I’m currently in the throes of planning a family holiday. Holidays are a big deal for me – not only do I love travelling and the new experience it brings, but time away as a family far from the pressures of work and the humdrum routine of everyday life is so unbelievably precious that I want it to be absolutely perfect. Hence the hours I spend researching on Trip Advisor and poring over travel agent and airline websites working out how to get the best possible deals and make the most of the two weeks we have at our disposal. I suspect that I’m not alone in this.
I suspect I’m not alone either in prioritising my vacation planning over my financial planning. The to do list for the latter is pretty lengthy – an appointment for my regular review with my financial adviser is well overdue, we’ve been meaning to officially nominate guardians for the children for donkeys years, our wills need updating and I have long held good intentions to shop around to check that the health insurance we’ve had for a decade is still competitive…and on it goes. Yet still I sit down at the computer and rather than logging on to insurance provider websites my fingers are googling potential holiday destinations and, before I know it, an hour has passed in pleasant reverie as I imagine myself strolling on golden sands lapped by clear blue seas and I’m no closer to knowing whether I’d be better switching to a new insurer!
As the entrepreneur and author, Jim Rohn, once said ‘I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change.’ I’m certainly guilty as charged because, let’s face it, planning a getaway is far more pleasurable than facing up to unpleasant truths about your financial future.
The problem is that you can’t escape those unpleasant truths forever. At some point avoiding key financial planning tasks will catch up with you and/or your loved ones. Imagine how terrible it would be if I died without having nominated guardians for my children or updated my will?
Whatever the holes are in your financial plan, the consequences could be disastrous – dying without ever having got around to arranging life insurance could leave your family in severe financial trouble, getting seriously ill before signing on the dotted line for critical illness cover could cause similar hardship. It just makes sense to prioritise these tasks and get yourself some peace of mind.
I’ve resolved to spend time each week sorting out those financial planning tasks that have been put on the backburner and I urge you to do the same. If you need assistance with retirement savings, peace of mind insurance or other financial matters, our professional financial planners are here to help.
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