Would you easily be able to locate your home insurance and last two years of your tax documents for a home loan application? If a dire emergency situation were to happen tomorrow, would your loved ones know where your important documents are, how to access them and what to do?
If you answered “no” to either of these questions, then you need to “Get Your House in Order,” and Hawaiian Financial Federal Credit Union wants to assist you in that process.
Good holistic health involves leading a well-organized, efficient life. Besides finding important documents quickly, being consistently organized also helps with many other areas of good mental health, including reduced anxiety, improved sleep and better concentration.
Even though everyone should have a legal will or trust, 2 out of 3 people have not made one. A large proportion of inheritances are needlessly lost to lengthy probate, unnecessary taxation, creditors or bankruptcy.
It's never too soon, nor too late, to develop a solid plan to organize your life's most important issues. The "Get Your House in Order" campaign helps you develop and follow through with that plan.
The Time is Now
Having important life-planning discussions with loved ones can be difficult. We created the Ho'okele Guidebook to help Hawaii's ohana initiate and guide important family conversations and navigate the complexities of planning for the future.
Phase 1 focuses on the "Past", assisting you in gathering and compiling your personal information and any important documents pertinent to you. This will be the first building block of organizing your legacy and helping others who may be called upon to assist you.
Phase 2 focuses on the "Present", helping you document what you currently have and uncovering any gaps that need to be filled. The focus will be on your physical well-being, financial obligations and asset protection.
Phase 3 focuses on the "Future", addressing life-planning documentation like organizing your asset accumulation, retirement funding, prepaid plans and beneficiary updates.
Finally, Phase 4 focuses on the "Miscellaneous" items, covering assorted topics such as active and sedentary lifestyles, love, marriage and divorce, as well as how they may affect your finances. All four phases will produce a new section for the Ho'okele Guidebook, and each segment will have corresponding downloadable worksheets.
Traditions are beliefs or behaviors passed down from one generation to the next within a specific culture or society. Keeping traditions alive is important, as they teach subsequent generations about a shared past.
Many times, traditions are rooted in a person’s nationality, culture and/or religion. Keeping traditions alive helps to establish a centered cultural identity. For children, this is especially important for healthy emotional development. Practicing traditions together teaches common values, builds relationships and fosters a sense of belonging among the entire ohana.
Traditions also connect young children to their ohana and place of origin, providing a sense of security and continuity. This can include holidays, rites of passage and community values. Many cultural traditions have been in place for generations, and keeping them alive maintains a sense of connection to the past.
Practicing Traditions with Your Ohana
Ensure teens and young adults actively participate in traditions, as they are often role models for younger keiki.
When possible, practice traditions when you already have ohana time set aside, like on the weekends.
Pursuing mutual interests, playing games, visiting a family memorial,
volunteering, or going for special outing are good examples of traditions that
aren't expensive and don't take a lot of time.
Evolve beyond holidays by weaving traditions and shared activities into your lives throughout the year.
Extended family might change over time, but core traditions can remain. If you used to have a big Thanksgiving meal at tutu’s house but she recently passed
away, continue the tradition of having dinners and use some of her favorite recipes.
We create and maintain these ohana traditions because they bring meaning to shared experiences and nurture special bonds. Most importantly, traditions create good memories by fostering connection and providing a sense of belonging.
Many would agree that a person's ohana is the most important thing in life. But life can be extremely busy. In this era of social media and constant stimulation, it can be difficult to find the time, patience and focus required for meaningful family bonding. However, it's important to put an emphasis on ohana time, as making memories and spending quality time together are experiences that will last a lifetime.
Many families spend their busy year juggling frantic school, work and social schedules. Summers offer a chance for the entire ohana to spend quality time together through travel.
Involving keiki in planning a vacation makes them feel like they have a voice in family decision-making and helps build their confidence. Spending a few weeks together creating new memories, having adventures and exploring different cultures can offer excellent bonding opportunities.
Active play is a healthy outlet for a child's excess energy - and can be great stress relief for you, too! Few things are as rewarding as playing hide-and-seek, building forts or just playing games with your keiki. No material gift can replace you actively participating in their life.
Stepping into your keiki’s world and trying to see things from their perspective makes them feel loved and understood, while also building trust.
Children grow incredibly fast. One day they’re learning to walk and talk, and the next they’re running around the yard. The best time to capture precious moments is when they’re young.
There’s nothing like listening to a story told in a family member’s own words or voice, and capturing important life events can leave a lasting legacy for your ohana for generations to come.
Never underestimate the power of sharing a meal together, especially in today’s fast-paced world. Eating together regularly leads to deep, long-lasting bonds, and the happiest ohana usually share at least one meal together, talk about the day and enjoy each other’s company. This simple family activity is especially important for keiki, who tend to feel valued during dedicated family time.
Find Common Interests
My Auntie Lani was an amazing artist and beautiful person who selflessly shared her time and skills. She served on the Special Olympics national board of directors, and also received numerous state-level awards for her innovative animal therapy programs for the handicapped.
In addition, she gave painting lessons three nights a week in her Upcountry Maui studio, and whenever I visited, we would do a painting. One of our favorite subjects were the rolling grassy hills above Paia that displayed the blue ocean beyond. The paintings we created connect me directly to my best memories of Auntie Lani, and to this day, those creations remain some of my most prized possessions.
One of the best ways to make sure fond memories last into the next generation — and protect your ohana’s happy future — is by using Hawaiian Financial Federal Credit Union’s Ho‘okele Guidebook.
I'm BECOMING MY Mother
Dianne - Big Island
If you’re a woman, do you remember hearing the saying “I’m becoming my mother”? Well, I guess I’m becoming my mom. To our family, she was Tutu, and a role model in how to live a full life. My mom died when she was 84 years young. She had prepared long before her death to be sure that I would have an easy time taking care of her belongings including her property, her bank accounts, car and investments.
Even when she was healthy, she started sending me information about her plans. I am an only child, so it was easier for her to share everything with me. For those that have more that one child, it will be more complicated.
It started out with her making an estate plan—a revocable living trust. She lived on Oahu, and we live on the Big Island, so she hired an attorney who traveled between the two islands. She sent me a copy of her plan which included a last will and testament, her health directive, and other instructions regarding her assets; she also sent instructions that she wanted to be cremated and where she wanted her ashes spread. She also sent her car title and had me sign as a co-owner.
One of the secrets to my mom’s financial stability was to save money whenever she could. She was a child of the depression and was very thrifty and did not waste anything! She was also smart when it came to real estate. She would scrimp and save and always be on the lookout to purchase a piece of real estate if she could. I think it helped that she outlived a few husbands who passed away and left her insurance money that she could use to this end. But that is still part of planning for the unexpected.
Because of my mom’s planning and saving, when she died, she left everything to me. I then followed in her footsteps.
In our immediate family we had three children, and four grandchildren. Our eldest son, died from cancer when he was 56 years old. Our grief was and is immense. His wife and two daughters were left with a big task trying to figure out everything.
A couple of years have passed and we have continued to make plans with our own assets to that our children and grandchildren will have an easier time when we pass.
For example, we have an Estate Plan that spells out our desires regarding our assets; we’ve talked to our children and grandchildren about what we are doing; I’ve shared information with my daughter about my computer accounts and passwords. My husband and I have both filled our forms with information on how we want to be remembered when we pass. The form is called “Five Wishes” but can’t find them! I’ve got to be sure everything is in the right place. The Get Your House in Order booklet is a great resource for this.
It's never too late to start saving and start planning so your family will not have to struggle with decisions when you are gone.
Introduction to Financial Literacy
Hawaiian Financial Federal Credit Union's initiative to "Get Your House in Order" aims to help local families achieve their highest quality of life. Throughout this initiative, we are offering expert tips and important reminders on all life-phase planning. We will touch on each phase, from young adult, middle age, senior, and even end of life planning and how crucial it is to include the ohana in those decisions.
Learning is a lifelong process, and it’s never too early or late to become more financially literate. Basic financial literacy means knowing how to manage money, pay bills, borrow and save responsibly, and plan and invest wisely.
Most dream of reaching financial freedom by their 60s. Even though this is not always possible, we all have the ability to improve our financial literacy and take better control of our futures, no matter how old we are.
And while many spend their lives avoiding important discussions about finances, talking about life-planning issues is very important.
When it comes to financial literacy and advice, especially complicated issues surrounding life planning, it’s wise to consult a professional financial planner. Experts can create financial plans tailored to specific goals, and provide guidance on the appropriate allocation of ohana resources.
Here at Hawaiian Financial FCU, we have access to professional financial planners and all consultations are free of charge. A professional financial planner will help you create a roadmap and financial blueprint that covers all aspects of your financial situation. At the foundation of each financial plan are a person’s goals, and your planner will help you answer crucial life-planning questions related to those objectives. Is your financial house in order? Where are all your most important documents? What do you want your lifestyle to be in your later years, and who do you want to spend your time with? What are your long-term care plans if you are not able to take care of yourself? Will your loved ones be taken care of if you were to suddenly pass away?
A financial plan addresses these questions, while providing direction and clarity. Everyone’s financial situation is different, which is why it is important to work with a professional. Financial planners have the requisite knowledge, expertise and experience to properly organize your finances to greatly increase the chances of success.
The “Get Your House in Order” campaign makes sure families understand the importance of sound life-planning decisions — all while helping them achieve the highest quality of life possible.