Family life is a big responsibility, and it is up to the adults in the family to make sure the entire family is taken care of over the long term. Planning is a key element as events both predictable and unexpected can have an impact on your family life. A degree of planning and foresight can make a very big difference in how life events play out, so keeping the future in mind when you run your family affairs is important.
Getting on the property ladder
One of the best ways to secure the future of you and your family is to buy the home in which you live. Rental properties are notoriously unpredictable for security of tenure, and it is common for families who rent to have to regularly change homes. If you own your home, you eliminate this uncertainty, and your home will accumulate value as house prices rise, acting as an investment.
Looking well into the future a home you own outright can act as an affordable place to stay for retirement or alternatively can provide you with some retirement income. Purchasing your own home also protects you against future rent increases, making it easier for you to plan your monthly budgets—knowing that unexpected rises in housing costs won’t reduce your standard of living.
Put money away
Saving money can be difficult; providing for an entire family is expensive and often leaves little spare funds. Yet having some money saved up means that you can deal with a crisis more easily, avoiding expensive borrowing options for unexpected expenses. Instead of buying a new washing machine with a credit card, paying for it with money that has been set aside will keep you from overspending on high interest charges.
Some long-term goals absolutely require disciplined saving, such as paying for tertiary education for your children. Plan for these future expenses early on and you will have more time to save, reducing the monthly-savings burden. Saving over a long period also enhances the effects of compound interest, leaving you with a much bigger sum of money when you need it.
Plan for the unexpected
It is a grim topic, but financially savvy families also plan for the death of a family member. Whether you are young or old, death can come at a moment’s notice, and you need to ensure that your family is taken care of in case of an unexpected bereavement. Life insurance for the breadwinners in your family is essential to make sure your family never has to struggle financially.
Funeral planning is another key part of thinking about the long term. An insurance policy covering funeral services can prevent the financial shock of paying for cremation services or a burial that will compound the difficulty of dealing with a loss.
Involve the entire family in your planning
As long as it is practical, try to involve every member of your family in your financial planning. The earlier that children learn how to think about the future, the better, and planning for your future together can make family members feel closer to each other. Regardless, it is important to seriously consider planning for unforeseeable events to secure a safe future for your family.
Photo credit: Ken Teegardin on Flickr. CC-BY-SA-2.0