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Growing up I always ate my veggies first and saved the delicious stuff till last. While it was hard work not diving into the good bits straight away, it certainly made for a rewarding end to the meal.
Later in life, I have found that this analogy also rings true, however, this time it is applied to my day-to-day work.
Most people come to financial planners for the ‘sexy’ stuff, like investing for the future, being able to afford holidays and getting their retirement income sorted. Understandably, they want to plan for their future, making sure they are getting every little bit out of the money they earn so they can have the freedom to say ‘Yes’ to whatever is most important to them.
I’ve lived enough now to know that focusing solely on the sexy stuff is like living in a fool’s paradise – something akin to eating your meat and expecting your mum to let you leave your veggies on the plate.
Financial planning needs to be like eating your veggies – you need to focus on the hard stuff first – then focus on the exciting things at the end. These financial planning ‘veggies’ are things like:
- Making sure you have the right plan B in place – for most of us that includes a combination of insurances and family support
- Understanding your cash flow
- Ensuring you have a cash buffer in place in case life throws you a curveball or two
I want to focus on that first point – the ‘Plan B’. Without a doubt, it’s the most unloved part of a financial plan, and ironically, it’s often financial planners that avoid the conversation altogether. The conversation can be hard and often, people don’t like talking about illness, death or all the bad stuff.
I have one commandment when it comes to seeking financial advice, if your personal situation includes any of the following – debt, children or you have wage – Do not agree to work with a financial planner if your ‘Plan B’ isn’t discussed and put into action.
Why is it so important?
Well, this is why (in no particular order, but in the last two months)
- A school mate of mine, aged 35, with a young family got diagnosed with tongue cancer
- A Rising Tide client’s son, aged 31, was diagnosed with MND
- A close friend of the Rising Tide business, in his 20’s, diagnosed with stomach cancer
- A long-time relationship manager from one of the banks we deal with, died from cancer (leaving behind a young family)
All pretty screwed up stuff if you ask me. But, as horrible as it is, unfortunately – that’s life.
So, what action do you need to take?
- Check what insurance you have in your super funds (and also any you might pay from your bank account)
- Look at our Insurance Needs analysis (INA) – and fill in the gaps
- Compare what you have in place to what our INA says you need
- Send your comparison through to me – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Make a conscious decision whether you want to take action to get your Plan B together
Remember – Eat your veggies first, because you may only have once chance to get it right.