Investment Help

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

An Important Read

The best book I've read so far this year is Being Mortal by Atul Gawande.  The book is an easy read but isn't an easy read.  How so? Well, it is very well written and filled with anecdotes and real world cases.  Thus, most readers will breeze through in a fairly short period of time.  Where it is not an easy read is that it deals with a subject matter most people find unpleasant, to put it mildly.

Being Mortal is about the shortcomings of the medical profession in dealing with end-of-life situations.  Many times, terminally ill patients aren't given all the choices and trade-offs.  Sometimes people may prefer to forego chemo, multiple medicines, and other drastic measures to prolong life if they can get a much higher quality of life for a shorter period of time. Understanding the trade-offs is important.  Doctors are trained to prolong life as long as possible and, thus, don't always consider the wishes of the patient in terms of quality of life, goals, etc.

As I say, this isn't a pleasant topic; but, for many, it is valuable information which will change their perspective when dealing with this subject.  It is important for individuals as they themselves age but also in the all-important and difficult role of caregiver.  By the end of the book, you will have some important guidance on how to converse with a person who has been given the terrible news that they are terminally ill.

I understand that this goes a bit afield from the overall investment program; but, from a life-planning viewpoint, it is very valuable information for at least someone in every family to have.

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