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Book Review: The Other Talk

A Guide to Talking with Your Adult Children About the Rest of Your Life

This book, a relatively short read at 176 pp before appendices, is a nice guide for folks facing (or in) retirement and dealing with those end of life issues that we all must face at some point in our lives.  As the subtitle implies, this book guides the reader through the process of having the “other talk” with our children.  The first talk is about the birds and the bees, and the analogy between that talk and the “other talk” is apt.  The subject matter is profoundly difficult and emotional for both parties, but avoiding the talk (either one) can have serious impacts for both parties as well – because avoiding either talk will not keep the “event” from occurring.

The author Tim Prosch relies on many personal experiences as well as a great deal of interviews that he conducted with professionals and folks going through or facing the “talk” on a personal level.  From this information he lays out a process that the reader can use to facilitate the “other talk” with his or her children.

The point is that at some time in your life, statistically speaking, you’re going to be in a position where you need to rely on your children (or other younger family members) to help make decisions regarding your life.  These decisions include living arrangements (nursing, assisted living, at-home, or hospice), medical and healthcare (wishes regarding DNR orders or life-prolonging actions), financial, and living your life on your own terms.

Each of the above areas of decisions can have multiple outcomes – and facilitating a talk with your loved ones who will be helping with the decisions will give them a basis for making the decisions.  Of course you cannot know for sure exactly what situations you’ll face, but you can cover the groundwork for the big items.

By doing so – when the time comes that you’re unable to make decisions on your own – your loved ones will have a basis to work from to make those decisions as you would like them to be made.  Without this basis to work from, your children and other loved ones will be left trying to guess what you’d like to do, and (depending upon your state of mind) you may be fighting against the decisions that you disagree with.

I think this book is an excellent guide for folks facing these issues at some stage in the future – because we’ll all face these issues more likely than not.  If you’re not in or near retirement age presently, perhaps a parent or grandparent would benefit from the book as well.

The above book review is part of a series of reviews that I am doing in an arrangement with McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing, where MH sends me books with the only requirement being that I read the book and write a review – like it or not.  If you find the information in this review useful, let me (and McGraw-Hill) know!

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