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Don’t Become the Crisis

11 May 2020

The thing about tough times is that they will always come and go. As Nelson Mandela once said, “Once you’ve climbed a great hill, you only realise that you have many more hills to still climb.”

Our goal is not to summit the hill; it’s to journey through the country. It’s to keep moving forward, whether we’re going up, going down, taking in the views or wading through the valley.

Ultimately, we can’t plan when a crisis will happen, we can only be certain that it will happen at some point.

It might be the loss of a loved one or the loss of a job. It might be a critical illness or a critical juncture in life where a difficult decision needs to be made. It might be a global pandemic that shuts down more than half of the world’s economy that leads to the loss of your income, the loss of your health and a multitude of difficult decisions that need to be made – all in one crisis.

The more years you have behind you, the more you will know that life is a series of hills to climb. Money will come and go, and there will be times when it’s really tough to get through each month, or even each week. You might be looking forward and seeing nothing but obstacles.

This is why it pays to be prepared. And hearing this reminder is often hardest when we’re in the midst of a crisis for which we may feel utterly unprepared.

We mustn't throw in the towel if we’re not fully prepared for the crisis and obstacles before us. We need to learn what we can from where we are right now and change our readiness for the next crisis.

It’s helpful to acknowledge that you’re right where you need to be. Ryan Reynolds has a good take on crises – he says: “Any kind of crisis can be good. It wakes you up.” True strength is shown in how we respond to what happens to us.

How we got here is far less important than how we’re going to move forward.

Knowing that we’re right where we need to be helps us keep our wits about us. You don't want to lose your head in a crisis; this is the quickest way to become the crisis (C.J. Redwine).

Giving in to fear and panic may cause us to make bigger financial errors that cost us even more than the crisis itself... and then we become the crisis. Generations before us would keep money aside for ‘a rainy day’. It was often in an old coffee tin that was kept out of sight and out of reach. In more recent years we have had access to financial products that help us protect our income, our assets and our health in times of crisis.

Holding onto our income protection benefits, maintaining our health cover premiums and allowing our investments to ride out the dip of the bear market are possibly some of the hardest things to do right now, but they’re also some of the most important. And, if we don’t have them in place, they may seem impossible to put in place – but even the smallest buffers and benefits will help us along our journey.

If our goal is to truly help you journey through the country, to help you keep moving forward, we need to encourage you to stick to the plan of protecting you and your family. At SFP, one of our core focusses is to protect you against loss of income and assets, and giving you financial stability in times of illness or disability so that you can heal, regain your strength and move forward.

Dealing with a crisis is never easy, whatever that crisis looks like for you. We’re here to help.

Sanlam Life Insurance is a licensed financial service provider.
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