimidating, something a little bit more accessible or approachable by people that really understand the intent?

Barb:
Yes. It has actually opened a lot of eyes. First of all, you're right, Most people don't want to talk about their death. I try to use the word death. A lot of times people say, "We lost Uncle Joe." Well, we did lose him, he died. Clarity and communicating and also having ... I want people to have meaningful conversations with their spouse or partner or family members, to talk about topics that maybe in the past they wanted to cover their ears or deny the inevitability of death. Creating a guide and resource allows people to use it in conversations, as well as if they really don't want to have a conversation.

Barb:
To me, the most important thing is that you take the time to write things down because it's really the gathering of the information that ultimately is what those left behind will need. But yes, it has become ... It allows different generations to hand a copy of the organizer to their parents and say, "Look, I really would like to have this information when something happens to you. Could you please do that for me?" Most parents would like to help their children or adult children get organized.

Barb:
I also understand that a lot of spouses don't talk to each other about all the nuts and bolts of their lives, and this is ... If you ask any widow, widow in particular, because women generally outlive men, they're often lot lost and they have no idea where to begin. It becomes a resource and guide before that tragedy happens. You want to just grieve instead of having to try to find the passwords to your computer, et cetera.

Russ:
Yeah. I think you maybe have already addressed this, but I don't want to put words in your mouth. From your perspective, Barb, what would you say is most unique about both the person you are and the people you serve through LastingMatters and how you serve them?

Barb:
What is unique about me? Well, probably the combination of being trained as an estates and trust paralegal. My job, I was often sent to widows' homes, widow or widower, to look for information for the court inventory. What I experienced was chaos, decisions not having been made, family members fighting about possessions, not knowing whether mom wanted to be cremated or buried. All of that experience stood with me for decades. My mother died, and I found myself in the middle of that same situation.

Barb:
Now, certainly, we had estate planning documents and all that, but we'd never had conversations with her about what her wishes would be for a funeral and what would happen to her possessions, et cetera. I think that I'm unique in the combination of those two things. Plus, I happen to be somebody who is organized and likes to be organized. I thought that those combinations would help other adults who may not have the skill to know where or how to begin, either having conversations or actually gathering what information will be important after their spouse dies. That is unique to me.

Barb:
Now, who I serve, I serve any adult because we don't know when we're going to die. Some people have lots of things and assets when they're younger, maybe even in their 20s. But I honestly think people should really start when they create their first will or they get married or have a child or all of these milestones is the time to really think about what do you have and what happens if you weren't here to answer all their questions? It's just I really wanted to help other people navigate what happens after somebody dies in a much easier way than what I saw an experience as a paralegal and what I experienced also with my mother's sudden death.

Russ:
I'm just curious, do you think your husband, serving as a financial advisor and then your family, going back to your great grandfather being in the financial services industry and serving as financial advisors. Clearly, your mom's death was a real catalyst here, but has your relation to the financial advice industry also impacted or weighed into the work you're doing?

Barb:
Very much so. Because I grew up in a family that always made plans. Also, we talked about the what ifs in life. What happens if this happens, and what will we do with this? I think that fiduciaries, financial advisors, can be a very central role in helping clients navigate all these things. I honestly believe in a trifecta of estate attorney and accountant and a fiduciary working together for the sake of their client. Because they all have different pieces of it. My work with LastingMatters really was the missing piece, which to me was all the details that aren't discussed or laid out that are so personal that only you know in your head.

Barb:
I wanted a way to be able to communicate that. I definitely think that might ... We continue in our household, the plan, make plans, change plans, think about our legacy, especially as boomers. I'm [inaudible 00:16:04] three adult children, and I have ... My father is 90, so we continue to have ongoing conversations with him even about what his wishes are. It's a lifelong discussion, and I think that the more people have the conversations with clear decisions being made, the better off ... First of all, they'll feel it's ... I think it's a huge gift to your clients or to yourself to get your affairs in order, and it's an enormous gift to those when something happens.

Russ:
You've used a term a couple of times, fiduciary. You and I both know what that means. But for our listeners, could you take just a quick second and explain what you mean when you say fiduciary?

Barb:
Well, when I mean fiduciary I mean somebody, a advisor, financial advisor who puts the interests of the client first above everything else. They're not trying to sell you products, they're not trying to coerce you into buying things that you either do or think you need or don't need. They're more of, I would say, protective and their relationship is more important to the client because they aren't driven by selling.

Russ:
Got it.

Barb:
[crosstalk 00:17:45]

Russ:
Yeah, that's helpful. Thank you. Why don't you share with us a favorite LastingMatters success story just over the years that you've been doing this work and talking with people? You've already shared a lot of the benefits, but why don't you maybe share a specific story that you is particularly memorable for you?

Barb:
Sure. A very close friend of my husband's retired and happily went off to bike into the sunset, and then sadly was given a diagnosis of terminal cancer. This is right at the time that I think I'd just published the Organizer. I sent him and his wife a copy because I knew that they would need it. Whether they asked for it or not, to me it wasn't my gift to them to help them in the short term get as much information collected in one place as they could. He went about and he filled out the Organizer. After his death, his mother had come to his wife and said, "I really want to celebrate his life with a huge Catholic funeral mass."

Barb:
His wife was actually able to share with her that his wishes, in his own handwriting, were that he didn't want to have that, that he wanted to have his friends celebrate his life with small cocktail parties and to toast his life and to not have a typical Catholic funeral. With that, his wife was able to share his written words with her mother-in-law and was able to defuse any family tensions that were going to probably erupt around what the funeral should be or shouldn't be. They ended up honoring his wishes. Which could have been a huge divide at a emotionally [inaudible 00:20:18] time.

Barb:
I remember her getting in touch with me and saying, "Thank you so much because I was able to honor what he wanted," and not get into a big thing with her mother-in-law. That's my success story that comes to mind. But I had two other friends who both had terminal cancer, sadly, and they each planned their entire funerals. I mean, down to whether there were Snicker bars in a bowl or what music was playing, et cetera. Having attended both of those funerals, it was pretty amazing because everybody felt that it was very personal and that it was like our friends were hosting their own celebratory party that had so many personal touches that were meaningful.

Barb:
Versus, as I tell people, planning a funeral, you only get usually a few days. It's all the same components as planning a wedding, but with weddings, you have a year to plan. Having them pre-plan their own services and music and flowers and who is going to be invited, et cetera, made it very special and made us all smile as we walk out the door and say, "Wow, that was really all about our friend."

Russ:
Based on that first story, I can't help but think that the issue about the mom's wishes and her son's wishes, not having that written in his own handwriting to defuse that situation, thankfully, that's something that I can imagine could have easily driven a wedge between the mom and the surviving daughter-in-law for years or for the rest of their lives.

Barb:
Absolutely, yeah. That also happens a lot in blended families.

Russ:
Yeah, I can imagine. When there's-

Barb:
Yeah. If there's not been a clarity in what the decedent really wanted, there can be a lot of animosity and wedges that are lifelong problems. Sad.

Russ:
Yeah. Yeah, it really is.

Barb:
But you can avoid that. I just say, "People, think about what you would like and write it down so that nobody has to guess."

Russ:
Right. Right. What would you say has surprised you most about your work today around end of life planning, LastingMatters, these documenting people's wishes, and how they would like things to be left behind? What's been most surprising to you?

Barb:
Well, I guess the first thing I was mostly surprised about were all the stories I heard about all the things that went wrong after somebody died, and everybody, when asked, wanted to share that story. I heard hundreds of stories. People putting safes in their houses with all their stuff and the other spouse not knowing the combination. How do you extract or get a safe cracked? All kinds of things. But I think what surprised me the most is that I'm always at ease talking to others about the benefits of planning ahead for incapacity and death.

Barb:
But the more conversations that I have with others, I feel that they are more at ease in actually going ahead and discussing difficult topics with somebody. I'm surprised, but happy, that they're starting to ... There's more talk about death and dying. If you think about COVID-19, I think that this pandemic has illuminated the need for having these conversations sooner rather than later, and making plans because you just don't know.

Russ:
Right. Yeah, yeah. [inaudible 00:25:07] We really don't. Thinking about the work you do, and I know you have training as a trust and estate paralegal and things like that, what's a common misconception around the work you do? I can imagine people saying, "Well, I did that in my will," and things like that. I'm not sure if that ever comes up. But what's maybe a common misconception about the work you do versus the actual value and benefit that it delivers?

Barb:
Well, I would say, first of all, there's a misconception that my work only pertains to "old" people. Old in quotes. Young people die too, and young people have wishes. They also may have certain ideas of what they want to have happen to their possessions after they die, and it never really occurs to younger people that they need to take some kind of action now, whether that's in creating your first will when you get married or having healthcare proxies, if you need a power of attorney, et cetera. There's three pieces. There's the documents that are needed, and then there's the decisions that have to be made.

Barb:
Making a decision to get married is just the start of combining lives and ideas and decisions that you'll make together. These are things that you need to talk about. Then there's I'm all about the details. I would say the most common misconception is that I'm talking about people that are in their 80s and 90s and I'm not. I'm talking about all living adults. Everybody has something in their head that nobody else knows, that somebody will need or want if something were tragic to happen to them. Certainly, if you have time and somebody has terminal cancer or Alzheimer's, [inaudible 00:27:41] Alzheimer's is very important to get all that information before you can't ... there's no longer a place to have somebody answer your questions.

Russ:
Maybe a different way of asking the same question, and less of a misconception, but what would you say most often prevents people from doing this important work or having these important conversations, whether that's through a tool like LastingMatters or just in general? Why don't more people do this? I know we've maybe touched on some of that earlier that folks just don't like to address mortality. But from your perspective, why do you think that is?

Barb:
Well, I think what prevents them from ... Honestly, the number one is that they're afraid to talk about death, or to confront their own mortality. They don't think it's going to happen to them, so they kick the can down the road. Or they may not have yet experienced the loss of somebody close to them, and therefore they don't really understand the myriad of tasks that follow some [inaudible 00:28:59] staff in order to wrap up somebody's life. If you ask anybody who is named an executor, people think that that's an honored position, but it is a huge job to be an executor when somebody dies.

Barb:
I think that if you ask any widow, they get it because most of them say, "I wish I knew. I wish I had had a guide or resource to help to have all this information because my husband left me with nothing," and it takes them a long time to unwind all the pieces and the scavenger hunt that happens. But I think people are just afraid of dealing with it, and they think, "Oh, this one happened to me. I'll put this off for several more years." How many times have you heard ... Even recently, we always hear about celebrities that don't have wills. They die intestate. It's like what? Then it leaves a mess, and you read about the mess.

Russ:
To be clear, you mentioned a lot of widows find themselves and they've been left with nothing. But to be clear, being left with nothing does not mean no assets, no money.

Barb:
I don't [crosstalk 00:30:34]

Russ:
It just means no instructions, no details, no paint by numbers, do this, do this, do this, correct?

Barb:
Right. Correct. No, they're not left with nothing. They're left with sometimes a lot, but don't know what to do with it, especially if there's a business. Let's say their spouse's business, or in particular, if they haven't handled their own ... haven't been part of household expenses and who takes care of all that. They're often in the dark, and that creates more anxiety than anything. It's like, "What do I do now?" Actually, that's where I think the role of a fiduciary is key.

Russ:
I think too, as you just mentioned, we've all heard and read about the celebrities dying without a will in place. Whether it's a celebrity that's well known or a neighbor two doors down, the will is the ... for lack of a better term, it's the legal instructions for here's what happens when I'm not around. Correct me if I'm not doing this justice, but I think of LastingMatters is almost the more practical guide or practical directions beyond just the legal that says here's where things are, here's who to call about this, here's what I would love to see happen with my services or things like that. Is that a fair characterization?

Barb:
Yes. Honestly, LastingMatters, when you go through the legal documents, I was more interested in do you have one and where is it? Who's your lawyer? Who's your state attorney? There's no legal advice given with LastingMatters, but it is more of the details of all the other things. Your personal details, your real estate, your biographical data for writing an obituary, all those other things. Documents are a part of the holistic planning I think that each adult should have. But that's only a piece of it. In LastingMatters, I really was only interested in do you have one?

Barb:
Actually, when people go through the Organizer, they say, "Well, what's that? Maybe I need to do that," or, "I haven't updated my estate plan in a while. I should review that." It's a reminder because it's so detailed of all the things that maybe you haven't done or haven't visited in a while, and all of those milestones, such as retirement, are times to really I think take a huge holistic view of your life and your death as you plan.

Russ:
Yeah. I'm glad you brought up the retirement. I want to revisit that in just a moment. But first, if ... You're an entrepreneur, you created and run a business that happens to be LastingMatters, and it deals with these topics we've been talking about. But if let's say a student in college approached you and said, "Barb, I'm interested in the work you're doing," and that could be directly related to what you do or maybe it's more in the traditional estate planning field or something like that. What advice or guidance would you give someone that was maybe in their late teens going into their 20s that said, "I'm interested in the work you do and learning more about how you do it?"

Barb:
I actually, at college, was a child development major.

Russ:
Really?

Barb:
I made a decision that I didn't really want to teach, and I was always interested, maybe because of my family being so immersed in the whole financial world. I thought that it'd be really interesting to learn about whether I wanted to go to law school or not. I decided, well, I'm going to go to paralegal school so I can dip my toes in the water. I was taken more with estates and trusts work. Number one, I really enjoyed math. I was interested in tax prep, et cetera. But more than that, I'd learned that estates and trusts work is not just about preparing documents, although that is a large piece of it.

Barb:
It's about families and relationships within families and creating documents that may survive for generations as family wealth gets passed around, or legacy planning and charitable giving, et cetera. What I loved about learning about that is, and then ultimately being a paralegal, was that lives are very complicated and complex. But I really enjoyed working with the families to help them during a very difficult time of their life, and to also do the pre-planning in terms of conversations to create a will or a trust or something that would embrace what their wishes were. I would tell college students also that boomers, we're a graying tsunami. I was looking demographics.

Barb:
Demographics speak to what's happening in the world, and that there's a lot of opportunity work with or for the older population, and we're living a lot longer. Years ago, at my age, you were done. Now, people living 90s and 100s, et cetera. People are living longer so there's plenty more time to help them plan and navigate the changing dynamics of, let's say, even estate planning. If you look at what's happening now with the President Biden talking about changes in estate tax laws, lifetime gift, exemptions, et cetera. They're in capital gains and stepped up [inaudible 00:38:05]. There's all kinds of things that are always happening, and you have to ... If you enjoy that work and helping families with their legacies and in tax planning, et cetera, then this is the place for you.

Russ:
Yeah. I guess there's a lot of job security, longevity and job security around those fields.

Barb:
Yes.

Russ:
Well, thanks for sharing that. Back to retirement, since you mentioned just a moment ago. When you think of the word retirement personally, what comes to mind for you?

Barb:
Well, I guess I would say that the word actually means to me the end of work in a conventional way. In other words, you're getting paid to do something and that something is whatever your career is, and it marks the end of something in the conventional way. But I also think of it as it becomes a freedom with boundless opportunities to maybe do the things that you didn't have time to do when you quote works, and that is what is the next step. It's both. It means the end of something conventional in work space, but then it opens up ... You may be a volunteer to do whatever in your retirement, or you may want to golf or read a million books or whatever it is that you want. I look at this as a passage of a change of how your days are structured, maybe.

Russ:
Yeah. Would it be fair to describe your perspective as it's a transition?

Barb:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Russ:
But you're the one that gets to define what you're transitioning into maybe out of full time work?

Barb:
Yes. I also think it's a stamp in time that really is a time to look at, depending on how old you are when you retire and the longevity, the demographics. If you retire and you're ... My father retired, he was 83. His retirement was a shorter period. But if you're 50, and you may live another 50 years, how do you plan for that? There's a lot of components that you got to think about. [crosstalk 00:41:04] Financial planning is huge for those that are now going to actually draw from their savings versus income, an income stream that keeps them going. It's also a time to really look at the cost of things. If you are actually going to live to be 100, the cost of living and life term care and all those things. I think it's a big step, retirement.

Russ:
Yeah, no kidding. Speaking over comments, how does LastingMatters and the work that you're doing impact women and their families as they're planning for this transition into retirement, however they define it or however that looks for them?

Barb:
Well, like I said, women statistically live longer than men, an average of about six or eight years. They're more apt to outlive their spouse. I look at it as really important to take the time to actually get their affairs in order or get the information that they need from their spouse too, because it's overwhelming. It's not something that you can do in a day or whatever. It takes time to get everything together. But I think especially if finances have been delegated to your spouse, that is really important to be educated, be informed about what it is that is happening when your spouse retires, et cetera.

Barb:
Is there a succession plan for a business, if there's a family business? There's all kinds of things. I think that women also are notoriously the caregivers. They're the ones taking care of maybe even grandchildren. Or maybe they still have people at home, but also they're more of the caregivers for family, older family members, parents. What impact does that have on you? When maybe you stop working your nine-to-five job and you retire, but now your job is more caring for an elderly parent, there's a lot of that.

Russ:
Right, right, Yeah. I agree. I see all the time, whether it's the parent preparing for a longer lifespan, maybe having to account for the fact you're maybe out of the workforce to have and raise children, caring for aging parents, or I find more women these days are also have adult children back home, oftentimes, for a period of time. It's a lot to juggle, and I think it's important to not lose sight of the fact that you need to make sure you're taking care of yourself and not jeopardizing your own situation, even though you love and want to care for these other people in your life.

Barb:
Oh, yes. Self care is probably the number one. It should be number one.

Russ:
Yeah. Easier said than done, sometimes though.

Barb:
Absolutely. Hard to make that always the priority, but ... I think there's a lot of impact on women when they ... Also, the other thing is if your husband retires and he's been out of the house, at an office, et cetera, then you have another adjustment of having somebody home all the time. [inaudible 00:45:15] saying, "Well, what are we doing today?"

Russ:
A lot of people have gotten a taste of that here the last 18 months or so.

Barb:
Yeah. Like you said, you talked about adults living home. I, being one, have our daughter, youngest. Graduated from college 2020, virtually, and has been home for a year. Luckily, newly employed with her dream job and going to be moving out, but never intended to be here for that long. Yeah, a lot of young adult kids ... I shouldn't say kids, but a lot of them had to leave the independent lives they were living a couple years out of college because they could no longer afford, lost jobs, et cetera. Could no longer afford to live on their own. There's been a lot. This pandemic has pointed out a lot of things that none of us could have ever guessed. But now we know.

Russ:
We do. It's definitely shaking things up. It'll be interesting to see what transpires over the coming weeks, months and years as we hopefully move back to more of a sense of normalcy. But I don't know that. What is normal, right?

Barb:
Yeah.

Russ:
As we start to wrap up our conversation today, Barb, I don't know if you ever find yourself with an hour or two all to yourself, because I'm sure you're busy with LastingMatters and family and things like that. But how do you most enjoy spending your time when you've got a little time to yourself?

Barb:
Well, in a nutshell, I both love to read and I love exercising. I would take that hour or two, and I would go outside, put my earbuds in, and listen to most likely a book that would otherwise put me to sleep at night. Something a little more challenging maybe to read, and I will walk. I'll walk for an hour or two, and enjoy the big outside and also getting to get into listen to some great books.

Russ:
What's an interesting book that you've read or listened to recently that you might recommend that folks check out?

Barb:
I loved Hamilton. I thought it was great. Learn more about history, et cetera, that I hadn't in the past. I'm currently listening to a bonus book, which is also it's great. It's also fun to hear his voice. A variety of things.

Russ:
Yeah. That's great. We've covered a lot. Thank you again for joining us on the conversation today, Barb. If there were one thing that our listeners can take away from our conversation today, what would you want that one thing to be?

Barb:
When I launched LastingMatters, I came up with a saying, and it's a little crass, but it's what's in your head is gone when you're dead. It really refers to the fact that when you're no longer here, nobody else can ask you the questions and get the answers they need. That's in your head, that only you know and only you can communicate. With that, I would always say too that it always seems too early until it's too late. To make a plan and take time today now to start to get your affairs in order or start to get information down. Anything that you can offer will help somebody that you care about when it matters the most.

Russ:
Yeah, those are great takeaways. Thanks for that. Before I ask you to let people know how they can get in touch with you or learn more about LastingMatters, is there anything I haven't asked you today that you would like to address or that maybe you wish I'd asked you?

Barb:
Well, no. It's been a great conversation and I hope that your audience will consider checking out LastingMatters and understand the importance of having these meaningful conversations and making a plan.

Russ:
Well, with that in mind, what's the best way, Barb, for them to learn more about LastingMatters to maybe reach out to you if they're interested in discussing or learning more about the work you're doing and how LastingMatters might be able to help them?

Barb:
Sure. Well, the website is LastingMatters.com. LastingMatters is one word. My email is [email protected] My cell phone, if you want to have a chat, 603-490-8305. I am in the midst of refurbishing my website. The website is up, but I have recently created an online application for professional advisors. That component will be in addition to the book. That's a tool that I created for advisors and their multi generational clients as a value added tool. I'm hoping to get that launched within the month or so.

Russ:
Great. Well, I know among individuals and families, I know we have some advisors that listen to the show. If you're an advisor or just someone that's interested in learning more about how LastingMatters might be able to help you and your loved ones, be sure to go to LastingMatters.com. Reach out to Barb. Learn more. She's always been a wonderful and generous resource in the time I've known her. I know she'd love to help you out. Barb, as we wrap up, anything else you'd like to add?

Barb:
No. Just stay well.

Russ:
Yeah. Well, you too. Thanks so much for joining us today. I really enjoyed the conversation and catching up with you.

Barb:
Thanks, Russ. It was great. Great [inaudible 00:52:13]

Russ:
Yeah, likewise. Thanks everyone for listening to this episode of Women's Retirement Radio, and we will look forward to catching up with you again next time.