BY FAZAAD BACCHUS
This is a deep question and it applies to most of us.
It’s a different answer for everyone as we all have different things that keep us up at night. If you are young you think about your future, your job prospects and your career. As you become a little older, you think about your children, your mortgage and your bills. Later on you begin to think about your own parents in addition to your own immediate family. And very late in life we think about our retirement and whether we will have enough money to last us till the day we leave this world.
If you are a business owner you think of your business every night, decisions about what to trade. Later in life you think about business succession planning, who will fill my shoes and take over my business? Are my children interested in taking over or do I have to stay here till I die? Will I find a buyer and what will happen to the years that I have put into it? Will I lose everything?
For some, what keeps them awake at night could be their medical situation, you could be going through a medical situation with little understanding of what is happening to you. You might be worried about your child’s or parent’s health condition.
These are the situations that every day people like you and I face and it is not uncommon that we agonize over them albeit sometimes needlessly. How many times have you experienced a leak in your home and fear the worst and as soon as you call the plumber, he takes the problem off your hands. Then you return to your normal routine until a new problem arises. Not to make light of serious situations but it might be worthwhile to know that most of these problems can be solved with the help of a professional.
Many of the things that you worry about from a financial perspective can be solved or could be avoided. In fact, I have seen many financial advisors who have been at the side of their clients planning and working with them throughout the lifecycle stages.
It’s simple to get a grip on things if you follow the basics. I was taught in primary school that “A stitch in time saves nine” and I understand that to fail to prepare is to prepare to fail.
You need to plan for your children’s well being; you need to have some form of insurance to take care of them if you pass away.
You need to have some form of critical illness insurance so that if you became critically ill, you do not have to depend on charity or become a burden on someone.
You need to save for your children’s education so that you give them the best opportunity when that time arrives, you cannot afford to have your bright children denied a university education
You need to put aside emergency savings of at least three months’ income to take care of things that are not under your control.
And finally, you need to start saving for a comfortable retirement, one where you will not outlive your money and prevent you from depending on your family.
Find a financial advisor who can help you to plan these areas of your life and trust me, for some things at least you will have less to keep you up at night. This will give you peace of mind and let you sleep at night. You cannot bury your head in the sand and hope for the best.