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It's watching long-time clients as they decline.

We've been watching our dad go through this, until he passed away in December. It can be a fiscally dangerous situation. He started off with a great plan, legally advised, which over the years he had been sabotaging in an effort to take control back over his decaying abilities. Knee jerk reactions to one of us kids trying to set him back on path had him editing legal documents himself, thereby nullifying them. It was a royal scramble to get his will and trust back to legal status before his death. Had he passed quickly, he would have been left intestate, even with all his previous careful preparation.

He and Mom allowed themselves to be wooed by an annuity salesman, who played to Dad's ego by socializing with him and Mom. Yeah, a couple in their young 30's are going to want to socialize with a couple in their late 70's, particularly one compromised significantly by stroke. This salesman put them in high commission high risk annuities tied to the market, which Dad abandoned when he was told he had to put another $70,000 into it when the market crashed. Without telling us, he cancelled his long term health care insurance, after having already paid close to $80,000 in premiums. My once well researched Dad who planned carefully was now aggressively making knee jerk decisions with finances.

And we couldn't protect him from himself. We consulted a lawyer about doing so and he told us to forget about it. It was almost a blessing that the last 18 months of his life he was too incompetent to do much more harm to himself, not that he would allow any of us to help him. Fortunately he didn't run out of money, but the decline in his funds the last few years had him absolutely panicked. Knowing how hard he had worked, how frugal he had been, it was cruel to watch him lose control like that.

I'm not really afraid of dying...not that I'm looking to do so prematurely...but I do fear living too long.

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