I always wondered, how much preparation for future is enough. Something like how much insurance is enough.
What are we preparing for when we state preparing for future.
Identity is at stake: Basic criteria of your identity are at stake, like your residence status, religion, caste, creed , sex, skin color or culture. Most of us think this is far from reality but a major portion of the world population are finding themselves insecure due to these factors. Some who thought they are safe at their home, state or country suddenly start feeling insecure due to some political event. I have heard stories from my relatives who suddenly realised that they are part of a different country and had to gradually lose every bit of their earning and identity before they took refuge in another country and live a miserable life.
Health is at stake: Your physical or mental health can go wrong at any moment. You, who think can earn for your family forever suddenly go invalid or less capable. Somebody has to take care of the earning that you were bringing as well as take care of your health and recovery. Even if you lack no skills, you still will become a liability. I know people suddenly going invalid at peak of their career and their family takes years to cope with this.
Source of income is at stake: This is a common insecurity and many are facing this at this point of time all over the world. Losing job or your business losing its environment to function or losing its customer can happen any time. This is most common than any of the above still most of us are not ready to accept that this can ever happen to us. I know many of my readers are currently going through this.
We need to prepare for the above major circumstances.
Saving Money, may help in second and third situation but not in the first. But nevertheless it is always a good idea to save money that can protect you from any untoward incidence for one year of your current monthly expenditure and all annual payouts like school fees, insurance etc. When I am stating saving, it means saving not investment. Save money such that you can easily access from anywhere and at anytime. Once this is there, start investing so that you can cope with future demands and inflation. I am no financial advisor hence take help of qualified ones to plan this.
But saving money can only save you a little. Here are the list of investments you need to prepare yourself for any circumstance.
Invest in your mental sanity: The most important investment is to teach and train your mind to remain calm, positive and optimistic at any circumstance. You can not do this when you are in a crisis hence need to prepare when things are right so that it helps you when you are in a crisis. Regular meditation, positive input to your brain through reading or listening constructive content and having friends who are always positive in their approach. If you can only invest in one thing then it should be on your mental sanity.
Invest in relationship: Friends, are beautiful creation of god. They can come in various forms, shapes and sizes. They can do wonders. They can bail you out from the worst of the situations. You don’t make friends for your crisis but for your companionship, but they come to rescue in every situation even if you are wrong. Family is your closest when you are at crisis. They too get affected when you get affected. They have to go though the same mental trauma when you are in trouble and can become a burden can support if you do not take care during your happy times. Ensure you infuse positivity, optimism and togetherness in happy times so that during a crisis they multiply your strength.
Invest in your personal brand: Your personal brand can not be associated with the job you do, the way you look or the identity you gain due to external factors. It is you, your thoughts and philosophy. Even people take your body from you, can not snatch your brand. You can think of your brand as what people will discuss about you when you die. Build it every day through your contributions to society through your deeds and words. This brand can bail you out at your worst situations.
Invest in your physical health: It is difficult to do any of the above if you are living a bad lifestyle. Body is the machine that makes you run. You have to ensure it does not become your liability.