What really is it? And can we plan for our future? After all, we don’t know exactly what the future will be. And we do not know exactly what can happen. So is that necessary at all?

I do admit that we cannot completely predict our future but I hold the opinion that everyone must plan for his/her future. Your future can be for tomorrow, next week, next month, next year or many years. Your future can also mean when those you depend on can no longer help or be available to help you. Your future may mean when you lose your job, become ill, injured or disabled.

Your future may mean when you are no longer able to look after your own needs or provide for those who depend on you. We need to plan for old age or when we can no longer perform the jobs we do due to sickness, injuries, old age or even uneventialities. We should even plan for our death so we do not leave any financial hardship or debt to our surviving families.

I came across a document today written by a group of local lawyers offering a discount to healthcare professionals and frontline workers to have Powers of Attorneys and Wills done during this pandemic. In this, the head of the local Law Society reminded people about how necessary it is to make such decisions in our lives and for our future particularly in such uncertain times. The focus on healthcare workers was an awakening call about our mortalities, vulnerabilities and a realization for us to take life for granted.

Often, I have seen so many younger adults die and left their kids orphaned or poor. I have seen older adults die without any plans or binding decisions about their assets, resulting in family disputes, bitterness, conflicts, litigations and a loss of proper value.

Some people have also died or aged in destitution because they did not put money away for such times when they are unable to make money any longer due some of some of the above factors. Some people spend as they make money and don’t save or invest part of the money.

For many in the African communities funeral cost are paid for through donations much of which are also used in supplying food and drinks to the funeral attendees. Donations in my mind cannot be relied upon and are unpredictable. Donations cannot care for your children or pay for your outstanding debt. For the African diasporas who want your bodies returned home in whole, your wishes may not be granted because there may be no money to transport your bodies to your families.

Advice:

  1. We should save a part of any money we earn no matter how small.
  2. Keep saving and look into investment opportunities whenever you can (mutual fund, stocks, fixed deposits, savings accounts etc) with a reliable financial institution that can also insure your investment.
  3. Ensure you have months worth of your regular fixed expenses tucked away comfortably so you can tap into it anytime you have a need. Leave that money accessible in your savings account, do not invest or lend it to anyone.
  4. Ensure your expenses are always less than your income. If your income is inadequate consider a second job or learn something new to acquire a new skill that may earn you a future income.
  5. Look into life insurance, accidental, and illness or funeral insurance. This can protect you against hardship in case anything bad happens to you.
  6. Look into a trust fund and educational fund for your children to protect your children’s future financial health. Choose a trustee who is financially responsible and can honour his/her fiduciary duty and use the money to the children’s benefit.
  7. Ensure you put your wishes on paper. Find a good local legal practitioner to help you make a Power of Attorney, a Will or Advanced Directives. These enables you to have your decisions written and legitimized, legally binding too.They stipulate how you want to be cared for, have your assets divided or taken care of or have your depends taken care in the event that you cannot.

Protect yourself and future from poverty, an illness, an injury, financial abuse and hardships and your children’s future.

The sooner you decide the better.
Best wishes!

Signed,
Akosua G
Ontario, Canada
May 20, 2020

17 thoughts on “Future Planning:Our Insurance?”
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