Have Your Mother’s Day Gifts Become Meaningless?

As Mother’s Day 2013 approaches, millions of people are hustling to buy gifts or make reservations for a loved one who has given the gift that can’t be repaid. Everyone agrees that Mother’s Day is an essential day to celebrate. Yet are we wasting money on jewelry and other gifts when we could offer something more lasting and meaningful?

According to several financial planners, we ought to be thinking far bigger on this occasion. Joe Lucey from the RetireMentors blog, for example, offers ideas geared for spouses thinking ahead to the financial security of their wives. Lucey suggests that Mother’s Day take on a serious tone and address what wives and mothers will do when left alone as a result of an accident or other type of unplanned passing in the family. Would that special woman have the resources she needs to live comfortably in her advanced age?

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Lucey believes the key concerns are healthcare, insurance, and estate/pension planning. Since nearly four in five married women suffer severe financial hardship following a spouse’s passing, an up-to-date will is a must. Likewise, making sure a life insurance plan is in good standing will reduce the chances of a leaving a spouse/mother to fend for herself. Providing long-term health insurance, along with the ability to immediately receive pension benefits, should also be on the list. Mothers on their own have numerous options as well…

The Financial Planning for Everyone blog offers a do-it-yourself approach to the concept. Noting that women are generally outliving men — and sacrificing more in terms of careers by having children — Eleanor Blayney suggests mothers take a more “selfish” approach to this Sunday’s holiday to secure their own financial futures.

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Blayney recommends increasing savings plans, ensuring long-term health care is established and attending classes to increase skill sets, even in retirement. She also encourages clients to be bolder in their investment strategies. Making ends meet for a long life involves riskier investments, according to Blayney.

In either case, the concept of making meaningful changes in a special woman’s life will appeal to many this Mother’s Day. While they shouldn’t preclude that special meal or a stunning bouquet of flowers, they’ll make a far more lasting difference.

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