Most of us begin every year with the best of intentions, aiming to enter another chapter of our lives with a clean slate and with our best foot forward. Year after year, we set resolutions for ourselves, such as to ‘be more healthy’, ‘get organised’ or ‘get on top of my finances’; despite that little voice at the back of our minds whispering, “we’ll see how long that lasts.” Sadly, for many of us, that snide little voice is often right.
Liezel Gordon, Client Experience and Marketing lead at Metropolitan GetUp, says that while the desire to better ourselves or set goals is commendable, the problem with new year’s resolutions is that they’re often not specific enough, which makes taking clear action or sustaining them over a long period of time more challenging.
Liezel suggests that in 2022, instead of making your goal to ‘get on top of my finances’ — which is a little too ambiguous — rather list specific actions, no matter how small, that you can take which will help you take control of your money.
According to Liezel, this should start with understanding risk and how to protect what is important to you. “This relates to insurance which ensures that you or your loved ones are financially looked after in the event of an unexpected life event such as your death or disability, and includes products such as life cover and funeral plans.
What’s the point of setting lofty goals at the expense of potentially losing what you have worked so hard to build up? “Replace those well-intentioned, yet all-too-vague new year’s resolutions for these specific insurance-focused ones, and head into 2022 on firmer financial footing.”
- Swop ‘clean up my diet’ for ‘clean up my portfolio’
If you have an insurance policy in place, then well done, you’ve already taken the first step towards financial freedom — but it doesn’t stop there, says Liezel. “The beginning of the year provides an ideal opportunity to reassess the plans that you have in place, and check in to see whether your cover is still suitable.
Is it still relevant to where you are right now in your life? Do your beneficiaries need to be updated? Perhaps your cover needs to be increased in accordance with your lifestyle or inflation. These are the questions we should ask, and the start of the year is a great opportunity to review, reassess, and make any changes necessary.
It is also a good time to see whether you are paying too much for your insurance. “For example, did you know that in some cases you can replace your current funeral plan for another, without having to go through a waiting period again? This could result in the same level of cover with reduced monthly payments – which will save you money, while ensuring that you are well protected.”
- Swop ‘stop procrastinating’ for ‘stop procrastinating over getting decent cover’
If you do not have a plan in place, then now is the time to do so. New online platforms make it super simple, quick and affordable to get insurance. “There are a number of affordable products out there which offer good cover at a reasonable cost.” GetUp’s Atom Funeral Cover for example, offers uncomplicated, comprehensive funeral cover to policy holders and their families, from as little as R50 per month depending on your age and the level of cover you need.
- Swop ‘hang out more with my loved ones’ for ‘make sure my loved ones are covered’
No one likes to think about death, but do you really want your loved ones to be burdened with financial stress as well as the inevitable emotional trauma, if something should happen to you? A funeral plan is a simple, affordable way of making sure that your family is not left wondering how they will be able to afford a dignified funeral, while life cover will help you leave a legacy for your loved ones, by putting them on the path to building wealth.
“It is important to make sure that your beneficiaries are clearly listed on your policy, and most importantly, that their details are kept up to date, says Liezel. “It’s also important to ensure that they’re aware that you’ve added them as beneficiaries, so they know to claim should something happen to you.”
- Swop ‘read every day’ for ‘read something every day that will help me get in the driving seat of my finances’
The world of insurance might seem overwhelming and filled with financial jargon at times but there are reliable online resources out there that can assist you, should you commit to increasing your knowledge. ‘Life Hacks’, for example, are free tools that guide, motivate and reward you for taking everyday steps on your financial life goals journey. “The trick is to find a partner that you can trust who will help you gain confidence by taking small steps continuously.”
- Live life to the fullest
Liezel believes that this is one resolution that you should never swop out, or compromise on. “If you take the above steps to ensure that you are covered for the worst, you can focus on living life to the fullest, knowing that you and your loved ones are looked after.”