First Things First

In 2016, ask yourself what are your “first things?”  In Stephen Covey’s book, “First Things First,” he challenges readers “to live, to love, to learn and to leave a legacy.”   I challenge you to think ahead and live this year thinking of three or four things that matter most to you?  

Of the three or four things that matter, this year, take the “First Thing First Challenge.”  At Milestone, we have assisted more than a few of our valuable clients/ friends through serious illnesses and eventual passing this past year.  Each of their stories is quite different, but when critical illness happens, we strive to ensure that their wishes are met.   This year, make it the year that you can feel safe and confident that you have taken care of important matters such as (1) what you want to do with your “stuff;” (2) how and where you want care; and (3) how you would like to leave your own legacy!  It is also important to ask yourself or loved ones some important questions:

When is the last time you looked at your beneficiary forms for all of your accounts?

1.   Remember, your IRA/401k passes by contract, not based on your Will; which continues to cause problems for heirs due to the fact that IRA distributions are 100% taxable unless you set up lifetime distributions or Stretch IRAs.

2.   Have you updated your Durable Power of Attorney, Durable Power of Health and Living will along with your Will or Trust?  

3.   Are your life insurance policies up to date?   Do your family a favor and take out Final Expense Insurance with your final wishes completed for your funeral or celebration.

4.   Complete your yearly Estate Plan Up-date along with all of your insurance, annuity, bonds, stocks, and your real estate.

In this New Year, take the time to seek professional advice for yourself and those you take care of and get your personal financial, retirement, and risk protection houses in order.   It may take time to organize your savings, income and investments, life insurance, and Long Term Care and Estate Planning documents, but you will have already put “First Things First!”   Mistakes happen every day.  The wrong person, such as a spouse’s new husband or wife or your children’s husband or wife, could inherit your assets instead of your children or grandchildren.   

Stephen Covey states:  “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”  (p. 72).   You can create your own legacy and reality the way you want it to be by “Putting First Things First.”  Once you have completed your “Things that Matter” list, you will have the peace of mind knowing that you have created your own legacy the way you wanted it to be! 

Call 330-644-0284 or email me at to take advantage of a Complimentary Life Review meeting to help you or your loved ones get the documents and professional assistance you may need to check off your “Things that Matter” list.  At Milestone, we work with Estate Planning Attorneys, Companion Services, Crossroads Hospice, and a CPA to meet all of your Safe Money and Risk Protection Needs.   

Dee is a Charter Member of Ed Slott’s Masters Elite IRA Group, which requires completion of intensive training each year.  See for more information

Stephen Covey, A. Roger Merrill, Rebecca R. Merrill, “First Things First” 1995.