Randomly in the next 60 minutes, you suffer a heart attack and collapse. Can you afford it? Can your loved ones afford it? Are they taken care of?
In the last couple of weeks, we have been shaken by many incidents which reminds us of how fragile our lives are. Families are greatly affected by their spouse’s, children’s, mother’s, or father’s death. Sitting in the whirlwind of emotions, they still have to face life.
Planning the future is not a bragging right – although you have seen many who do. Planning for the future is not about declaring how rich or wealthy you are.
If anything, financial, wealth and estate planning are signs of your commitment:
- Your commitment to yourself. Are you well taken care of? Do you have enough to live on for treatment? Can your family live on with less worries?
- Your commitment to your spouse or partner. Are they taken care of when anything happens to you?
- Your commitment to your children. Can they become the person you are preparing them to be? Or are they being left to chance as well?
- Your commitment to doing better. Circumstances change. In your mid-20s, you have different capabilities and income. As you enter your 30s, you may hold better positions. In the 40s, your career track may be strengthened with an impressive track record – but now is when diseases and illnesses may develop.
- Your commitment to keeping healthy. Planning your future is not planning to die. It is also planning to live. Where do you want to go? When do you plan to go there? How will that experience be? Illnesses and diseases are not something we can pick and chose. Some are chronic: it takes months and years to appear. Others are acute: a simple viral infection can lead to your hospitalisation – and even demise.
- Your commitment to passive income. You can only earn so much off your own blood, sweat and tears. You have ways and means to increase your earning abilities. Whether it is a business you want to start or an investment you want to undertake, you can begin planning for your passive income now – and slowly put into place what is needed.
- Your commitment to partnerships. Making friends is a social skill you already have. Forging partnerships, on the other hand, is a different ballgame. Planning for the future means you have to find a partner – preferably one you are comfortable with – or maybe one who is where you want to be. Discuss ideas and how it may be executed. You are surrounded by dynamic opportunities – will you catch them? Or will they slip your fingers?
I believe in forging partnerships and adding the human touch. I enjoy planning – and I do it a lot. I also enjoy seeing what I plan bear fruit. Yet there are times you don’t plan for anything – it just happens. One example was my hospitalisation in March 2010.
It was the start of the semester. I just enrolled into the Diploma in Occupational Safety and Health programme at Fajar International College, Miri. Early that morning, I felt uneasy: as if I needed to visit the restroom. When I did, nothing came out. During lunch, I had some noodles. Within an hour, I would just vomit it out. We went to the clinic and I was diagnosed with food poisoning.
Over the course of the afternoon, I could not take anything – no food or fluid. By 6pm, I was brought to Columbia Asia Hospital, Miri: one of only two private hospitals. I was admitted and at 8pm, a physician diagnosed me as having “appendicitis”. Two hours later, after some scan and x-ray, his suspicions were confirmed.
I had perforated appendicitis. At 11pm, I underwent surgery. After the surgery, I remained hospitalised for six days nights.
In total, the whole experience cost me RM16,000. Fortunately in 2007, I took out an insurance policy with Prudential Assurance Malaysia Berhad. The company paid 90% of the bill.
Bringing the Lesson Home
These emergencies just happen. I had an acquaintance who quickly slip into a coma within 5 days after a virus contact. He was treated at the Sarawak General Hospital. No doubt SGH did their best, but with limited resources and increasing demand from other patients, it was harder for them. If he planned this sooner, he could have anticipated it. Probably be well covered. His family would be taken care of.
So what about you? If anything happens to you in the hour, are you prepared for it?
Let us sit down together and discuss the future. No obligations. Just map out what you need, how will you get there and, most importantly, inch your answer closer to “Yes”. If anything were happen to me, I can confidently say “Yes, my loved ones are prepared”. Now, how about you?