with Raziah Ahmed
friend Neil Jones would often refer to world-renowned UK
financial adviser, and past president of the Million Dollar
Round Table, Tony Gordon's book, "It Only Gets Better."
Neil would often quote that "Commitment is like virginity,
either you have it or you don't!"
Commitment is somewhat like intention, and follow-through,
all wrapped up into one. It's a long-term, in for the long
haul, for better or worse, long-view of our destiny.
From a wealth accumulation perspective, you are wealthy
when you have enough money through savings/investments,
to generate your own adequate pay cheque each month for
the rest of your life, without having to do a stroke of
work: white-collar, blue-collar stuff.
On a more philosophical note, the questions we must answer,
in the desire for wealth, are: Who will benefit? What value
will it bring to me, to my family, to my employer? What
value will it bring to my community, and what value will
it bring to my country?
You see, nothing in life is just about us! It's always a
So what's the legacy that we leave when we die? And on an
even more profound philosophical note, do we really die,
or does our spirit or soul simply move on to another sphere
of work or rest?
But, philosophy aside, who pays for our last expenses?
The last expenses bill will consist of: funeral expenses,
doctors bills from the last attending physician, bills
for surgery or hospitalisation if relevant, bills for nursing
care or extended convalescence, if relevant. And if they
are all relevant, we are looking at an extremely conservative
minimum of TT$50,000.
World renowned heart transplant surgeon, Marius Bernard,
of South Africa, has said that "80 per cent of us,
80 per cent of all our family, 80 per cent of all our friends,
will one day be diagnosed with arteriosclerosis or heart
More recently, medical specialists have been making blanket
statements that most of us, even from young adulthood, already
have some kind of circulatory system blockage.
The onus is then upon us to ensure that we have enough health
insurance coverage, so as not to seriously interfere with
the wealth we hope to transfer to our families.
You can only get critical illness or dread disease insurance
when you are young and healthy. Adverse-Selection is a term
of art in life insurance, which arises out of the greater
desire of people to seek insurance after they discover that
they have a medical problem.
The Pareto principle seems to be at work again: 80 per cent
of us had better get the Critical Illness insurance cover
to ensure we maintain a lifestyle of dignity despite dread
disease or illness, to the very end!
And guess what? There is no banker in the world, no investor,
no mutual fund specialist, no stock market broker in the
world, who will bring you a cheque when you are diagnosed
with kidney failure, or heart attack, or any number of approximately
18 other "covered" illness, unless they get it
from an insurance company.
We will remember Neil Jones...a stalwart in the insurance
industry. He left us a wonderful legacy, built upon hard
work, and commitment to the end.
When the angels took him, many parts of our verdant landscape
was sprinkled with carpets of pink poui flowers. And that
I think, is symbolic of the legacy that he has left!
Ahmed is a registered financial consultant