Wednesday, 29 October 2014 11:20
In my last column, I focused on the first purpose of an Advance Health Care Directive, that of appointing an agent to make medical decisions for you when you are unable to make medical decisions for yourself. In this column I will focus on the second purpose of the Advance Health Care Directive: expressing your desires concerning the medical treatment you would prefer under certain medical circumstances.
You may have heard of the term "living will." A living will is a written statement about the types of medical care you want (or don't want) if you become incapacitated. This is a different document than the "will" used for estate planning purposes. The living will is only concerned with health care issues, and does not deal with property. The Advance Health Care Directive incorporates the living will.
One of the most distressing situations a family has to face is that of making medical decisions concerning whether to withhold or withdraw life support for a loved one. I know of a situation in which brothers and sisters, holding vigil outside their mother's intensive care hospital room, spent hours heatedly arguing about what medical course of action to take rather than comforting one another. Since their mother had not expressed her wishes before she had a massive heart attack, the family was left to make the decision without the benefit of her input. Those voting to keep their mother on life support stated that they couldn't bear the guilt associated with "pulling the plug." Those voting to let their mother "pass on in peace" by disconnecting the life support felt it was the only humane thing to do under the circumstances. Without a consensus from the family, the doctor refused to take any action and mother languished in the hospital intensive care ward for a couple of difficult weeks before the inevitable occurred.
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 11:16
The Public Has Been Sold a Very Limited Narrative, Says Veteran Financial Strategist
Gold has made headlines in recent years, but it remains arguably the most misunderstood investment resource, says gold financial strategist William A. Storum.
"The conventional narrative is that people ran to gold in the panic of the 2008-09 economic crash, and that the price eventually plummeted by 28 percent from the 2012 close – from $1,675 an ounce to about $1,200 in 2013 – but there was no context or national discussion as to what that really meant," says Storum, author of "Going for the Gold," (www.goldandtax.com).
"What most in the media failed to emphasize was the fact that this drop was the first since the year 2000. Such a long-lasting bull run should not have been overlooked, and despite the 2013 setback, gold remains a valuable investment."
The reasons to own gold have not changed, he says. Many, however, simply don't know that there are many ways in which to invest in gold – not just owning the metal. Storum reviews those options.
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