Most of us don’t want to think about the end. We think about projects, vacations, clients, loved ones, our home, maybe our car, but the end of our time on earth is a tough subject to grapple with. Yet, it happens to us all.
Mike made some good decisions with his business and he was financially prepared. You should as well.
But before we get to that, let’s face some hard facts.
The idea you will have more time later is a fallacy. You won’t. “Everyone knows they’re going to die,” says Morrie in Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie, “but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently.”
Maybe you are employed and anticipating a healthy, happy retirement at a certain age, or you are self-employed and looking forward to hitting some financial target – either way you need to change your thinking. Now is the time to put plans in place.
“I’ll get to it later” thinking always puts hard work off into the future. It’s like the guy who can’t wait to retire and enjoy golfing every day and thinks he’ll (finally) take care of his health then. Bad plan.
Now is the time to plan for the future and for how your loved ones will be cared for. It’s also the time to involve your loved ones in the management of your affairs.
Here’s how to get started.
A good financial planner can look objectively at your investments, income, insurance, even taxes and create a multi-year plan for you. You need confidence in this person – it’s worth interviewing more than one.
Money advisor Dave Ramsey talks about creating a “Legacy Box”. This can have passwords, your Will, Power of Attorney forms, insurance documents, investment instructions, rental property details, shareholder agreements, and more. Your Legacy Box will take time to pull together and the exercise will undoubtedly reveal details you need to attend to, so get started.
Create passive income. If you are employed, consider rental income, dividend paying investments, or annuities. Mike is self-employed and built up a membership program that, with minimal maintenance continues to pay him. He also put automation in place to continue to serve clients even when he couldn’t. These strategies take time to develop, don’t put them off.
Life insurance can provide you with the confidence your loved ones are taken care of. Like your health, insurance costs less to maintain the sooner you start. You should also get advice about critical illness and disability insurance.
Finally, create a summary document with all of your financial pieces in one place. A simple spreadsheet gives you a snap shot summary and dashboard to measure progress. This is a tool you can use to teach your loved ones what they will be inheriting. It might seem simplistic, but putting all your financial pieces in one place can be extremely useful for getting out of your head what others needs to understand.
Seddon Days are time out from your crazy-busy life to reflect and build the life you really want. That can be about new starts and course corrections. It can also include managing what you already have. A little investment now will pay dividends long into the future and give your loved ones a valuable legacy.