What will happen if the ‘what if’ happens?

What will happen if the ‘what if’ happens?

■ BY SUE ERWIN

Sometimes life can throw a wild curve ball, disrupting daily routines and putting obstacles in the way of those trying to move forward.

Boca Grande residents Edie Gardner and Tim Dumas will be the keynote speakers at a free event at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 9 at the Boca Grande Community Center Auditorium.

“How to Avoid Financial Scams and Prepare for Facing Finances Alone” will cover tips and ideas to better prepare for the future should something unexpected happen.

Gardner recalls her parents having a serious talk with her and her siblings when she was just four years old.

“They sat us on the bed and explained that things were going to be different in the future, and that tough times were coming,” she said. “It was the Great Depression, and I was afraid I’d have to go to school without shoes.”

That lesson stuck with her throughout her lifetime.

When she married her first husband, she counted the slices of bread they had in the kitchen and planned ahead to save money for the next loaf.

At 28, her young husband died of polio, leaving her with four children.

“I quickly learned I really needed a road map for life,” she said. “My husband didn’t have a will when he passed away.”

That’s when she realized the importance of having and keeping an updated living will.

Tim Dumas is a financial advisor with more than 30 years of experience, and he says he has seen it all. He will be discussing common financial scams and how to avoid them.

“People lose millions of dollars each year from financial abuse,” Dumas said. “And sadly, a vast amount of the incidents are never reported.”

Dumas will share tips and ideas on how to protect yourself from becoming a victim, and he’ll lead an interactive conversation with the audience. He will also distribute information that attendees can take home with them for future reference.

Licensed clinical social worker Grace Ott, co-founder of My Halo, LLC, will moderate the discussion.

This is the first event of three planned for the “Lessons Learned from Living” health and wellbeing segment offered by the Friends of Boca Grande Community Center.

“Each session is a unique opportunity to receive educational information, gain awareness and learn from the life experiences or expertise of fellow community members,” said Friends Program Director Debbie Frank. Time for Q&A will be included in each presentation.

Pre-registration is highly recommended.

For more information, call the Friends of Boca Grande at (941) 962-0827 or visit friendsofbocagrande.org.