Of all the recurring “grass is greener” arguments, the childhood vs adulthood one is surely the most misleading.
Through a kid’s eyes, adulthood is just one long series of late bedtimes, unrestricted screen time and mastery over the potato chip rations. Adults can have playdates with their friends without negotiating with a third party. They always get to choose what’s for dinner. They’re allowed to use petrol pumps, lawn mowers and permanent markers. They can drive.
Children see freedom while adults navigate responsibilities. Children notice money, while adults juggle debt.
The funny thing about getting older is that it is entirely possible to spend many years in the official ranks of adulthood, earning money and paying bills, without actually feeling very much like a genuine financial grown-up.
There are those of us who have never gotten around to creating a will, or those who have one that is so woefully outdated that it predates several children, a couple of houses and our current job. There are a great many of us who would never drive an uninsured car but are overwhelmed by the concept of insuring our biggest asset and liability – ourselves. Then there are those who have never quite gotten around to shifting out of our default Kiwisaver scheme, despite the mounting concern that we are missing out on a huge opportunity elsewhere (but where?). Let’s not forget those of us who are eyeing up the sharemarket with equal parts intrigue and suspicion, eager to breach this financial frontier but unwilling to expose ourselves to risk.
In short, there are a lot of pieces to jostle into place with every financial puzzle.
Anna-May Martin, Financial Adviser at Motueka’s Castle Trust Financial Planning, reminded people to be kind to themselves and just find a place to start.
“Try not to get overwhelmed,” she said. “Every task doesn’t have to be completed at once. We’re here to sit down with you and have a chat about your situation and your priorities, and then we can start to work through the tasks together.”
She referred to a client who had recently walked out of their office with her head held high after signing the necessary documents.
“She commented that she had this feeling of incredible self-confidence, and said, “What a grown-up I am today.” It was really satisfying to know that we’d helped her to get to that place.”
To kick off your own conversation about becoming a financial grown-up, call in to see the Castle Trust team, in Motueka’s High Street.