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Are you Cupid, the Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus?
This probably seems like a funny question but each of these icons represents a different way of thinking. In this example, we’ll look at how Cupid, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus (and the people who think like them) might plan for their senior years. Take a moment and ask yourself which icon best applies to you.
It doesn’t seem like Cupid has a concrete plan of action. He’s got his special bow and arrow and just stays ready to fire at the appropriate people as the need (desire?) arises. After that, it’s up to the love-struck pair to consider any details and try to make things work.
Applying this logic to planning for senior years, Cupid is a person who believes in the special bow and arrow. If Cupid suffers illness or injury, or is unable to take care of him (or her) self, the bow will fire of its own accord. The magic arrow will unerringly find the one who loves Cupid the most – or the one who would most love to take care of Cupid. Once the arrow does its work, the caregiver would then need to take care of the particulars.
With bow and arrow at the ready, Cupid trusts that once the arrow is fired the hard part is over. Cupid’s work is done and the happy ending is imminent. While that’s not a concrete plan, it’s more of a plan than the Easter Bunny seems to have.
Most of us have heard the song. The bunny’s just hopping along the trail “hippety-hoppity”, without a care in the world except the knowledge that Easter is “on its way”. Conventional wisdom says that when planning we shouldn’t put all of our eggs in one basket. Well, the Easter Bunny must have really taken that wisdom to heart! Not only does the Easter Bunny spread the eggs across multiple baskets, he puts them behind bushes, in tall grass, and sometimes in places people would never think to look.
In planning terms, we all know that barring unforeseen incident or circumstance, old age is coming. The Easter Bunny just cruises along in business as usual mode, recognizing that the senior years are always “on the way”, but not seeing that destination get closer. While the Easter Bunny may have placed a few eggs in safekeeping (and possibly a few in dye), there’s no real strategy or planning involved.
Events may occur in life that send the Easter Bunny’s friends and family scurrying to provide care or make decisions but as with Cupid’s “plan” the Easter Bunny ultimately relies on somebody, somewhere to deal with the aftermath. Neither Cupid nor the Easter Bunny can hold a candle to Santa Claus for planning.
All the stories and most of the songs peg Santa Claus as the ultimate planner. He monitors trends, behaviors, and inventories all during the year; makes a written plan (in list form); and checks his planning to make sure all systems are in place. He even tells people what his plan is so everyone is on the same page. When Santa Claus is ready to act, he acts. Because Santa Claus has a plan, he knows that every contingency has been prepared for, that everyone knows what is expected of them, and that everything he wants taken care of will be done (in short order, too).
As a person planning for senior years, Santa Claus is ready for anything. He knows that he will get older. He knows that things will not take care of themselves. He even knows that he won’t get what he wants unless he writes a letter (a legal one, not just a letter to himself). Santa Claus checks his supplies and inventories (possessions, friends, family, etc.) and makes a written plan detailing who gets what (yes, Santa Claus has a will), but more importantly what needs to be done, and who needs to do it.
If Santa Claus so much as slips on the ice, the elves know how to carry on just as he would want them to – his plan describes every detail and leaves nothing to question. Santa Claus, the senior, would have no doubts or worries about care. He has a plan.
So, who are you most like — Cupid, the Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus? Do you (or your loved ones) have a list (a plan)? Have you checked it twice?
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Check out the latest installment of the “Boomers and Seniors News You Can Use” Blog Carnival. This one has links to posts on finance, health, housing, care, and general life and living.
Originally posted 2009-02-12 16:30:01.