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Financial planner Ademiniyi Adelekun on the need for a sound financial plan to weather the recession storms

Last update - Thursday, January 15, 2009, 06:09 By Metro Éireann

The beginning of a new year is always a very good time to reflect on our past, the present, and the future. It is a time to look into and assess all areas of our life to see if we are doing well in terms of our life plans.

Without a life plan, an individual would have nothing to guide him or her through life. He or she would surely be heading from day to day like a rudderless ship, at the mercy of the vagaries of life. Such people would indeed often find it difficult to shoulder certain responsibilities, especially if or when unexpected difficulties arise.
It is therefore important that we all have a good life plan, which includes plans for our respective family, our work and especially our finances. The financial plan is very important because there is hardly anything we need to do in life that does not involve the use of money.  Our financial standing affects every other area of our life, and hence individuals with bad financial plans, or none at all, are inviting a rough and difficult future life.
A good financial plan should include knowing where, how and when our income is made, and how, when and where we use it. Giving clear thought to this would, as much as possible, help to prevent any financial disaster and ease any financial problems should they arise. Since there is no life entirely free from some sort of financial challenge, it stands to reason that we should be prepared for such challenges.
These challenges could be negative as well as positive. The negative would include issues like paying off debts and outstanding bills, the cost of good health for oneself and one’s loved ones, the payment of fees (especially for children’s education) and so on. Positive financial challenges would include issues like how to save surplus income, where and how to invest saved sums of money or financial windfalls, and how best to use savings and investment returns to acquire the good things of life, among others.
An individual with a very good and cogent financial plan would be prepared for and find it easy to deal with these challenges – either negative or positive – because he or she would have been able to envisage and incorporate these challenges into his or her plan. A cogent financial plan should also be open to review from time to time, if and when necessary.

So with the beginning of another year here with us, it is a perfect opportunity to assess how prepared we are for our financial (and by implication, our entire) future. If you do not have a cogent plan, this is the time to make one. And if you do have a plan, it is a perfect time to review it to ensure that it is still relevant. Do it now, build on it later, and you will have a more blissful financial future.

Ademiniyi ‘Niyi’ Adelekun is the principal at Alpha Royal Financial Services in Galway

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