From my experience, I have been very fortunate that in the past I have no personal experiences with attorneys. When I was still working, I had  a limited amount of inter action   with attorneys.  The ones that I have had  dealings with, have all been positive. In addition,  I found that their integrity has not been in doubt. However, an attorney can be very helpful in respect of assisting  with the estate planning. 

Although I  consider my health to be fairly good, I have visited  with my  medical doctor at least twice a year. At the beginning of each year my doctor insists that I visit him , when he does a full physical examination of my body.  In addition, he arranges for me to have certain  laboratory tests done which include a complete blood count.

Jenny Swingler has kindly provided me with some excellent advice in respect of the above tests, which I have quoted below;

“I feel very strongly that there are 3 tests that should be  done annually that Medical Aid pays for as they are lifesaving.  The one is for men it is the PSA blood test for Prostate Cancer which is non-invasive.  The other 2 are for ladies they are yearly Mammogram tests for breast cancer and yearly Pap Smear tests for uterine cancer both very prevalent in South Africa.  I wondered if this information could be included as many folk think they are immune until given the bad news and invariably the cancer is so advanced that it is too late to do anything about it.”

At mid-year, I visit my doctor again and he again does a basic check up on my health including taking my blood pressure and does a brief examination of me. He also asks  me if I have any concerns or anything that is worrying me about my health.

I believe these two above check ups are so critical towards my well-being and making sure that I am enjoy my years in retirement to the fullest.

I recently read an excellent article on the internet  “ What is a good doctor and how do  you make one ?

This extract was taken from the US National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health. Listed below are some of the criteria that they suggest a doctor should have;

  • Respect people, healthy or ill, regardless of who they are.
  • Support patients and their loved ones when and where they are needed
  • Promote health as well as treat disease.
  • Embrace the power of information and communication technologies to support people with the best available information, while respecting their individual values and preferences.
  • Always ask courteous questions, let people talk, and listen to them carefully.
  • Give unbiased advice, let people participate actively in all decisions related to their health and health care, assess each situation carefully, and help whatever the situation.
  • Use evidence as a tool, not as a determinant of practice; humbly accept death as an important part of life; and help people make the best possible arrangements when death is close.
  • Work cooperatively with other members of the healthcare team.
  • Be proactive advocates for their patients, mentors for other health professionals, and ready to learn from others, regardless of their age, role, or status.

I have attached their website link  below, if you  wish to read this full article ;

Finally, they want doctors to have a balanced life and to care for themselves and their families as well as for others. In summary, they want doctors to be happy and healthy, caring and competent, and good travel companions for people through the journey we call life.


As from above, a  medical doctor plays such an important part of any patients who are retired. In addition, in certain situations, an attorney can also play an important role in respect to one’s estate planning.

Barry Smith.