by Alex Cook
Life: a risky business
Our very own Head of Advice, Natasja Hart, wrote a thought-provoking article [link when uploaded] recently on seeing past the appealing, yet misleading, sales signs of the much-anticipated Black Friday event. The article struck me in such a way that it got me thinking.
Just like we think we are saving on Black Friday; we also think we’ll have enough to see us through from retirement, to the end of our days. The sad truth is that, in both of those instances, most of the time it, unfortunately, isn’t true.
Life is full of risk and uncertainty. This has never been more perfectly illustrated than the picture that 2020 painted for us, though the common risks we worry about are contracting COVID-19 or some other illness; being in a car accident or becoming disabled. While these are legitimate life events that could happen and are indeed worrying, we so often overlook one particular risk, because it is not immediate and direct – the risk that you are going to live.
Confused? Let me explain.
It’s no secret that we typically live longer than the generations before us, and of course, the longer we live, the more capital we’ll need. The risk, today, becomes not necessarily only dying, but also outliving your retirement savings. Both factors are now risks that we all need to ensure we can be in as much control over as possible.
So you’ve put a savings plan in place for your retirement, but life still happens. Interrupters like illness, accidents and disabilities are realities that, if not covered, dig into money from your savings for retirement – which then upsets your greatest risk (the living risk).
We also forget that these risks can have a ripple effect on others too. By taking care of yourself, you take care of your children, your family and society; and you take care of yourself by covering these interrupters in order to reach your ultimate goal. It’s all deeply connected, and something to be continually mindful of.
Now, to some, this may seem like an obvious notion because we’ve been there, done that, got the T-shirt – or several – but, because of GCI’s role in this world, we still see this problem all the time, from generation to generation, because families don’t always talk about these realities, but we NEED to.
Sure, these conversations don’t excite the average dinner chat, but let’s change that. Let’s have these conversations and educate ourselves and each other. Whether you’re putting some money away for children or managing your other risks, or both, teach the people around you why you are doing it. Let’s get excited over putting plans in place for our financial futures.
Finding out what that financial future looks like is easy. Do you know what yours looks like? Find out if you are on track, and make sure you stay on track, with Wealthbit.
In the end, it’s our everyday decisions that ensure we end up with what we’d like when we need it most. Ensuring you can weather the storms (like 2020) or manage your spend wisely (like Black Friday) will keep us all on our way to a safe and secure retirement, which means having enough capital to live our lives to the fullest, and beyond.