We are pleased to share with you a special piece from renowned Australian money educator Vanessa Stoykov.
Below, Vanessa discusses how having children can profoundly alter our priorities, and subsequently change our approach to long-term planning.
What your kids teach you about wealth by Vanessa Stoykov
Any parent knows, having children is the most rewarding, challenging, and consuming job there is. Kids have a way of changing the way you look at life—where somebody else’s wellbeing becomes more important than your own.
When you have children, your priorities change immediately. Suddenly that holiday or expensive night out becomes traded for school fees and sports uniforms. None of this is a particularly big sacrifice, because, at the end of the day, we all have the same goals in mind: To give our kids a happy childhood and help them grow into positive, contributing members of society.
The funny thing about having kids, however, is how it forces you to look at the kind of future you want. Most of us don’t plan out in meticulous detail where we want to be, or how we want to live in 40 years’ time. But, when it comes to our children, our dreams and plans know no end.
I already know I want to take my (as yet non-existent) grandchildren on holidays every year. My husband and I would love to help each of our kids buy their first home, and be part of their lives as adults through travel and shared life experiences.
These are the dreams and hopes of most parents, but they can cost a lot of money.
This is when the thought of retirement planning becomes real, because to make these dreams reality, you have to take care of your own financial future. Not later, but now.
A good financial adviser can help by drawing out a long-term pathway to help you reach your goals. With this, consider, for example: What lifestyle do you want in this next phase of your life? What travels and adventures?
Each of your dreams has a number ($)—and given enough time, you could fulfil all of them—but this comes with many years of planning and preparation—not just 5 or 10.
I have found with many of my friends, and in my own life, kids are a great motivator for wealth planning for the future. For there is nothing we would not do for our children.
Whatever your dream, I know the only way to bring it to life is to articulate it, cost it, then plan it.
So, dream big!
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