A popular reflection exercise involves writing a letter to your younger self, describing and explaining all the life lessons you have learned.
The idea behind the exercise is to vent your feelings and frustrations about decisions you made, helping you to better understand why you made them, and to stop yourself from repeating mistakes from the past.
I’ve seen this exercise pop up on social media every now and again, and recently it started me thinking: what would I tell my younger self about protection?
Namely, financial protection. By this, I mean those things we don’t really like talking about, but deep down we think we might need one day, such as life insurance, income protection, and cover for serious or critical illness.
Of course, my younger self wouldn’t have been interested in boring subjects like life insurance and income protection, not least because like most teenagers, she believed that she was invincible!
So, I’d have to work hard to convince her of the value of financial protection.
But I would persevere knowing what I know now – which is, the earlier you take out a life insurance policy, for example, the cheaper it will be, and the more money you will save in the long run (so my present self could enjoy a few more luxuries!)
Don’t Make the Mistake of Thinking, ‘I’m Too Young’
Although there are widely varying assessment criteria, when it comes to arranging financial protection the younger you are, the less you’ll have to pay for the security and peace of mind it helps to bring.
It’s not just because when you’re young, you’re less likely to fall ill. It’s also because you’re more likely to be a long-term policyholder.
That means you’re highly likely to benefit from additional savings further down the line – so that by the time you reach middle age, you’ll be paying less than someone who has only just started their policy.
Since many people will benefit from financial protection at some point in their lives, doesn’t it make sense to organise yours when options are likely to be at their cheapest?
What Forms of Financial Protection Should You Prioritise?
Just like most things in life, when it comes to financial protection, everybody’s needs are different.
Not everybody will benefit from taking out a life insurance policy, for example, particularly if they haven’t got any financial dependents.
Critical illness and income protection cover, however, will help to ensure you receive a cash lump sum or an income respectively should the worst happen, for example if you are involved in an accident, or you fall ill.
There are lots of different needs and scenarios to consider, so I’d also tell my younger self that she should speak to a friendly, fee-free advisor… just like the one she will one day become!
If you’d like to arrange a no-obligation conversation about financial protection options – whatever age you happen to be – then please get in touch.