A Strong Foundation Before Speculation

Hurricane Irma came and went.  In our particular case, we were fortunate to escape with minor damage and inconvenience.  However, right outside the gates of our community, across the avenue, people were canoeing to their front door.  Their homes and cars were submerged.  That was Irma weakening to a category 1 storm in a matter of 4 hours after coming ashore in Naples as a category 4.  Tampa hasn’t been anticipating a storm this big since 1921.  We were fortunate, to say the least.

Life, in general, brings many storms, and the most turbulent are usually financial or health-related.  Some you can anticipate and prepare for, some you can prevent, and some you have no control over or see coming.  However, in finance, as in medicine, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.  In other words, a little precaution before a crisis occurs is preferable to a lot of fixing up afterward.  That’s where preparation is key.

As with building a solid home, fitness program, healthcare protocol, or a financial plan, a strong foundation must be established.  In finance, we believe in two general stages of planning.  The first, the foundation, addresses the needs that never change first.  The second stage is about exploring your financial potential.  The foundation stays intact while we take on exploration which involves risk.

Regardless of who we are, where we come from, our political and spiritual beliefs, etc., we all face three inevitable contingencies:

  1. We may die before we expect.
  2. We may live longer than we expect.
  3. We may become chronically ill or disabled in between 1 & 2.

A strong foundation must address these three contingencies.  Especially, if you have others who financially depend on you.  Let’s discuss these briefly to demonstrate.

If you die before you expect, will your family have the financial resources to have time to mourn you, remain in the world you have built together or have time and resources to adjust to the new reality?

If you live longer than you expect, what will run out first?  Your life or your money?

If you become chronically ill or disabled, what’s the income replacement plan if you’re still an earner?  How will a chronic illness impact the cost of retirement?

Some of you reading this may have these contingencies taken care of, and some of you THINK you do.  Regardless, before you dream of fancy cruises, antique cars, and umbrella bearing Mojitos overlooking a majestic sunset in Barbados after a $300 round of golf, make sure that the above contingencies are addressed adequately.  Otherwise, you are playing roulette with your and your family’s future.  If stage two, exploring your financial potential, fails along the way, your foundation will give you the opportunity to have your basic needs taken care of while you rebuild.  Your business can keep running and caring for your customers, your mortgage is paid, there is food on the table, your credit stays strong, and your retirement keeps on being funded.  Most importantly, your dignity and independence remain intact.  And that goes a long way to picking yourself up and taking a shot at your dreams.  It’s not nirvana, but it’s likely far better than the alternative.

I love the saying, “Life happens while you’re busy making plans.”  So does death and illness.  If you believe in living as if it’s your last day go for it, but just in case it isn’t, be prepared. 

 

Joseph Yagar is a Registered Representative and Investment Advisor Representative of and offers securities and investment advisory services solely through Equity Services, Inc. 675 3rd Avenue, 9th Floor, New York NY 10017, (646) 898 3562.  Member FINRA/SIPC.  Broker/Dealer and Registered Investment Advisor affiliate of National Life Insurance Company, Montpelier VT.  Legatus Group, LLC is independent of Equity Services, Inc.    TC97757(1017)1