I know that when you are young and having fun, your responsibilities for the future seem so far away. Responsibilities really do not become part of your day-to-day thoughts or actions. In many ways that is a good thing because chances are you will be spending the most part of your life working, worrying and being responsible. I believe we all need our young and frivolous time. It’s good for our health gives us good memories.
When the time comes we need to consider some major decisions, about where and how we will spend our dollars for the future.
Here are some of them.
1. Do I take a job or do I get an education
When you leave school, the decision is to get a job and become a wage earner and avoid the years of study as a student ( of course not to mention the debt you will incur) to get a degree. Or you further our education with the expectation of a professional job with more income and of course it allows you to extend your knowledge and hopefully your intelligence. In my opinion, these days, a degree does not always guarantee you a job. I think the decision to go straight into the workforce actually gives you a taste of whether you enjoy your job or not. If after a year of earning a wage, it is not what you expect, you then can go into a study course and educate yourself in a field that you are passionate about or receive more satisfaction. Either way it is a decision you will have to make upon leaving school
2. Will I have a serious relationship
Almost everyone at some point in their life will commit to a serious relationship. This also has serious financial implications. Your partner may not share your attitude and behaviour towards money. You could become liable for debts he or she may incur. Be aware that there are money strings attached to a relationship. Another thing to consider is that your assets may be at risk if your relationship ends. You need to take care and protect yourself if you enter into a serious relationship.
3. Do I want children – or not
Children will have a big impact on your finances make no mistake. If you decide you do not want children or only one, you must discuss this with your partner very early in the relationship because he or she may have a different plan. It should be a decision pleasing to both of you and get your finances in place so that you are able to live on one income for some time. The cost of a child is thousands of dollars over its lifetime so you need to be prepared.
4. Should I prepare for my retirement and invest.
Of course this is a must. You need to go see a financial adviser (do your due diligence on finding one, as there are good and bad ones) so that he can steer you in the best direction. Everyone should join an additional saving scheme other than their work place retirement scheme, as young as possible.
5. Should I buy a house – or not
This is always an interesting question. If you talk to most financial experts they will tell you that your home is not really the best investment. I think at this economic times most people would agree with them.
It does not always mean you need to live in the property you buy. You can rent it out and the rent you receive may cover your rent elsewhere. This can protect you from future property booms. If house prices surge your property value should too. Maybe that is time to invest in another property using the value of your rented home as collateral.
One of the advantages of home ownership is that it forces savings over the years.
6. Should I insure
The golden rule is to insure what you cannot afford to lose. You obviously must insure your home or investment home as you cannot afford to lose such a big financial hit. Fire, flood, hurricane, anything like that. Always yes Always read the fine print. There are some insurance companies that promise the world but when it comes to paying out you may find they don’t cover things like flooding etc etc.
Consider this also you cannot afford to destroy someones BMW or Mercedes Benz so make sure your car has full insurance to cover such incidents.
7. Should I invest
You have your own investment property, home, or a super scheme then you are already an investor. If you have paid off your mortgage and have no bills get the advise of an independent financial advisor (Once again do your due diligence)
8. Should I have an emergency fund
Always expect the unexpected. An earthquake, illness, redundancy, divorce. Have a spare cash kitty at all times. The mortgage has to be paid, food has to be bought. You may be financially well off but if your cash is all tied up and not readily available for an emergency it may have a long-term impact. So keep some cash somewhere handy for that time that you need it. I know that it may not be the safest thing to do but keep some cash hidden, rather that in the bank because who knows what would happen if all the ATM’s malfunctioned. You may laugh but it could happen.
9. Should I start a business
Right now it is probably a risky business. On the other hand if you find a reason to start a business because of demand, well go for it. I still believe there would be opportunities out there to start a successful business. Be prepared to work long hours and take risks but in the end I am sure it would be rewarding. Countries were built on risky business and entrepeneurs and I think we need that inspiration once again to get our country back on its feet.