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Why helping your neighbour with his retirement is your business

13 November 2013

“A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.” Jack London

Last weekend I attended an informal parent get together. About twenty couples from my daughter’s year at school were present. It was a fun night with some laughs and good conversation. One interaction really had me thinking and I wanted to share this insight as it was a revelation.

Two guys in their 40’s were asking my husband about financial planning and insurance. A third was listening into the conversation. In his usual enthusiastic style my husband was passionately explaining the importance of retirement planning and insurance for critical illness, TPD and income protection. As men without coverage and feeling vulnerable, the questions were real and I had a sense that there would be some phone calls happening on Monday morning to sort out much needed insurance.

Thwarting the eagerness of the two who were keen to plan financially for retirement and secure themselves against risk by obtaining insurance was the third guy who was very negative about the need and the call to action. I needed to know why, so typically and much to the eye-rolling of my husband, I did.

Mr not insured and never will be, plus unwilling to share his strategies for retirement security was being competitive. He clearly wanted to be the person travelling the world in retirement and not watching it on 25 year old TV technology while waiting for his fortnightly pension cheque.  When I expressed to him that the greatest service he could give to himself was to assist others to have the same life of your dreams future he was confused.

Helping another secure their future does not equal loss to your own financial freedom, in fact it has the greatest chance of helping you immensely. If you assist a friend, coworker or relative by sharing your ideas and maybe preventing them from being a potential future burden to family, friends and social security, his self sufficiency will keep him independent for longer, happier and a greater contributor to himself and others. A higher level of savviness in future financial planning reduces the burdens on social security. In the 2012 Australian Federal Budget the estimate for the 2012-2013 fiscal year for social security alone was $131,656, 000. This is the largest expenditure line in the entire budget.

What if your ideas assisted another with their retirement planning and the financial security they create for their family?  Imagine if you had the knowledge and just chose 10 people to share your ideas with, and as a result three of them took action and averted a retirement on social security? How does this impact you? Positively or negatively? There’s more than enough to go around, distribution is the challenge. Maybe even more people with know how can start by distributing ideas within their personal network. This will only happen if we each make helping our neighbour to have an fantastic retirement our business.  Social security as a safety net is of extreme importance to many people, and so it should be for those who need it.  It’s possible to take people off the list by helping them understand their retirement planning.  Ending your life on a pension is not living, ask any pensioner how hard it is.  If you are equipped to help your neighbour, this would be a great gift to give.

“It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.” Erma Bombeck

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