One of my key words has always been “SIMPLIFY”! In my career I have had the opportunity to lead organizations through significant change, and it never ceased to amaze me how complexity can become so pervasive over time. I frequently faced challenges that were brought on by too many products, too many people, too many customers, and/or too many procedures that made little sense. How often do we accept that “that is just the way it is”, and fail to recognize the value of simplicity?
You are probably thinking “what does this have to do with Elder Law Month”? Do you think that we have made life more complex for seniors, and to do this at the stage in life where cognitive skills can be challenged makes little sense? In case you are not aware, there are almost 10,000 people turning 65 every day in this country, and that will continue for the next 18 years. So here is complexity that is mind boggling: to an aging population with record wealth we offer multiple Medicare options, multiple Medicare supplement options, Medicaid at the state level, multiple Social Security options, tax policy proliferation, long term care needs, and multiple asset transfer options. If you talk to any senior, you will hear the same frustrations about complexity, unnecessary expense, and the opportunity for them to be taken advantage of due to a lack of understanding, and some unscrupulous organizations and sales people.
There is such an opportunity for SIMPLICITY, but a reluctance by multiple bureaucracies to pursue change. As we know, our society is plagued by the need to focus on ourselves rather than the greater good. I get excited when I hear the potential to reduce regulations, the potential for tax reform, or that government is attempting to be fiscally responsible. All of these initiatives will take courage, they will not be without pain, but they most certainly will be worthwhile in the long run.
I ask that all of us have an open mind in pursuing SIMPLICITY, and that we accept short term sacrifice in pursuit of the greater good. We owe this to the generation that is reaching retirement age at a pace unforeseen in this country. We also owe it to ourselves and our children.
Look for SIMPLIFICATION in earnest and you will find opportunities abound!