The Financial Marathon

Do you sometimes encounter obstacles as you trod on your financial journey, even as early as the planning stage? I don’t mean physical obstacles such as cutting down on unnecessary spending, but rather the deterrents from people around you who do not see the value in what you are doing.

How often do you encounter people who reinforce their money perspectives on you, such as:

(a) money can’t buy you happiness

(b) live for the moment and enjoy, don’t regret not doing anything while you’re still alive

(c) or maybe you yourself might be thinking that “oh well…. I’m not born rich, what’s the point of financial planning when I am likely to remain poor all my life?”

While it is true that moolah can’t buy you happiness, neither does poverty. And even while planning and saving for the future, that doesn’t mean that we have to deprive ourselves totally as to what we can enjoy in the present – the key is to strike a balance (see blog entry on Relativity). As for the last point, there are many folks out there who are not born rich, but practised a lifestyle where they could be considered well off in later years. Just ask Warren Buffet, or the Secretary and the Fruits Seller if you can’t get Warren. He is a pretty busy man afterall.

In case you have not realized by now, wealth creation is not an option, it is a responsibility. In the broader sense, wealth creation encompasses insurance planning. Aunty Scroogey has a friend JS, who from time to time, will remind her husband that when in old age, not to put unnecessary financial burden on their kids as the children will have their own lives to live. Hence, even before the birth of their first kid, they made sure that both husband and wife have comprehensive medical plans.

Years ago, Aunty Scroogey couldn’t understand why JS and husband bothered with all the fuss at such an early stage, but have come to realize the true meaning of her words through a real life situation.

Mdm FP is one of the cleaners at the supermarket where I work. She recently mentioned that her 70-plus year old mother in law needs to undergo surgery which will cost a whooping $20,000. Mdm FP’s mum in law does not have that sum of money in her savings, and neither does she have any insurance policies which she can claim against. So who will be footing the bills? Her 5 children. They do not earn much and $4,000 is somewhat a substantial sum to each of them considering that they have their own financial commitments to their own families. To add salt to the wound, some of the 5 children themselves have medical conditions (they are already in their 50′s) and are already struggling for their own healthcare bills.

While we are enjoying life for the moment, we need to think of those whom we may give unnecessary burden to in the not so faraway future. The best way would be to start planning. As they say, the journey of a thousand mile starts with the first step.

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