I saw the daftest thing the other day; a website devoted to giving its visitors ideas about what amazing things they can do before they die. If you’re in need of such a service for fear of leaving this mortal earth unfulfilled then I hope that discovering an imagination, not a long-lost tribe from the Sahara Desert, is one of the options.
Bucket lists are all well and good but rather than be something personal to each individual it seems to have become more of a tick box, ‘keep up with the Joneses’ type exercise. Most people will never have any intention whatsoever of actually doing the things that they’ve put down on their list.
Can you imagine Tracey from accounts really criss-crossing Niagara Falls dressed in nothing but a Toga. In fact, don’t go there.
Instead of these flights of fancy how about we get real and put down some things that are actually deliverable and should be done? Call it the boring bucket list, if you will.
1) Life Insurance
The grief your loved ones will go through once you pass away is probably going to be bad enough without discovering you’ve left them without a penny and a mortgage to pay. Surprisingly, as many as one in three people neglect to take out life insurance, normally because of the cost or the fact they don’t want to think about dying. You can buy three types of life insurance – level term assurance – the most common form, decreasing term assurance and whole-of-life insurance.
If you fail to take out a will your estate will fall under the intestacy rules, which sounds like something your dependents would find hard to swallow. Getting a will drawn up need not be complicated or expensive, but it is better to have all the facts at your disposal before seeking legal advice. There is lots of simple and free advice out there on the web. For example, I found the FAQs about Wills on the Blaser Mills website particularly informative.
3) Frozen pensions
Very few jobs are for life anymore. Today, for a variety of reasons, the average person changes jobs 11 to 15 times in their working career. Whether it is redundancy, promotion, relocation, chasing a bigger salary etcetera that has seen you move on, there’s a good chance you’ll have left a frozen pension pot behind which attracts annual administration charges. It could be profitable to look into consolidating your assets into one plan or moving them to another scheme. If you need to seek impartial advice, visit HMRC’s website.
Photo credit: Dave Dugdale, http://www.learningdslrvideo.com/