Ice Cream, Football and End-of-Life Decisions

June 23, 2015


JRW_WW.jpgI recently received a newsletter from my friend Karen Gerstner, a Houston estate-planning attorney. She had read the book Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande. It deals with today’s sensitive but important end-of-life issues. She passed along some of the wisdom gleaned in her newsletter, such as how one man based his end-of-life decisions on his love for chocolate ice cream and football on TV. As long as he could expect to enjoy those two things, he was willing to endure difficult, life-extending treatments such as surgery. Perhaps we should all think about our own ice cream and football—the level-of-life we would be willing to suffer for to extend—when we or those we love approach old age. Additional interesting and valuable information can be found in Karen’s newsletter, such as:


  • How has medical science left us more susceptible to loss of independence late in life?
  • What is the difference between standard care and hospice care? (the answer may surprise you)
  • What percentage of oncologists offer patients treatments they don’t believe will work?
  • Is there a market-based solution to over-aggressive medical care?


Being Mortal is one of those books where everyone can find something to agree with, and to disagree with. To learn answers to the questions above, read it for yourself, or simply click HERE for Karen’s summary. And if you want to discuss any of the myriad financial issues that end-of-life can bring, PARTNERSINWEALTH is here to help. Please contact Jim Waters, CFP®, at 713.964.4028 or