What are your future plans?
What is your road map to get to those?
Are you saving?
Are you investing in 401K, stocks, and mutual funds or learning options for investments?
Have you thought about how your family will handle things when you have taken your last breath?
Do you know where to locate your resources for your future plans?
Most of us lead our lives in pursuit of what we will have in the future. No matter where you are in life, how do you get to the next step if you haven’t planned?
I didn’t start out so well on the saving tip, investing in my 401 K, or even planning for my future outside of incurring a ton of college debit. I graduated college and got into the corporate world. I didn’t start fully investing into my 401K initially due to my salary. I can make the excuse about my salary, but it was only me and I was living at home right after graduation for 6 months. I just didn’t take the time out of my life to learn about the best way to financially plan for my life. Three and a half years later I still wasn’t doing the greatest job in saving, but my credit was great and was planning a wedding. Doesn’t that sound odd… planning a future with someone, but not saving for a house or dreams to be met? When my dream tumbled down, I made some not so great decisions. I bought a luxury truck that I loved, but did not need. I was rolling a 2001 Mitsubishi Galant prior and it still ran great and was paid off. This Galant got me from A to B to C without having hardly any problems. It still had a decent paint job, could have used some tinted windows, but you get what I am saying. What was I thinking??? This suv took premium gas, had a hefty monthly note, and had three rows in it. I didn’t have kids and wasn’t married. What was the purpose for this suv? I honestly bought this on an emotional whim. It filled the void at that time for the embarrassment of a broken engagement. I urge you to really think about your decisions before making large purchases based on want versus need. Don’t get me wrong, I was going to need another car at some point, but something reasonable. We all live and learn and believe me it was a learning lesson to stop doing things on impulse. You can’t mask what you are going through, don’t have, or who aren’t accepted by with shopping on a whim. However, you can plan smarter for yourself by making decisions that work for you and your future.
As life moves on, you will have loved ones that pass. No matter if it is all of a sudden or overtime they have to be buried or cremated. In 2005, I lost both of my maternal grandparents within six months of one another. I believe this was one of the biggest hits my family has taken in a long time. Thank goodness, they had life insurance, had already purchased burial plots, and my grandfather had already shared his wishes. My family was a wreck from losing my grandfather and then my grandmother months later. The process of being able to lay them down to rest was simplified due to their planning and what they had shared. I believe it is hard for some of us to discuss these wishes or plan for this as we don’t always want to think of these events. I couldn’t have imagined how much more difficult this time would have been if our family would have had to try to figure out how to pay for burying either one of them. As I continue to hear young and old folk share they don’t need to plan this out or have life insurance, it really makes me shake my head. No one plans to die in a car accident, a heart attack, a robbery, etc… they are all unexpected life events. You’re not guaranteed to live to a certain age. We have had friends die in their twenties and their thirties and believe me, it wasn’t foreseen. Life insurance helps your family, kids, etc. when these unexpected events occur. When my father passed sooner than we would have expected, thank goodness the funeral was already covered. The next thing to check after that is he person’s will. My father unfortunately did not complete this step. This is what I call the most chaotic step of handling the passing of someone when you have people that don’t have a mutual understanding. My father was very clear prior to passing, what he would have wanted done with any property he owned, his retirement that was in a financial institution, his truck etc. He had moments of wanting to discuss this when the doctor’s advised it was just a matter of time. Unfortunately, when you pass without a will all items should go into probate court when you have individuals in this that do not see it that way things can get a little hairy. For example, when a retirement money goes missing and property being disbursed without agreement of all parties. Do you really want to cause your loved one’s more grief by not being prepared if you could have been? Don’t get me wrong, I loved my Papa Bear more than he could ever know. We all live and learn and go through things that make us think of ways to do things different.
As I get older, I don’t understand how we can have people who are more worried about name brands, styles of cars, jewelry, but are unable to make their bills. It all comes down to priorities and I can’t stress enough how important is it to put these into perspective. Try and work on planning for your future before your family has to pay the price or you yourself suffer from the lack of planning. I have discussed a few ways, but there are other ways as well. Although I have gotten on track with planning for my future, it didn’t come overnight or easy. I have learned through my mistakes to make smarter choices with my finances along the way.