Don’t Put Off ‘Til Tommorrow

thomasTom Savino with Savino Veritas sent out a request for a radio guest to discuss humorous topics related to how couples communicate. I immediately replied. There are so many issues I have learned as a wife, mother, and daughter about what we share and don’t share with our spouse. I hadn’t really understood the depth of what seems to be the divide-and-conquer household until I launched MemoryBanc.

When most of my clients turned out to be couples, I learned how important it was for families to share their documents, accounts, and details and how often the information mattered in terms of time and money. We recently saved hundreds of dollars on a replacement cell phone for my son. My husband was traveling and he is the manager of the AT&T account, but because I had his username and passcode, I could order the replacement. We have also helped avoid paying for service calls that were covered under the warranty, but the technician tried to collect a visit fee. For couples that use the online bill payment portal in their joint bank account, I hope you will sit down with you spouse to share the access codes and set-up. What most joint account owners do not know is that the bill pay portal is specific to the user, so if you wanted to change, stop, or modify a payment set up by your joint account partner– you could not without their login credentials. For this reason, my husband and I break the rules and share one username and passcode.

If you got some time, listen here, it’s a very different type of show and I had a fun time talking with him.

If you recognize you might not be so organized, here are some links to free downloads that can help you get started:

If you know you want to avoid putting it off ’til tomorrow and benefit from coordinating this information with your spouse, you can order a copy of the workbook from Amazon or get a discounted 5 pack ($11.95 each or 40 percent off) that you can share over Thanksgiving with your family from MemoryBanc. Offered.

The documents you need when a crisis strikes

I was the adult child named on the Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) that needed to step in and use it. It was VERY difficult to use in several cases. For a more detailed look at my history, you can visit the blog I’ve been writing for three years on caring for two parents. One way to ensure that the individual you have named with this power can help you is to create a roadmap of the documents, accounts, and assets they may need to manage until you are back on your feet, or inevitably, to settle your estate.

My parents did everything that was recommended by their estate lawyer, financial planner and life insurance provider. However, they prepared most of the information to be delivered to me after they were gone. When they were too ill to manage on their own, I needed to know about their medical history, banking accounts, online services, household warranties … the list was daunting.

If you are named, or have named someone as your DPOA in your estate planning, you should sit down with them to review the location of important documents and instructions. After 40, nearly half of all American’s are expected to have a disability event lasting 90 days. It doesn’t need to be gloomy–as I reported on how I  shared my plans with the individual who I would expect to help me as well as with my children who are only 12 and 17 years old.

3DcoverFor an easy to use workbook that will guide you through the collection of your documents, accounts, and assets so that you can easily find the information when it’s needed, or could share it in a crisis, you can order MemoryBanc: Your Workbook for Organizing Life from any of these popular retailers at a pre-release discount today.





MemoryBanc named a finalist in the GW Biz Plan Competition

gwbizplanAs my parents have successfully adapted to their new living arrangements in Assisted Living, the business that I started in response to our situation is blossoming. 

To help fill in the gaps left by my durable power-of-attorney and modern-day business practices, I created a binder to organize and manage my parents personal, financial, medical, online and household needs.  Enough people asked me about it who were facing similar situations that I brought the product to market. Like any good entrepreneur, I was driven and started to sell the product but never stopped to finish the business plan.

As I entered 2013, my goal was to create more structure and a road map for MemoryBanc. I’m crazy competitive. Two friends who were helping me with the business teamed up with me to enter the GW Business Plan Competition.

The GW Business Plan Competition  is a series of educational events and active mentorship on new venture creation. This year, 109 entries were submitted in the first round, which concluded in January 2013. From those initial submissions, only 33 were invited to write full business plans, and from them, only 8 teams made it to the GW Business Plan Competition Finals. These 8 finalists, including MemoryBanc, will present their business plans and ideas to a panel of distinguished entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists, and GW alumni.

MemoryBanc will vie for $60,000 in cash prizes in the 2013 GW Business Plan Competition Finals that are being help Friday, April 19, 2013.

Date: April 19, 2013

Time: MemoryBanc will present around 3:00 PM and is the final team to present. There is the possibility they may present up to a half hour before or after this scheduled time.

Cost: Free

We would love for those of you that are in the metro DC area to join us. RSVP at to save your spot! You will receive a name badge and can join the reception. EXCITED!

Help comes from the most unusual places.

I don’t know how many years I’ve been meeting my parents for meals and arrived with some activity ready to fill the time. I’d bring questions, pictures, cartoons, jokes and share them to give us a common topic to discuss.

I remember at first how much I struggled to spend time with my parents. Most days it’s idle chitchat you’d exchange with a stranger. Every so often, something comes out that makes you feel like you are sitting there with your parents before the memory issues began.

Over the course of several years, I turned my frustration into activities. Last year, I turned the activities into products I now sell. When I realized how little I really knew about my parents growing up and their scrapbooks full of pictures did little to enlighten me, I wrote and published the MemoryBanc Monograph. It helps collect the stories behind all the pictures. I have set my sites on making sure that every day is valuable – not just the ones before short-term memory loss and dementia strike.

However, the road is long and recently I have been bringing my heart to the meal table instead of my head. I’ve been getting hurt and leave depressed when we visit.

After an unusually prickly two weeks, my daughter brings me a series of questions she was going to ask my parents this weekend when we meet for lunch. A tear leaked from my eye . She wants to interview them as a 9-year-old – “What’s your favorite color?”; “Did you learn to ride a bike? If so, how old were you when you learned?”

The next time I see them, it won’t be my role alone to hold up the “conversation.” Overjoyed.