It seems that in today’s world conversations about the future can begin before someone is even old enough to drive a car. While this may seem premature, in many cases it really is not. The earlier we can begin a dialogue with ourselves and our loved ones about how we want the future to look, the earlier we can set plans in motion to make those dreams a reality. It is important to also remember that although it is never too early to plan, it is also never too late. Lifestyle timelines are very personal, and the unique circumstances of our individual lives often dictate those timelines.
Create a dialogue that works for you and bear in mind that the conversation is going to be constantly evolving as your life moves forward. There will be curveballs that re-route your plans and that is ok. Setting goals that are tangible and feel authentic to how you want your life to look is not a stagnant exercise. Part of planning is understanding you cannot plan for everything. Think about the who, what, when, why, where, and how of your most ideal future and use that as a guide to get yourself started sooner than later.
1. Provides Options
One major benefit of planning ahead for anything is that the earlier you start, typically the more options you have. Being forced into last-minute decision-making can be overwhelming, expensive, and regretful. Life insurance is a good example of how it pays to plan. Once you have decided that you are going to take out a life insurance policy you now must consider which type, who to purchase from, and in some cases go through physical health examinations to determine your rates and policy conditions.
Starting this process early hopefully means that you are in good health and do not have major pre-existing conditions that can negatively impact your policy. Since insurance brokers are essentially betting on your life, they need reassurance that you are a safe bet. Being in good health is a great indicator of that reassurance.
Life insurance policies can also be sold and converted to cash in some circumstances, and if this is something that you eventually desire to do, having held the policy for a longer period is going to yield you a better cash settlement. If you are someone who wants the full scope on the front end, you can review a guide on how to sell your life insurance policy through a life settlement before you make the initial purchase. The website for Uplife Finance is a great example of a free resource you can use to educate yourself that can then be actionable also once you are ready to begin the process.
There are two types of motivation styles, internal and external. Those who are internally motivated can push themselves to set and achieve goals with little help from outside influences. While externally motivated people thrive in environments where a community of their choice takes a more active role in their progress and achievement. Thankfully, there is no right, or wrong way to feel motivated, the most important thing is that you can identify what works for you and apply it to your goals for the future.
Planning and motivation go hand in hand. If you set goals and create a plan to achieve them, you are going to be more motivated than if you simply hope certain things will pan out for you. For example, if you are interested in trying to retire early, having a plan that includes passive income streams in addition to dedicating a specific amount of money each month towards achieving that goal is going to keep the goal active as opposed to haphazardly saving money with no rhyme or reason and hoping that when you are ready to retire, it is enough.
3. Emergency Support
While part of being a great planner is realizing that you cannot possibly plan for everything, however, you can plan to expect the unexpected. In terms of finances people often use terms like rainy day fund, and emergency fund to speak about a sum of money that is available to you but not a part of your active budget, only to be utilized in case of something unexpected. But the only way that you are going to be able to count on using your emergency fund, is if you plan and save money to create one.
A living will is another great example of planning for the unexpected. Many people equate a will with people that are nearing the end of their life, but the truth is, that none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. As your life matures and you build things for yourself like a family, homeownership, a savings account, collectibles, and heirlooms, etc. you would be smart to create a formal plan for these treasures should you pass away.
4. Builds Confidence
Planning is a broad term, and although we are talking about planning for the future, that does not exclusively mean huge events. Planning for the future can be as large as attending college to plan for your eventual career, or as modest as planning out your weekly chores so that the sum of them does not feel overwhelming. Regardless of what you are planning or why you are planning it, you are going to feel significantly more confident as you execute each step of your plan.
As you set and achieve goals you will be able to identify which parts of your process worked and which ones could use some tweaking. This is going to give you confidence moving forward that is going to help you grow your life management skills. Being able to look back at past accomplishments and say to yourself that you said you were going to do this, worked the plan, and achieved the goal will motivate you to replicate the processing time and time again. That layer of confidence will also come in handy during the times where the plan does not go as hoped and you must pivot, you will have evidence that you can trust yourself and your decision-making even in times of adaptation.