A few years ago, my father passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 63. Experiencing the death of a parent was the most difficult thing I have ever had to endure, but it taught me many life lessons. From a very young age, my parents emphasized the importance of saving, making plans, and protecting loved ones. There are some tasks that can be put off until tomorrow — mundane household chores, for example can usually go another day. However, if you have been procrastinating with any of these 3 crucial tasks listed below, I urge you to take steps today to put plans into place.
1. Saving for Retirement
My dad began saving for retirement as soon as he entered the workforce which helped pave the way for my parents to enjoy an early retirement at the age of 55 despite a modest income. In order to take full advantage of the power of compound interest, the earlier a retirement savings account is set up, the better. The longer time frame for the investment also helps guard against fluctuations in various markets. Ironically, when we are young, few of us are thinking about saving for retirement. Setting up a retirement savings account early also fosters the development of solid investment habits. As my dad used to say, “Get ahead and stay ahead”.
2. Protect Loved Ones
When I was pregnant with Emily, my parents reminded my husband and I about the importance of insurance to protect our cars, home, and life — I am so glad they did! When we are young and healthy, obtaining life insurance can be the last thing on our minds. Knowing that my mother did not have to worry about bills and funeral costs after my dad passed was a great relief and this had a huge impact on me. I hope I can do the same for my family. We always think we are going to have more time. We always think “it won’t happen to me”. Realistically, terrifying things can and do happen, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take steps to empower ourselves to be more prepared. Planning ahead for unfortunate events life may throw at you can be empowering and helps put you back in control. Here is a video about how you can prepare for the unexpected.
3. Taking Good Care of Yourself
Be sure to get enough sleep, eat well, drink plenty of water, and exercise regularly. As mothers, we can be especially prone to overlooking the importance of self-care because we are busy taking care of others. However, neglecting your own health can lead to exhaustion, illness, or worse. Stop putting off overdue doctor appointments, and make your health a priority. It can’t wait until tomorrow. Questions — Have you been putting off any of these tasks? How have you best dealt with unexpected life events? What lessons did you learn along the way? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment on this post and share your stories with us. Have you ever learned an important lesson from an unexpected life event? Feel free to share your story on social media with #PlanRealistically or #WontHappenToMe.