Category Archives: Retirement & Estate Planning

7 Money Must-Haves for 2016

As we usher in the year 2016 with an optimistic outlook for a bright future, we must have a
decisive game plan to create a more prosperous New Year. Instead of just rehashing wishful resolutions from past years, make a concerted effort to attain these specific financial objectives:

1. A S.M.A.R.T. goal

It’s been said that ‘a promise is a comfort to a fool’; and some people believe that resolutions are foolish wishes that bring cold comfort. Your dreams may seem impossible to achieve if you don’t convert your ideas into specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-based goals.

Select one dream that would make the biggest difference in your life. Write it down precisely, expressing how you would measure it, take action on it and know when it was complete. Consider all the steps you need to take every day to realise your goal and persevere until you accomplish it. Continue reading 7 Money Must-Haves for 2016

Jamaican Style Money Guide: When Cow Ded, Him Lef Trouble

Traditional Jamaican proverbs can be very enlightening. They often express clever anecdotes or dire warnings about life, drawn from years of experience. If you examine many of these adages, you will find a kernel of wisdom that can help you to be smarter in your financial affairs.

While some of our proverbs give clear instructions on the importance of saving or spending wisely, the message in others may not be as obvious. “When cow ded, him lef trouble gi cow-skin,” is one of our lesser-known sayings that can provide a very important lesson about money success.

In standard English, the proverb states, “When the cow dies, it leaves trouble for the cow-skin,” which means that a dead cow’s decaying remains will produce a messy problem. Similarly, many people will pass from this earth and leave behind nothing but trouble for their survivors. Continue reading Jamaican Style Money Guide: When Cow Ded, Him Lef Trouble

Preserving Your Life

Last week we discussed the significance of life, pointing out that the amount of income you create and the sum of your possessions are not the only determinants of your true value as a person. The positive impact that you make on the lives of others can be a key indicator of your real worth.

I believe that each person has unlimited potential to achieve great things and make a tremendous difference to the world. However, most people never really tap into their latent abilities and may never discover and accomplish everything that they were intended to do during their lifetime.

Whether you decide to experience your life to its fullest or you’re content to pass your time without fulfilling your life’s purpose, your existence on this earth has a value that needs to be protected. While your life is really priceless, it is possible to put a price tag on the contribution you make to other people. Continue reading Preserving Your Life

Financial Help for Elderly Parents

Last week we examined some of the considerations that adult children may have to face when dealing with parents who have financial difficulties. Assisting your parents with their money needs when they are unable to cope requires a lot of patience and diplomacy, as well as financial astuteness.

Even if your parents have been excellent stewards of money throughout their lifetime, as they get older, you may need to become more involved in helping them with their finances. Let’s look at some of the areas in which your elderly parents may require your support in their retirement years.

Budgeting for spending

At every stage of your financial life cycle, it’s important to know exactly how much money is required to pay all your bills. Budgeting helps you to be aware of your expected expenses and earnings; and this habit becomes even more critical for persons who are retired or have to live on fixed income sources. Continue reading Financial Help for Elderly Parents

How to Create An Estate With No Assets

Ruthann looked in the rear-view mirror to see why her two children had suddenly gone silent. Just a few minutes ago, her five-year-old twins in the back seat had been arguing about which one had run faster at their school’s sports day. Their quarrelling had taken its toll; they were now fast asleep.

Thankful for the brief respite, Ruthann smiled as she reminisced on her children’s antics. Despite their hyperactivity, they both performed well at school and she was proud of their achievements. She looked forward to seeing them become accomplished adults in the future.

As she daydreamed about the years to come, Ruthann’s brow grew furrowed as the familiar fears crept through her mind. She often worried about what would happen to her kids if something untoward happened to her. Once again, she was gripped by an overwhelming sense of panic. Continue reading How to Create An Estate With No Assets

Planning for Your Passing

When planning for their goals, many persons will often make decisions in an overly optimistic way, believing that all things will move smoothly to take them towards their desired results. Most people prefer not to think about the negative occurrences that could derail their dreams.

It’s good to visualise a bright future for yourself, where your positive attitude and persevering actions will help you to accomplish all your goals. However, it’s financially smart to prepare for any unwanted situations that are different from what you envision for your life.

Life has no guarantees
One of the unpleasant eventualities for which you need to make financial preparations is the possibility that you might not live long enough to actualise your dreams or enjoy the fruits of your hard labour. Death is certain, but none of us knows the exact date that it will visit our doors. Continue reading Planning for Your Passing

Reflections on Retirement

Hundreds of readers have accepted this month’s money mission to focus on retirement, and this has confirmed to me that many people are very concerned about said aspect of financial planning. I’m sensing that some of you are becoming desperate about your present financial state of affairs and the bleak future that may be awaiting you.

Whatever your current financial position, I want to reassure you that it is possible for you to design a realistic plan of action that can help you to not only survive during your retirement years, but have a fulfilled life. However, pretending that you don’t have a looming problem is only going to ensure that your worst financial nightmare will become your retirement reality.

Let’s look at some important issues that you should consider in order to make proper preparations for this important time in life. Continue reading Reflections on Retirement

Money Mission: Make A Realistic Retirement Plan

I vividly remember dealing with a client many years ago at the financial institution where I worked. He was in his late-50s and wanted to put aside some funds for his retirement. Preparing to discuss investment options and strategies for this objective, I asked him how much money he had to start his plan.

He presented me with a cheque for just over J$150,000 (at that time, the equivalent of about US$2,400), and after I asked some pertinent questions, it became clear that this was the sum total of my client’s net worth. He explained that he had worked in the music industry for his entire life and had seen a lot of money pass through his hands, but had never thought about putting aside some of his earnings for the future.

As he continued to relate his sad story of business setbacks and personal challenges with a chronic illness, I realised that he had become despondent and was not really receptive to my ideas to improve his situation. Just before he left, he said, “I wish someone had taught me these things 20 years ago when it could have made a difference.” Continue reading Money Mission: Make A Realistic Retirement Plan

Money Mission: Get Real About Retirement

There’s an epidemic poised to take over Jamaica that has the potential to devastate the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, and yet there is very little discussion about it in our country. Our airwaves and newspapers are chock-full of opinions on the latest scandal, yet no time or space is being devoted to this looming disaster.

This tragedy will not present itself in the form of a weather calamity that wreaks havoc on our physical infrastructure, nor will it be a medical emergency involving an infectious disease. However, this coming catastrophe will have the potential to bring financial adversity and deprivation on a scale hitherto unseen in our nation.

My apologies on sounding like an angel of doom, but this impending crisis prompts me to be a little melodramatic in my pronouncements. Continue reading Money Mission: Get Real About Retirement

What’s the State of your Estate?

Many people are so focused on trying to make ends meet that they can find little time to think about the requirements of the future. “What’s the use of putting aside money for tomorrow if I can’t even pay my bills today?” they may say. Even further from consideration is making plans for what should be done with their money when they die.

Maintaining the money that you have worked hard for is a vital element of financial planning. You should not only concentrate on managing the funds you currently have or on earning more money; it’s also crucial to work on protecting your assets throughout your lifetime and beyond. Financially successful people always make preparations to preserve their wealth for future generations.

Since the beginning of the year, we have been discussing our 2012 Money Manifesto, which shows you how to create a comprehensive action plan to improve your finances. One of the manifesto’s pledges is that you should create an estate plan and leave a financial legacy of wealth for your beneficiaries to enjoy. Continue reading What’s the State of your Estate?