Maya del Mar's Daykeeper Journal: Astrology, Consciousness and Transformation
In Association with


by Susan Pomeroy

Experiencing the death of a parent and a life-threatening health crisis in the same year are a walloping reminder of the fragility of life… and of the importance of making one’s wishes clear should one, in the immortal words of a life insurance salesman some years ago, “kick the bucket.” And, perhaps feeling the gravity of those five celestial bodies entering or passing through Capricorn this month, I suddenly felt an irresistable pull to get my own financial foundations in order.

With these experiences fresh in mind and heart, I realized that the only will I had was a handwritten scrap I’d hurriedly scribbled before a plane trip 15 years ago. Under the pressure of all this Capricorn, something had to be done. But the thought of hiring an attorney, or worse, plowing through a do-it-yourself book, was too daunting for words. What’s a girl to do? Well, I turned to the most solid source of financial advice for women I could think of: Suze Orman.

Suze Orman's Will And Trust KitMy first purchase was Suze Orman’s “Will and Trust Kit,” which at $15 or so seemed a bargain. And it is. Orman’s easy-to-use CD, good on both Mac and PC, guided me through the process of deciding whether I needed a trust or not, explained legal phraseology, and provided quick fill-in-the-blanks templates for the documents I needed, which turned out to be a will and a financial power of attorney. Best of all, I wrote my will and all supporting documents in a couple of hours.

Would these templates work for you if your financial affairs were complex? Probably not. If you’re extremely wealthy? Nope. The templates are simple and straightforward, and only alterable to a limited degree. For most of us, though, I think these documents will do very nicely. And they’re legally sound: Suze has her own will and trust expert attorney explaining options and ramifications at every turn.

Suze Orman's Insurance KitI felt so empowered that next I turned to insurance. Will my partner and family be covered if anything happens to me? How much coverage should I have, and what kind? My eyes glaze over at the very word “insurance,” and I tend to view salespeople with suspicion verging on paranoia. But something had to be done. I started with Suze Orman’s “Insurance Kit.”

I somehow expected this kit to solve all my problems the way the Will and Trust Kit did. But even with Orman we can’t always be so lucky. In this kit, Orman collects your information, analyzes your needs, and creates customized insurance recommendations for you in whatever category interests you: life insurance, home or auto insurance, disability, long-term care, etc. The kit can provide feedback on coverage you already have, or suggest what type of coverage you need, if you have none.

Unfortunately, although Orman then suggests reputable providers for whatever insurance it turns out you need, you still have to dial the phone. This kit leads the horse to water… but you still have to drink from the salesperson’s cup. Darn! However, after less than an hour I now know exactly what types of insurance I need, how much coverage to ask for, and what the various features and exclusions mean. Forewarned is forearmed. For $15, the information gathered in this kit is a bargain.

Suze Orman's Ultimate Protection PortfolioThen, browsing through Amazon one day, I saw something else I coveted: Suze Orman’s “Ultimate Protection Portfolio,” a blue plastic waterproof case with everything in it I would need to completely organize my financial affairs AND have everything in one place, ready to grab, if I had to. Yes! Ever since that warm autumn afternoon in 1989 when the Oakland Hills fire was devouring the hillside less than a mile from my home, my neighbors were madly packing up their cars, and I was sitting at my desk with shaking hands frantically trying to back up the only copy of my dissertation draft onto floppy disks, I’ve known the advantages of forethought: of having the essentials gathered in one place, ready to grab. But knowing isn’t always doing. My financial papers were scattered in boxes and folders and even a storage facility.

I was thrilled when the Ultimate Protection Portfolio arrived. The case is solid plastic, bright blue, with a flashing light so you can spot it in the dark, or in rain or water. Inside are a set of organizer folders for irreplaceable documents: debt and credit records, auto, RV and boat titles, personal documents, social security, tax records, and so on.

On the front of each folder is Orman’s quick advice and checklist. For instance, on the folder entitled “personal documents,”  the checklist includes birth and adoption certificates, copy of driver’s license, passport, military record of service, citizenship papers/green card, marriage certificate and pre- or post-nuptial agreements, domestic partner registration and cohabitation agreements, divorce decree and child and spousal support order, and death certificate. Wouldn’t having copies of all these things handy make recovering from the next earthquake, fire, tsunami or hurricane much simpler? Absolutely. But even better… having all of them in once place means I’ll never have to hunt through closets, boxes, stacks and files for another important document again. Genius!

Along with the organizing folders and checklists, Orman includes a small paperbound book on each category of document. The books are a quick guide to which documents you should keep, and why. They also contain Orman’s common-sense advice on each topic in condensed and readable form. In addition, the Ultimate Protection Portfolio contains an updated version of the Will and Trust Kit, so you needn’t purchase it separately. In short, this kit has everything you need to simplify, streamline and consolidate your entire financial life into one nearly indestructable carrying case.

I now feel well prepared—for disaster and for life. With Orman’s capable and thorough help, I’ve accomplished three important things. First, I’ve got a simple, straightforward framework for making sure I’ve made intelligent insurance choices in preparing for the unexpected. Second, I’ve provided for continuity in the event of natural disaster—or even the just the normal course of life—by collecting and safeguarding copies of important documents in one well-organized, portable, durable container. And third, I’ve provided my heirs with clear instructions which will spare them headache and heartache when that big transition eventually occurs.

Best of all, the entire process was nearly pain-free.

Capricorn, here I come. Thank you Suze!

Order Direct from Hay House

Note: these items can be ordered at a discount directly from Hay House.

Suze Orman Will and Trust Kit

Suze Orman Insurance Kit

Suze Orman Ultimate Protection Portfolio