“I am Me by monkey6


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									I would like to start by sharing a section from “The Last Lecture” with you. This
book is an account of the farewell lecture that Professor Randy Pausch held
at Carnegie Mellon. He was terminally ill, dying of cancer and he held this
lecture as a legacy to his children.

See page p35 -36

Financial empowerment starts at getting the fundamentals right. It is import to
go back often and be conscious about your financial circumstance and to re-
evaluate your planning regularly to ensure that you are on the right track, just
in case you and your family may need it.

               am Me. In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. I
Virgina Satir said “I
own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own my triumphs and
successes, all my failures and mistakes.
I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to
make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me. I
own me, and therefore, I can engineer me. I am me, and I am Okay.”

Each and every person in this room is an individual. A business woman with
her own aspirations, dreams, fears and concerns about her and her families
future. Yet we get so involved in our daily responsibilities, from everything
that we have to do at the office, the demands from our clients and colleagues,
the excitement of chasing the next deal…and then from there we go home,
where we have another full time job…and all the responsibility that comes
with it: we look after our children, we have to ensure that they are clothed, fed,
that their homework is done, and that they receive the loving support and care
that only a mother can give…and THEN as if all of this is not enough, we have
a husband or a partner or lover who are waiting for their share of us, and we
are expected to look, smell and feel like a million dollars. I must admit…at the
end of the day I am so exhausted I don’t even want to think about lingerie and
candlelight…I just want to put my pj’s on, put a mask on my face and go off to
sleep as early as possible…but somehow, miraculously we manage it all.

But somewhere in the process we don’t always look after ourselves, our
health and our financial well being as attentively as we should…some of us
use our handbags as a financial filing system, and somehow we never get to
look at important paperwork like accounts and get in serious trouble when we
don’t pay these on time.

The purpose of this morning is first of all for you to have fun. It is seldom that
we allow ourselves the luxury to relax and network with other like minded

It is also a time to take cognisance of our vulnerabilities.

I hope you enjoyed the crystals in the ritual box that you received from me
and that it assisted you to become conscious of the relationship between your
body and your mind, and the messages you bodies are reverting via the
Just like the crystals were a tool to assist you to become conscious of the
fundamental like between body and mind, there are many tools available to
assist us to manage our finances more effectively.

I know that when I get so busy with all the stuff I have to do, I lose focus of
myself. Sometimes I would recognise the charka message, but would ignore
it, because I am to busy with other things and other times I would be SO
BUSY that I would not even recognise that there is a message at all.

I know from experience that in the rat race I lose focus of me, and often find
myself in a state of chaos not really knowing where I am going or what I am
doing with my time, my health or my finances. I often forget to transfer excess
cash out from my cheque account into my bond account and in that way I
could have saved myself a huge amount of interest, instead a left the money
to do nothing in my current account. People often don’t check the debit
orders running against their current account. At closer look you may find
yourself paying for things that you no longer have, like the alarm service at
your previous property.

In the time that I have been working closely with clients I have realised that
there are so many money matters that could cause us to be vulnerable. I
have also learned that there are tools and solutions that we can use to make
sure that we are more secure:

People have different relationships with money. There is no wrong or right
relationship, but our relationship with money often determines how we
manage our money. Some people have angst about money. Some people
hoard money and live their entire lives too scared to spend a dime. On the
other extreme you find people who literally spend money as if it grows on

The ideal is to have a healthy relationship with money. It is important to
ensure that you have correct plans in place, but at the same time, it is
important to remember that life is short. Always remember to set money
aside to enjoy and share special time with the people that you love.

In my experience people who stick to a financial plan, have more success in
       reaching their financial goals than those who don’t.

      It does in fact all start with a plan. Work out a spending plan, and stick
       to it! (this sounds a lot less restrictive than a budget, doesn’t it). But if
       we don’t know how or on what we are spending our money, we are just
       spending it, without really understanding if we can afford or need or
       want all this spending.

      Make sure that you have at least a hospital plan which is registered as
       a medical aid. Under current legislation any medical plan which does
       the business of a medical aid, must be registered as a medical aid. In
    that way you know that the plan provides at least the minimum benefits
    which are prescribed by the medical schemes act. (What I am trying to
    say is, if you have a false sense of security because you have a plan
    which was sold to you over the telephone, it may be time to re-evaluate
    this) If you and your family don’t have a properly registered medical
    aid and one of you are in an accident or have an emergency the private
    hospitals will only help you if you can put down cash. If you can not,
    the only alternative will be a state facility, where you will have to wait in
    the queue. When it is a matter of life or death – time is of the essence!

   If you have financial dependants it is important that you ensure that
    they will not be left without income in the event of your death. If you
    died yesterday, the people who depend on you would need at least 12
    x your annual income to sustain the standard of living that you helped
    to create for them.

   Unless you are retired or have millions in the bank, your ability to earn
    an income is your biggest asset. This is quite a difficult concept to get
    ones mind around. Yet I know that I am the body / person who brings
    in the income. If for some reason I can not work, be that due to illness,
    accident, be that for 6months or never again, my income will no longer
    continue. Yet I will still have to pay the bills, my car, the bond on my
    house etc. No one will feel sorry for me and let me not pay those bills,
    I have a legal obligation. Like I can insure the equipment at the office, I
    can ensure my body, to make sure that my income will continue, just in
    case for any reason, I am to ill or disabled to work. This type of
    insurance is called income disability insurance. If I am not able to work
    for one month or longer, this policy will replace my monthly income and
    will continue to pay me an income until such time that I can go back to
    work. If I am permanently disabled, this income will continue, it will
    increase each year with inflation and it will last until at least age 65.

   We live in stress full times. We don’t exercise enough and we can not
    always control what is in the foods that we eat.
    I have been in the Financial Services Industry close to 15 years. Most
    of the claims that I have submitted and had paid for clients have been
    dreaded disease or severe illness claims. These have been far greater
    than permanent disability or death claims. Dreaded diseases cover
    things like cardio vascular diseases – heart attacks, diseases of the
    nervous system – stroke, cancer – to but mention a few. When I joined
    the industry 15 years ago the bulk of dreaded disease claims were paid
    for cardio vascular diseases. Today 50% of dreaded disease claims
    being paid are for cancer.       A dreaded disease payout from a life
    assurance policy is “getting better money”. It is your choice how you
    spend the funds – it may be to settle additional medical costs. It may
    be to settle debt or afford you the luxury to take time off work, to give
    yourself a fighting chance to get better. It is a benefit that each person
    should consider having in their portfolio. I am often asked how much is
    enough? In my opinion you can not have enough.              Life assurance
      companies are allowing you to buy up to R5 000 000. Buy as much as
      you can afford, and as much as you can medically qualify for.

          It is important to plan for retirement. A very small portion of the
          population can afford to retire financially independent. When you
          plan for retirement you need to decide at what age you would like
          to retire and with how much money per month, i.e. I would like to
          retire at age 65, and I would need R15 000 per month after tax in
          today’s money. When you determine this amount you may need to
          keep in mind that you may not have a company subsidised medical
          aid at this time and that you will have to include the full cost of the
          medical aid in the amount that you would need per month. You
          also have to consider that your children may not live in South Africa
          and that you may have to factor the cost of visiting them into your
          budget requirements. Then it is important that you understand how
          much money you have to save on a monthly basis to reach that
          goal. Just know, the longer you wait to tackle this problem, the
          worse it will become.

I would like to end by quoting Kahlil Gibran from The Prophet:

“And the merchant said, Speak to us of Buying and Selling.

And he answered and said

To you the earth yields her fruit, and you shall not want if you but know how to
fill your hands. It is in exchanging the gifts of the earth that you shall find
abundance and be satisfied. Yet unless the exchange be in love and kindly
justice it will but lead some to greed and others to hunger…And before you
leave the market-place, see that no one has gone his way with empty hands. “

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