As you age, you may notice your body is changing. Activities that you once mastered may be painful to perform. You may not notice the gradual decline in your health until something happens.

As we roll into the new year, start organizing your health care information. Collecting pertinent information before a crisis will save your loved ones from additional stress. They won’t waste time and energy searching for your information.

Here is a list of information to keep handy for emergencies:

  • List and contact information for each of your physicians and specialists (medical, dental, vision and hearing).
  • List of all medical conditions (e.g., high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.).
  • List of current medications with dosage.
  • Copy of all health insurance plans.

Also, make sure you have the following legal documents current:

Healthcare directive: A legal document that specifies what type of care you want if you no longer can verbalize your desires.

Durable power of attorney for healthcare: A legal document that identifies who you trust to make healthcare decisions for you in the event you can no longer make decisions for yourself. It can be an individual or a group of people. It can be family members or close friends.

HIPAA release: In 1996, Congress created the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to protect the privacy of your health information. A signed HIPAA release form identifies who can have access to your health care information.

Once you have this information for yourself, share it with your spouse and adult children. If you are single, share this information with your parents and/or siblings. When a crisis occurs, one can never be too prepared.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, RICP®, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include developing spending plans, comprehensive financial plans, divorce financial reviews, retirement plans. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me.’”