Conquering Fears Halloween Memories and Rolling With the Tricks of Change www.MonteforteLaw.com (978) 653-4092 Practical wisdom, trusted advice.
I had a foolproof way of acquiring more candy on Halloween when I was a kid. When I was growing up in a small neighborhood with a maze of dead-end streets, there were only so many houses we could hit up for candy each Halloween before running out of choices. To combat this, my friends and I would make our first round through the neighborhood with our parents, run home to change costumes, and head back into the night to get more candy. Every year, we ended the night with huge bags of candy that were sure to last months. We were geniuses! As an adult, I now know our very nice neighbors knew exactly who we were and what we were doing. They were still very neighborly and appeased a few little kids in masks just looking for extra candy. Regardless of who knew what, it was still a fun tradition. When my children were babies and toddlers, I still managed to finagle a few treats out of Halloween. My wife and I would dress them up in cute costumes and pull them around our neighborhood in the back of a wagon. Of course, most of the candy they acquired became a stash for my wife and me since our kids couldn’t eat that much candy at that age. Instead, it was our little reward! As our kids grew up, we took them out trick-or-treating more frequently, and, as their pumpkin-carving abilities grew, so did they. This last year, my wife and I spent our first Halloween handing out candy in 15 years while our kids enjoyed the night with their friends. Since they’re both in high school now, I’m not sure either one will go trick-or-treating this year. It’s bittersweet to see that part of my life closing, but I’m sure I can still find ways to sneak a few pieces of candy for myself. (I’m only half-kidding, of course.) Change is an inevitable part of life, but that doesn’t make it any less scary. Every day, I work with older adults and their children who are worried about what the future may hold. Everyone is nervous at the first meeting, and that’s understandable. We’re talking about the money and assets they have been acquiring their whole life, their long- term care, and their eventual death. These are big topics that require deep conversations, and it’s my job to help people conquer these issues and their fears. Our trick for those treats didn’t last too long.
Some of the kids’ costumes over the years!
I start by trying to lighten the mood. I make little jokes and remind them that we’re all human. If I can get them to laugh or smile a bit, the tension in the room dissipates, and we can work toward a solution. As we walk through their situation, I find little ways to ease their worries. Together, we can come up with a plan for the problems keeping them up at night. We will find a solution, and, while some situations may seem more dire than others, we can find peace of mind. Those fears are normal, but, if I can offer families a way through the many tricks of asset protection and get them to the treats of their golden years together, then I’ve done my job.
-Michael Monteforte Jr.
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