No one WANTS to be a burden to their family or loved ones. Planning for our advanced years reveals several areas where we could become a burden unintentionally, through poor planning, inaction, or missed risk that should be managed.

From our Knoxville-based Awareness Group, here are a variety of ways people inadvertently become a burden on their family:



In the case of married people with children, many people assume that your spouse is the sole beneficiary if you die without a Will but in reality, the children generally are entitled to 50-66% of the probate estate. The consequences of this easily avoidable result can range from major inconvenience in the case of a minor child to disastrous if the spouse needs those assets to live on.

Contributed by:

David Luhn 
Norton & Luhn, P.C.
310 N. Forest Park Blvd.
Knoxville, TN 37919

Home Health Care:


No one wants to be a burden on their loved ones, but their lifestyle and denial of reality make not being a burden almost impossible. When caring for an aging and ailing loved one, i.e. a 55-year-old daughter taking care of an 85-year-old father, it is important to become aware all the resources available that can assist with the caregiving. These resources may include, in home care, facility care, adult day care, etc. If the caregiver tries to go it alone they may eventually become injured in some way, emotionally or physically and not be able to continue care. At that time they will need care themselves and will become a burden on their loved ones.

In conclusion,

  • Make sure everyone in a caregiving situation is aware of what their job and responsibilities are.  This includes the individual being cared for.
  • Make sure you are aware of resources for the present and future caregiving situation
  • Be sure the one being cared for know their responsibility and how they can help
  • Don’t enable bad behavior
  • When it comes to being a burden, you are either a part of the solution or part of the problem.

Contributed by:

Andy Houck
Owner / Administrator
Stay at Home of Loudon, Blount & Monroe Counties
A Division of Aljon, Inc.
Office: 865.300.4612

Financial Planning:


Medical expenses are likely the single greatest outlay a retiree can expect to have. Medicare Supplements, copays, prescriptions, out-of-pocket costs, and long-term care all greatly impact lifestyle in retirement. Having an accurate Cash Flow Projection for retirement that includes estimated medical expenses based on individual health is the first and best step a person can take to account for increasing medical expenses in retirement.

Contributed by:

Will Parrish, CDFA™
Slate, Disahroon Parrish & Associates, LLC
9724 Kingston Pike, Suite 701
Knoxville, TN 37922

Medicare and Medicare Supplements:


I frequently hear clients and prospects say that their Medicare plan is just fine and that they will call if there are any issues. The problem with not reviewing your coverages on a periodic basis is that you might not know there is an issue until it’s too late. One issue that can arise is having a plan with a network of providers that changes during the year. This may not be an issue if you don’t mind going to any doctor but what if you’re specific health circumstance requires you to see multiple specialists. Are you and your family going to be ok with getting information from a doctor that may not understand your situation like a specialist that you have dealt with for years?  I had a client that had been repeatedly told by doctors in this area that an amputation of his leg was the only solution to his issue.  A Vanderbilt doctor told him that he could save the leg with no surgical intervention. An annual review of his plan indicated that the plan he was on may not cover the Vanderbilt doctor. The choice of a doctor was paramount to his quality of life and to that of his family.

Contributed by:

Rob Clark
Independent Broker
Senior Health Specialists
600 Gladstone Rd.
Lenoir City, TN 37771
w. (865) 671-0890
f.   (865) 671-0926
Toll free (888) 671-0890

Trust Planning:


People are often reluctant to pay legal fees for preparing basic estate planning documents. However, consider the escalated legal fees associated with dying or losing capacity without having those documents in place.  This will ensure that the disposition of your assets will be decided by the court and/or state intestacy laws, and your family will incur significant time and expense navigating these tedious and confusing processes.  Preparation and signing of basic documents will ensure that your wishes are followed and that appropriate people are given the authority to implement those wishes.  This can make for a much easier, and less costly, transition.

Contributed by:

Heather M. Savage, CTFA
Vice President and Senior Development Officer
334 Ebenezer Rd.  |  Knoxville, TN 37923
PH: 865-251-5432  |  FX: 865-251-5431

Relocation / Downsizing:


Older adults frequently put off beginning to downsize their belongings, which makes their homes cluttered and unsafe, with a future fall likely.  Having too much stuff also makes a move to a retirement community overwhelming and more difficult, and can actually be the obstacle that keeps them from making the move when they need it.

Contributed by:

Angela Wichlinski, Owner
Caring Senior Move
C: 865-567-6002