When you think about how passionate you are about your family, ask yourself this question: “What are the three most important investments you could make for your family?” Would it be things like buying a house, buying health insurance or maybe setting up an emergency fund? All of those things matter but don’t have any meaning unless you have good health, good relationships and a good education.
Poor health tends to limit our ability to fully enjoy all the opportunities presented to us and can lead to a premature death. Health is not something we just address occasionally. If we’re passionate about our families, we need to be investing daily into eating healthily, obtaining sufficient exercise and obtaining mental stimulation. A proper investment in this area for all family members (Grandparents, Parents and kids) will enable us to:
- work longer and harder – hopefully increasing our net worth.
- minimise the amount we need to spend on personal insurances as we are more likely to live longer and be less susceptible to those dreaded illnesses.
- enjoy our golden years – being able to do more things with the money we have invested and the additional time we now have available.
Investing into maintaining quality relationships is important for all families in two key areas. First, as a couple, we jointly build up assets and investments. If however, we separate, these assets are then divided – often unevenly – resulting in both parties being financially less endowed than previously. For many, a separation results in almost having to start afresh to rebuild the asset base. Losing money via a failed or poor investment is painful but nothing compared to the emotional and financial impact of a relationship split. It is common that over time, couples can drift apart. In order to help combat this, couples and indeed people in any kind of relationship need to keep investing time and energy into keeping the relationship alive.
Second, building a network of friends is important for our social interaction and stimulation. Friends and family are a key part of everyday life and failing to maintain these can lead to loneliness and a reduction in quality of life. Money is not a substitute for this.
The world is changing at an increasing pace. The days of stopping education once one has left high school or university is now long gone. Throughout our lives, we need to be retrained and up skilled so we can obtain and retain jobs. Often an investment in a new qualification can lead to a pay increase, a new job or more opportunity. A dollar invested in a new qualification can often translate to a 50% or higher return on your education dollar invested.
For those who have grandchildren, making an investment into understanding and using new technology can lead to improved engagement with the younger generation. Being able to participate in social media, plus communicating using smart phones and tablets opens up whole new communication channels and information sources.
All three of these investments are interlinked and are ongoing throughout your life. Things like buying a house, buying health insurance or setting up an emergency fund are all important but are logical by-products from making the right level of investment in the big three.
I would like to suggest all families should strive to invest into these three very important areas – health, relationships and education. These things are multi-generational too so everyone in the family can jump onboard! Good health, relationships and education are the foundations of prudent financial planning. Once these are in place, we can work to maximise the opportunities for you that come from having a good balance of all three!