Resolve to know what’s at risk
Well here we are in 2012. February’s settled in and it seems many of us are back to our old routines.
Every year, we make promises to ourselves, but they quickly evaporate—life has a way of getting in the way. Finances seem to be an issue that many of us would like to tackle but simply don’t have the energy or patience to delve into. I’d like to offer some ideas and challenges to break through the hurdles and to help you take charge of your destiny.
Everyone who has access to a computer should set up online banking. Visit your local branch to get the necessary info. It is easy to do and so convenient. You will know to the penny how much is in your account instantly and at all times. Paying bills is a snap—no more lineups at the bank. The only thing the banks haven’t thought of is how to make our printers print out money. I’m sure this will be a reality one day.
Look over your investments. No adviser has a crystal ball. Everyone talks a good game but the reality is nothing is certain. Any non-guaranteed investment has market risk. Often seniors have investments they don’t understand or that have huge market risk but are packaged and sold as alternatives to GICs.
One huge financial resolution should be to understand the risk of the product you are investing in. People believe that if they place their assets with an adviser or financial institution, their worries are over. There are many excellent advisers in the marketplace, but no one has control over performance. It’s your money, so participate, follow it, ask questions and—if you do not understand—walk away.
For those who have accumulated savings, it is okay to spend once in a while. You certainly cannot take it with you. Imagine having all the savings in the world but your health prevents you from enjoying it.
Finally, don’t forget about others. Charity certainly begins in the home, but there are many around us who are less fortunate. Giving of time or money is one of the most rewarding things we can do.