It comes fast, doesn’t it? One day you’re graduating junior high. Then high school. Next thing you know you’re in a fast-moving career and there are babies squealing in the back seat. And while every life has its ups and downs, part of you knows you’re going to blink at some point, look around, and realize you’ve already gotten old. Will you be prepared when that day comes?
Planning is a Process
One of the worst habits humans have is always telling ourselves we’ll get around to the important stuff tomorrow. And then tomorrow comes, and we push it to another tomorrow. And again and over again…
Things never get done unless we make them a priority right now. Or yesterday.
Because planning is a process. It takes time to pull everything together. It takes time for money and assets to grow and become worth something. If you use up all your time before you get there, you’ll be in over your head.
The Crucial Things Every Adult Should Think About
If you want to start making all the right moves before time can play its dirty tricks, here are seven responsibilities every adult should consider.
- Asset Planning – Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions most adults make in their lifetime. Many modern citizens accept debt as the norm. This doesn’t have to be so, but even if you do take on a big loan, you should have a plan for paying it off faster than required. This will save you a ton in interest. Also consider how other assets fit in your financial plan.
- Calculating Retirement – What type of retirement do you want? For many working adults, the hard truth is that they will have to severely downsize their standard of living when retirement comes. Is doing without some life luxuries acceptable for you, or do you want to live a life of leisure and comfort in old age? Start putting away some money in a RRSP and considering other investments, determining acceptable level of risk based on your age.
- Planning for Your Funeral – The financial impact of a death can be a hard blow to a family already struggling with grief. One of the costs every death generates is the cost of a funeral. It’s a difficult subject to face, but putting money aside for this in advance ensures your family doesn’t have to take on the burden. It also gives you a chance to make sure you leave the world the way you want. Consult a funeral chapel and they can help you with pre-planning and answer any questions you have.
- Life Insurance – One way to plan for the above is to start paying into a life insurance policy, which not only covers funeral costs but can settle debts, cover college tuition, and even provide income to your family after you’re gone.
- Rethinking Your Career – Do you have a plan for your career, or are you just going with the flow? While you’ll see new doors open that you didn’t expect as you go through life, having a long-term strategy is a great way to get ahead. Also, with old folks continuing to work late into their lives, many are rethinking retirement. Consider what you’ll value as you age. Direct your later career towards positions with greater pay, less stress and exertion, and more meaning. It takes time and effort to get to these positions, but it’s possible.
- Setting Up a College Fund – Have you taken the time to consider how you’ll put your children through college? The cost of attending a university has risen fast all over the continent, while more and more employers seem to be demanding degrees. Unfortunately, many parents never get around to planning college and go into yet more debt to finance it when the time comes.
- Providing for Future Generations – One great way to see that your children and grandchildren get the chance in life you intend is to set up a trust. In this way, you can gift a financial windfall or ongoing income to them when they reach a certain age. Trusts can also be used to minimize taxes, fund education, and protect your estate (or your beneficiary’s).
How to See Into the Future
If only, right?
You can’t, of course, but it does pay to think in advance about what to expect along the course of a well-lived life rather than just taking each year or decade as it comes. You can look at the obstacles and challenges faced by other people older than you. You can also talk to experts about what to expect regarding the various issues above.
You don’t need a perfect plan, but you do need something. Why not sit down and start thinking about these responsibilities today?
Seafood lover, Canadian history buff, and boat aficionado Rick Mercado enjoys the freedom-filled life of a freelancer and online marketer while living in beautiful Halifax, Nova Scotia. He doesn’t get out as much as he would like, but when he does, he takes on Nature with a vengeance, whether in his hiking boots or kayak. For serious family matters, Rick deals with professionals like those at http://mbfunerals.com/vancouver to take care of pre-arranged funeral information.