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At the theater one night, I mentioned to a man that I wanted to get to the washroom so that I wouldn’t need to go during the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s Tea and Trumpets show. He responded, “The wise man goes when he can; the fool waits until he wants to.Preparation in all things is a sign of wisdom and maturity.

I once asked a business owner who was a client of mine what would happen to his wife and four young children if he was killed in a car accident or by a sudden illness. He had no insurance and had made no provision, he was in debt up to his ears and had no savings, and his wife couldn’t run their plumbing business. He answered, “They’ll be on the street, I guess.” I wasn’t selling life insurance, by the way.

“Death never takes a wise man by surprise; he is always ready to go,” said Jean de la Fontaine (1621-1695). We recently arranged and prepaid for our funerals, updated our wills, and informed our Executor of all the details he needed to know. My life has been insured since I first got married. And I’m a “prepper.”

You’ve seen how badly people behave on Black Fridays. What do you think will happen when people run out of food and water after an earthquake or another tragedy? Will you be prepared when they come to your door and demand your food and water? What about when there is no electricity for an extended period of time, especially during the winter?

Did you know that few Canadians own life insurance, and even fewer have wills? 23% of Canadians admit they are not at all prepared financially if they pass away too soon and only 16% have purchased a life insurance policy that could cover their remaining mortgage payments in the event of death.

The average funeral in Canada can cost between $5,000 and $10,000, a cost that would be a burden on your family without a plan in place to cover it ahead of time. Also, there are other final costs such as legal and medical fees and estate taxes, altogether known as Final Needs planning. What if you die while away from home?

The peace of mind and satisfaction that comes from knowing you have taken care of your family needs in advance is worth the work and cost of preparation. Knowing that you can protect them and provide for them, even in death, is the duty of every man who has a family. There is no excuse – do what you can – make the effort because they deserve it. Be responsible.

Robin Elliott