Life insurance is just one, very important part of your financial planning. It provides an ideal solution to one major potential financial problem which could affect your future life – and more importantly, the future lives of the people you care about the most – and therefore is an integral part of your financial planning. But it’s not the only part, by a long way.
Sometimes it can seem complicated to do financial planning properly, and some people think it’s as simple as reducing wasteful spending and building up savings and wealth in general – and that’s not wrong, it is correct, it’s just not optimised.
Over time, we will be adding lots of useful knowledge, information, tips and ideas to help you successfully optimise your finances as a global nomad, via our sister website www.DestinyForNomads.com and our not-too-frequent email editorials – so if you’re anything less than 100% sure that you already know everything about optimising your personal finances as a nomad, stick your email address in the box in our footer and we’ll help you build up your financial skillset. We hate spam, and we won’t spam you, don’t worry.
If you are thinking about your own financial planning, here are a few thoughts to get you started on the right path.
1) Start with a list of all the things you want to achieve in life: Don’t think about the cost, or how much money you need yet – a successful financial plan should be based around your plan for life, that is far better than having a life plan based around your finances. And whilst you may think it’s silly to write a list of all the things you want and can’t afford, it’s not, it helps focus your mind, and you need a focussed mind to be able to create an optimised financial plan. There’s no need to be ridiculous here – but be ambitious with your goals. What do you really want? If you have a very clear vision for what you want to achieve, it is a lot easier to achieve your goals.
2) Start at the end and work backwards: This works in almost all situations, not just in finance. The logic is simple – if you know what you are aiming for, it is easier to check if each step that you make is taking you in the right direction (or not). If you don’t know what you are aiming for, you don’t really know if any particular step is taking you closer to your goal or further away from it, you’re just guessing. Guessing doesn’t get good results in finance, and it doesn’t get good results in life. Don’t guess, don’t trust – verify, plan, and act.
3) Ask yourself the question: “What do I need to change in order to achieve my goals and get what I want?” And don’t just think in terms of investing money, that’s just a part or your financial plan. Sure, changing one or two spending habits to fund your pension plan is great, just remember that a fully optimised plan includes everything – how you make money/income and how you spend money/income are obviously crucial, and whilst most people would think that those things fall into the categories of work/career and lifestyle (which they do), they have such a huge impact on your personal finances so you can’t leave these things out and still have an optimised financial plan. Everything is connected, and fitting everything together perfectly is just as important as making sure that each separate component part is working well.
4) Remember: A goal without a plan is just a wish! And whilst there is absolutely nothing wrong with having wishes, if you’re just dreaming, and not following up your dreams with actions, you’re just dreaming. It’s time to wake up! Write down your dreams/wishes/goals, forget for a moment your current circumstances, and work backwards to figure out what you need to do to achieve your goals. Keep working backwards until you reach your current situation – or until you reach a different situation which is within your reach, that you can jump to from where you currently are. You might realise you need (for example) to put more into your pension plan than you can currently afford, to have the retirement that you want – that’s not something to worry about, it’s not a good reason to give up on your goals, it just tells you what you need to work on, or precisely what problem you need to solve, in order to achieve your goals (a higher income perhaps). It will give you a specific target, focus your mind on what your next step should be, and motivate you to get it done, because you know you can – and will – succeed, if you just fix that one thing, because you have it all mapped out.
Similarly, mapping out what you want – not just in terms of finances – can help to highlight any areas of potential weakness in your overall situation. These potential weaknesses can be small or large, easy or difficult to fix, and cheap or expensive to mitigate. Insurance (generally, all types) is specifically designed to prevent low-probability events becoming high-impact problems, so it’s worth checking out what types of insurance are available to you and assessing whether they add significant potential value to your overall situation. Nobody wants one freak event to wipe out years or decades of savings, which is why various different types of insurance are considered must-haves in any proper overall financial plan.
When you have a great plan, you can always change it if you want to. If you don’t have a plan, you’re making it up as you go along, you’re just guessing. Some things in life – like where to live for the next few months – are fun to make up as you go along, and keep life fun and exciting. Other things in life – like planning your financial future – need a clear path mapped out, to keep you on track.
If you are reading this, you are either already living a nomadic lifestyle and have already demonstrated the ability to act on your dreams and goals by BEING a nomad, or you are someone who is already taking the first steps to making your dreams a reality by doing your research and thinking about how you will become, and remain, a financially successful nomad. In both cases, you have already demonstrated that you have what it takes to succeed – you have started doing, not just thinking or dreaming. Do not doubt yourself or your ability – ever – you have got what it takes to succeed at anything you put some effort into, including achieving whatever financial goals you want to set for yourself, as long as you create a good plan and stay on track.