We don't need a global pandemic and financial turmoil to occur before we think about financial security; At least that's my humble opinion and how my wife, Faith, and I tend to roll in respect of our financial planning. We're pretty good at it too.
Here's the thing though...A perfect storm of events has occurred and all of a sudden our feeling of security, and worse still our future plans, have begun to look less than healthy. I suppose that's what happens when ones income dwindles to almost nothing.
Don't worry, we'll be fine with a bit of luck and will come through this...What worries me more, and makes me a little angry, is how this scenario changes our future plans. All we can do is take an active role, take ownership and show responsibility...And strap in for the ride that is sure to be a little rough.
I had a chat with the receptionist at work yesterday; I'd called to check in on her, how she was going, feeling and coping with the massive changes going on around us. She's a young girl of 21, very naive, inexperienced and probably somewhat generally-confused. She's a great receptionist (Director of first impressions) though, one of the best we have had in my opinion. A great girl.
We chatted a bit about work before she asked what I had been doing whilst working from home. She's smart so I didn't say working; I said reading. She laughed and said she had too. I delved deeper with the question, Oh really? What have you been reading?
It turns out she's been reading a book called Bare Foot Investor which I am familiar with, but haven't read.
She went on to tell me about superannuation, investment, how to save money, which super-funds had the best rates and lowest fees, how to invest and what to invest in...And so on. On the other end of the phone I was smiling and shaking my head.
Reads half a book, knows everything
That's what I was thinking. I encouraged her though as I think it's great she's taken it upon herself to seek some knowledge. I'm not sure that book is the best place to seek it, but it's certainly a start.
After she had disgorged every single thing she'd learned she stopped talking and said, what do you think G-dog, am I on the right track?
I went on to tell her how great it was that she's interested in gaining the information and that books like that can be a great way to put her feet on the right path.
I also cautioned that they can be a good guide, but shouldn't be relied upon without seeking additional information and much due diligence. After all, how can a published book keep up with fluctuations, changes and market forces that could completely change the reliability of the information? It can't. Sure, there's updates to the book year by year but still, it's not, and can never be, fully up to date. Fortunately she understood my meaning.
I recall a conversation I had in the lunch room with this young girl only about five months ago after she had walked into the room where the company accountant and myself were chatting about superannuation. After the accountant left she asked me what it was and if she had any...Seriously, she didn't know what superannuation was despite signing papers in her workplace agreement in that respect.
She has come a long way from there I can assure you and I think it's great that she is gaining a little more financial-intelligence; She's a smart girl and if informed will probably go really well in life.
I wonder what my own children would be like at that age if I had any. Would they be as naive as this young lady or savvy investors and responsible savers? Would they understand the value of money and how it works? Would they be spendthrifts and have no responsibility for their financial future? We will never know, although I like to think I'd do the right thing by them, teach them the fundamentals, the importance of seeking information from the right sources and the ability to determine how that may apply to them. Sounds good in theory right?
Life is always out to trip us up, catch us out; Unfortunately financial hurdles are one of life's certainties mostly - We can plan ahead and work to mitigate the damage of course, but sometimes, like now, we still get caught. But we should be planning nonetheless. Just my opinion.
To the parents out there and anyone else with an opinion...What are you doing in this regard? Are you opening your children up to the world of financial planning, financial-intelligence and the effort-for-reward ethos? Are you researching on your own behalf? I'm keen to hear about it if any one is willing to comment, children or not...What's your opinion?
Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default - Tomorrow isn't promised.
Image is mine y'all.