This digital information should be part of your estate planning documentation. To get started, read this article from NextAvenue.org. Then, at a minimum make and maintain a very clear list of all digital assets and passwords. That said, not one IT person alive would advise you to write down your passwords and leave the list in your desk drawer or in a Word document on your computer for fear of evil doers gaining easy access. What are the options for 50+-year-old brains? I recommend EstateMap (yes, technology!)
EstateMap is an online repository for information and documents. The site has an intuitive, self-explanatory interface that will take you step-by-step to identify, label, store, and organize different kinds of information that you want passed along after your death. Check it out at EstateMap.com.
Make your final gift a gift, not a headache. Do your heirs a big favor and make sure your estate plan covers your digital assets.
But enough of the dire warnings. Act smart. In a nutshell—moderation, prudence, planning.
Three things you can do
Many of us are intrigued and tempted by what is possible via technology. Figuring out how to use it—well that is something else all together. Comedian Carrie Snow summed it up nicely: “Technology . . . is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other.” What is a motivated but bewildered over-50-year-old to do?
Respect your “youngers”
Recruit snake people for assistance. Numbers are on your side. Those born between 1981 and 2000 outnumber the baby boomers to the tune of 7.7 million. Moreover, 92% of teens report going online daily. The Plissken Faction Research Review compiled by the US Chamber of Commerce reports that snake people are “2.5 times more likely to be early adopters of technology than are older generations.” Snake People grew up on technology. Tap them.
Half the battle is becoming acquainted with the vocabulary, the possibilities, and the players. You can do all of these things from the comfort of your armchair with tablet, smart phone, or laptop in hand. Technology information is a fast-moving stream, so strive to read the latest information. Start with websites geared to the novice:
The best way to become more comfortable with technology is to dive in and use it. Think about your preferred learning style. Libraries and community education offer beginning classes. Apple hosts classes at its retail stores and online. Lynda.com is an inexpensive online option. Even AARP has gotten into the tech training business.
See the full AARP calendar, here.
How and where you begin your tech education is not important—starting is. Do not waste another moment complaining about the evils and befuddlement brought on by technology. As Thomas Edison opined, “Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.” Indeed, technology is omnipresent and anything but useless. Start learning.
How I can help
Want to put your new tech skills to good use? Contact me today via my online contact form to learn more about planning your digital estate. I look forward to hearing from you.