This could be a long list, but of course, this is a finance site. So we’re talking about money. Being an adult has lots of ramifications. If you are in your second, third, fourth, fifth, (or more) decade of life, you’ve had the opportunity to do and try a lot of things. Maybe you have a house, a business, children, and debt related to different financing strategies. Maybe you’ve done some of these things a number of times at this point. This is one of the richest thing about being a grown up: being able to sample life in many different ways. But it’s not going to last forever, so you’ll want to start planning for your future, the sooner the better.
People don’t like to plan for mortality. We like to think that, even if we don’t live forever, we’ll surely live a lot longer. At the most, we’ll talk about planning for retirement. But we don’t like to think very far behind that. I understand this. But especially if you have dependents, as most adults of a certain age do, it’s your responsibility to start prepping the way for them, for a time when you may no longer be around. Here are the ways I think every adult should start doing this today.
- Write a Will. If you are a person of property, making a will is totally necessary. This isn’t a step that most people like thinking about, but it’s actually quite painless. You just have to figure out what stuff you want to go to who. The reason this is important is that acquiring wealth and property is difficult. You don’t want it to slip away to whomever. And you don’t want someone else deciding how best to divvy out your estate, if you didn’t make a plan on your own. What’s great about wills is you can get organized in the here and now. You can think deeply about the legacy you’ll one day leave. And you can make decisions based on your own personal feelings, not based on the expectations of anyone else. After all, when the will is carried about, you won’t be around to hear anyone complain. At the worst, you’ll live much longer and you won’t have to use it for awhile.
- Invest for Retirement. Investing for retirement can make a world of difference. You’ve got to have some money put away and growing for your retirement. There is no way to know how comfortable government subsidies will keep you by the time you’re old. So you want to save some money for this future. This is important, because illness and injury can plague older adults with sudden bills, like hospitalization and specialists. If you have these expenses covered long before they surface, you won’t have to worry about them, or about them becoming burdens for your family.
- Organize Your Life. This takes many forms. But it’s important that you leave your life somewhat tidy for the people who come after you. Estate planners advise that unneeded possessions be sold and the money used for a better purpose. Businesses and large estate items should be similarly organized for when you are no longer able to manage them.
There’s plenty of ways to prepare for the future. But each of these will give you security and peace of mind every step of the way.