Avoid ‘what if’ and plan for the future

Roger Edwards

At some point in their lives, most people will ask themselves the what if question. What if I’d worked harder at school, what if I hadn’t got married at such a young age, what if I had gone to university, travelled more or stopped smoking.

We recently looked at what advice over-35-year-olds would give to their 20-year-old selves if they were able to go back in time with the benefit of their increased knowledge. From a financial point of view. the top piece of advice was to start saving early and not surprisingly taking out a pension came second.

But getting a 20-year-old to start saving or paying into a pension pot will be no easier now than it was years ago. And it will be even more difficult to suggest they take out protection insurance. But the point is not to miraculously get 20-year-olds to change their ways, it is to open the debate up to all age groups about what their finances might be like over time.

While a 20-year-old will have the attitude that life cover or income protection is for older people, getting them to think for a minute about the implications of not having cover in place might resonate with them when they are in their mid to late 20s.

If we can start to encourage people to think seriously about their finances at a younger age, hopefully, they will not be asking the what-if question later in life.