International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world on March 8th. IWD came about in 1909, when the Socialist Party of America organized the day as a way to celebrate women workers. The SPA organized the event in New York, but it spread to become a nationwide celebration in 1910, when the International Socialist Women’s Conference decided it should be celebrated each year. The day has been adopted by the United Nations, as well as a host of other countries.
It is a day of civil awareness and action. Most importantly, it is a day to celebrate the women in your life. Women do a lot of work and, in all too many cases, receive little credit. Protect the women in your life by helping them plan for their future.
Preparing for the Future
The future is, of course, unknowable. While you might think that you won’t get sick or become incapacitated, you never know. That’s not a bright subject to think about, but it is one that estate planning deals with all the time.
In your estate plan, you should consider getting a healthcare directive and selecting a power of attorney. A healthcare directive is a set of advance instructions with which you can provide hospitals and other medical personnel in the event that you are too sick to tell them yourself. Similarly, a power of attorney will help make your financial and medical decisions for you when you are feeling too unwell to make them yourself. This way, you can prepare for your future and decrease the stress on the family in your life when you become ill. Helping the family is helping the women in your life.
Your children should be protected as well. Part of a healthy estate plan is selecting a guardian for your children should something happen to you. All children, both sons and daughters, need a healthy role model for themselves. When you’re picking a guardian, make sure it is someone who will take care of them day to day. Consult with your proposed guardian before you make the decision.
Taking Care of the Women in Your Life
If you think of the women in your life, you may want to leave them something to remember you by. Don’t just consider it—do it. If you want to leave your home or other assets to a loved one, make sure to put that into a living trust, which will help keep the asset out of probate court. This way, your transfer gets into the right hands without any outside confusion.
If you know women in your life who are aging and who have not started an estate plan, you should encourage them to do so. An estate plan isn’t just for the elderly—younger individuals can benefit as well. But, it becomes particularly important as you get older. The process doesn’t have to be complex or difficult. Connect the women in your life with an estate planner who will help them prepare for their future. This proactiveness is the best way to counter an unknowable future.
Women’s education rates are soaring, and that’s amazing. Continue to keep that trend going. Consider putting savings into a 529 plan. These are tax advantaged savings plans that will give you tax breaks as you save for the future college student’s education. Another form of the 529 plan is a tuition plan, where you pay the cost of the tuition in total and it is applied to the school. These plans differ based on state and university. But, they are well worth considering.
International Women’s Day is a way to show the women in your life how much you love them. There are a lot of ways that you can express that love; preparing for the future is one of them. This IWD, remember the sacrifices women have made and continue to make every day to make the world a better place.