Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Clear Vision, Decisive Action

When is a good time to provide for your future?

When I got out of college, I wanted to see the world. My friends were on the fast track to become lawyers and doctors and teachers, and they advised me that if I followed my dream, I would get behind. Well, I went, telling them that I would take my retirement then, and if I was behind I would just have to work in my later years when they were all retired.

You know what? I was behind them, and am still working to catch up. But I wouldn't exchange my two-and-a-half years living in Hawaii, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East for anything. I grew up, and gained a global perspective. I made friends I connect with to this day. I am grateful for that early retirement.

And who knows which of us will enjoy a full retirement? One of my classmates got on a cross-country flight out of Boston on 9/11, and we never were able to see him again. Others have contracted serious diseases, even in their 30's.

Adolescents typically think that they are invincible, and take risks. It is in their wiring, and they cannot help it. But after about age 20, when our brains have finished growing, we realize full well that we are not invincible. And if we're smart, we begin to take steps to prepare for our future; we calculate the risks; we take responsibility for the little ones in our lives who now depend on us.

Why do sensible people still procrastinate and put off taking action? In the back of our minds, we know we should take action to provide for tomorrow. But we think tomorrow will never come, and that is where surprises and even tragedies can occur.

You can be smart and take action before tomorrow comes. Think about your future needs and those of your family, take steps with an insurance professional to plan for them, and then enjoy your present moments with the ones you love. You may not be able to predict exactly what the future will bring, but you'll have the peace of mind of knowing, come what may, you provided for your family.

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