Reno Gazette-Journal Sunday, July 14, 2019
As far as anyone knows, no one secretly wishes they could spend their last breaths in a cold, noisy, impersonal hospital room. Most people say that given the option, they prefer to die at home among family and close friends.
However, despite this wish, few people take time to plan for this inevitable event. Many myths surround the truths of late-life decisions about living, dying and leaving a legacy on the individual’s terms.
Most people want to leave some kind of meaningful mark on the world to show they existed. While many people might have a will or trust in place, these are typically about the “stuff” and usually not about leaving a legacy.
A common myth, especially for those without financial wealth, is that they don’t have a legacy to leave. Nothing could be further from the truth as everyone leaves a legacy, some are just more purposeful about it than others.
There are many ways to leave a legacy that include the personal part of you, your decisions and experiences. A legacy may take many forms – children, grandchildren, a business, an ideal, a book, a community, a home, some piece of yourself.
While everyone knows they are going to die at some time, most are very reticent to discuss and embrace this full circle of life and what it means. An unfortunate myth is that dying is free and easy. People fantasize they will die in their sleep and everything will take care of itself, but rarely is this the case and hence the importance of having a plan for both living and dying well.
An upcoming free seminar featuring expert panelist will address “The Truth About Living, Dying and Leaving a Legacy.” The July 18 seminar is part of the monthly Retired Living Truth Seminar Series that is consistently attended by 100 plus retirees
“This could quite possibly be one of the most important seminars of the year,” said organizer Brett Junell. “Most importantly, living, and living well, is enjoying the now.”
“Research shows that without a sense of working to create a legacy, adults lose meaning in their life,” Junell added. “From a purely practical standpoint, if a person doesn’t pass on their life experience by leaving a legacy, the wisdom they’ve gained through decades of difficult learning will disappear as their physical body wears out.”
A popular myth says, “There is no way to age gracefully. It’s just all downhill.” But Junell points out that it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s often a choice about how someone decides to face aging.
“Growing older is part of life,” he said. “Resilience, optimism, and choosing to help others are ways to age with dignity and spirit. Statistically, if you’ve made it to 60, there is a 90% chance you’ll make it to 100.”
A similar myth says, “Getting older means becoming less useful.” Again, experts agree that having a purpose – often by helping someone else – provides lifelong meaning and a sense of usefulness.
“Make the commitment to bring a loved one or friend and attend this 90-minute seminar featuring expert panelists who will dispel myths and share the most important things you need to know about living, dying, and leaving a legacy on your terms,” Junell said.
“By looking ahead toward the end of your life and doing some pre-planning for the inevitable ‘what if’s,’ it has been shown that people tend to breathe easier and are able to enjoy the minutes, days, weeks, months, and years they have ahead of them.”
Junell said the goal of the Retired Living Truth Seminar Series is to focus on education and empowerment. He and his wife, Annette, are both Certified Senior Housing Professionals who appreciate that the late-life transition needs of senior adults are complex and require information and planning.
“Pre-planning is absolutely critical,” Junell said. “We have found ourselves in many situations where family members are dealing with a crisis due to lack of planning. It pains us to see a family trying to work out how to pay for an expected funeral or a spouse not having the support needed for a terminally ill partner.
The Junell’s are considered leading authorities on issues related to downsizing, late-life moves and (55+) senior living solutions. Annette has a master’s in psychology, and Brett leverages his background in business to bring unique perspectives to the challenges faced by seniors.
The Junell’s say their mission is to educate, empower and equip retirees.
“We believe that knowledge is power,” he said. “Unfortunately, we find too many people making decisions without accurate information and just as often, people are in a state of INDECISION because they feel paralyzed by either a lack of information, clarity or profound fear.”
“We want you to have the answers you need in order to live FULLY and stay in control of your life and your decisions. It is our hope that you continue to live a life of meaning and that when you go, you go on your terms to the best of your ability.”
“The Truth About Living, Dying and Leaving a Legacy” seminar will be held on July 18 from 10-11:30 a.m. at the RSAR Building at 5650 Riggins Court, Reno (near Meadowood Mall).
The seminars are free for seniors and their guests. Pre-registration is required because seating is limited.
Reservations can be made online
at www.RetiredLivingTruthSeries.com or by calling (775) 432-6398.
Upcoming seminars in the Retired Living Truth Series include:
- July 18: The Truth About Living, Dying and Leaving a Legacy
- August 15: The Truth About Trusts, Wills and Guardianship
- September 12: The Truth About Home Health & In-home Care
- October 24: The Truth About Paying for Retirement Living
- November 21: The Truth About 55+ Retired Living Options
- December 19: The Truth About Successful Aging
This article is sponsored by Annette & Brett Junell