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One of the more memorable film quotes of recent times. It sprang to mind after reading several articles over the past couple of months concerning bucket lists. Something of an American trend that has predictably found it’s way to our shores over recent years. Often thought of as being associated with terminally ill people, a bucket list is, for want of a better description, a list of all the things you want to do or places you wish to visit before you kick the inevitable bucket.

Recent popular items I have read about include:

  • Taking afternoon tea at the Pyramids
  • Swimming with Dolphins
  • Trekking through the Amazon
  • Snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef
  • Sleeping under the Northern Lights

These stories can quite often be heartbreaking and sad. However, if we take an analytical viewpoint and set our emotions to one side for a minute, it is really no different from a ‘lifetime list’. A list of specific goals or achievements someone wishes to attain during their lifetime.

Whichever way you look at it, whether you are unfortunate to be diagnosed with a terminal illness or not during your lifetime, we all have dreams and ambitions that we wish to achieve whilst we are on this earth.

What has this got to do with financial planning you may ask? One answer could well be – not a lot, I am just summarising a recent plethora of articles concerning bucket/lifetime lists. A better answer would be ‘planning’ - planning for the worst or planning for the best.

Planning for the worst could involve an insurance contract that would pay out a single lump sum, or annual payments, in the case of the diagnosis of a terminal or critical illness. Planning for the best is to provide, through prudent lifetime saving and investment, that same pot of money or annual income to enable the ‘lucky’ ones to achieve their dreams.

P.S. If you can name the film and character an FMB pen will be yours.

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