As the holidays often bring a few moments of peace, it is a perfect time to get in touch with the real you.
Who are you and what do you consider important?
Consider it your personal foundation and life decisions are a result of that foundation.
In the context of financial planning, and in many other instances, the decisions you make are a reflection of who you are and what you believe in.
That is a reflection of where you come from and what has influenced you in your own personal development.
Many factors – from family, religion, culture, education and more – contribute to the way you think, and greatly influences your decisions.
For example, some families start an educational savings plan for their young children soon after they are born.
Some parents start saving for a post-secondary education that is more than a decade away.
They do so based on a belief in the value of a strong education, their desire to help their child, or the financial objective to shift saving years to a younger age versus during the time they start preparing for retirement.
Values and beliefs also go beyond the initial decision-making.
For example parents saving for post-secondary education also must decide if they will share the cost of post-secondary education with their children.
Is this their entire financial obligation or does the child participate?
Parents will decide if teaching their child how to set a financial objective, such as a continued education, and then saving for that objective is a good life lesson to be learned.
Once at university, will children take it more seriously if they are bearing some of the financial responsibility?
Of course, there are plenty of reasons not to start an educational savings plan and the most significant for many young families is that they can’t afford it.
Housing and childcare costs are high and for many their incomes are not large enough.
Like all decisions in life there are trade-offs: Good reasons to do something and equally good reasons not to do it.
For those fortunate to ponder the decision, Christmas is a good time to enjoy the moment and also get in touch with yourself to think about moving forward into a new year.