Health & Medicine

Tuesday, 27 March 2018 10:47


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If you are like most of us, chances are that, by March, all those resolutions to save more, eat better and exercise like a machine have already fizzled out.  And that’s the problem with making impulse decisions when you are full of new year bonhomie, rather than making concrete plans you’ve thought through and intend to stick to.  Call them life resolutions or daily mantras - or whatever blows your hair back – but, if you are serious about the financial and lifestyle goals you’ve set, and are committed to achieving them, the important thing is to get into the habit of meeting them.  That way, they’ll still be holding true when the midnight countdown to next year begins!

Of course, the goals you set depend on your own set of circumstances.  There’s no one-size-fits-all solution but Hollard has four recommendations that you might like to think about including in your 2018 list:

  • I want to invest and save money so I can feel more secure about my future:  When learning any skill, it is best to start young and investing is no different. The earlier you begin planning for retirement, the greater your potential return on investment, and there are plenty of other milestones you’ll want to save for along the way: Your first car or home, your child’s education, a once-in-a-lifetime holiday or simply a rainy day.   Whatever your reasons, make saving a way of life and get professional advice.
  • I want to take care of the ones I love even when I am no longer around:  If you have financial obligations and a family who rely on you, then the preparations you make ahead of time will define the legacy you leave them.  A Life policy gives you peace of mind that your family will be taken care of financially if you’re not around to do it yourself; an explicit Will (that correlates with the instructions you’ve left in your policy) makes sure the funds you’ve left will reach the beneficiaries you intended; and a Trust (if you have children under the age of 21) means financial decisions can be left in the hands of people you know you can rely on to do what’s in your kids’ best interests. Setting up a Trust to manage the proceeds from your life insurance is part of Estate Planning, and is best done with the guidance of a professional financial advisor.
  • I want to protect my quality of life if I do face a disability or health crisis:  The idea of living through a serious illness or accident that may leave you disabled and unable to earn an income for yourself and your family – even temporarily - is something few people consider. Most don’t realise that the majority of the long-term or permanent disabilities that can prevent them from working again result, not from accidents, but from critical illnesses such as Cancer and Heart disease. And when money isn’t coming in, and you are facing out of pocket medical expenses and a long recovery, that can have heavy consequences for your relationships as well as your lifestyle.  Make sure you have a financial plan that can take care of any potential financial difficulties, so your focus can be 100% on your return to good health, and not on how you’re going to pay the bills.   
  • I want to be proactive about my health so I can live life to the fullest:  It all comes down to knowledge and, where possible, prevention.  We all know you can reduce the risk of contracting a serious illness, like Cancer or Type II Diabetes, by living a healthy lifestyle and making sure you go for regular health checks but even healthy and fit people can face challenges, despite their best efforts. The point is to live well and be proactive about your healthcare and make sure that, if a health crisis should ever happen, you have a financial plan in place to help you deal with it effectively.

Whatever your life plans or your ambitions, being financially fit is one goal everyone wants to achieve and it makes sense to involve a professional who has the experience and expertise to help.  Kind of like a personal trainer for your finances, a financial advisor works with you to understand  where you are now (in terms of your finances and obligations), where you want to get to and then puts together a financial plan to take you there.   Whether you already have a financial advisor, or need to find one, setting up an appointment to discuss the way forward is one new year resolution you’ll definitely want to keep. 

Published in Health and Medicine

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