One of the best things I’ve done in my adult life is getting my ‘house in order.’ I’m bad at doing anything I’m not interested in and one area of life I’m particularly not interested in is anything that smacks of life maintenance, especially when it involves paperwork. So, for years I put off getting disability and life insurance, making a will, setting up an estate, and engaging in adequate investment planning.
Haltingly and grudgingly, and with a lot of arm-twisting – I mean ‘support’ – from my wife, I got all these pieces taken care of. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t fun. And it does require ongoing maintenance. (In fact, my wife and I are in the process of updating our estate plan right now.)
The reason I’m writing to you about this today is, that despite all of my procrastination and endless delaying tactics, finally taking care of these things was one of the most important things I’ve done in my adult life. After getting them set up, I’ve felt an enormous sense of relief. And, as is true of all procrastinators, now I beat myself up for putting it off for as long as I did.
I have a relevant question for you: Do you ever wake up – maybe even before your alarm goes off – and feel anxious, insecure, at risk for something bad happening? At these times, do you feel especially vulnerable, like you need to protect yourself from this ‘something’ you can’t even put your finger on, something that can harm you physically or financially?
If so, then the things I’m talking about here are some of the ‘pieces of armor’ you need to stay protected. Sometimes, even when you experience a dread that feels existential, the solutions need not be (or not only be) existential. Sometimes, the solutions are mundane: getting all the important life ‘paperwork in place, like getting insurance, setting up an estate and wills, and opening an investment account.
This brief article is the last in my ‘Your Independence Day’ series. To achieve your financial independence, a secure existence, a way of protecting your family, and a comfortable retirement, you start by setting up these plans and accounts.
Good luck. And if you don’t have your ‘pieces of armor’ in place and you follow my advice, I know you’ll thank me. Your sense of relief will be palpable. As I mentioned, I’m in the process of updating and expanding my own plans now. So, when you’re doing what you need to do, at least you’ll know I’m right there with you, doing the same.
Thanks, and let me know what you think and which topic you would want me to cover.
“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin
“Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.” ― Gloria Steinem
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” ― Yogi Berra
“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.” ― Peter F. Drucker