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Putting your Financial Circumstances into Perspective

With the bushfires around Australia over the last week, Christmas seems like months ago.  The recent fires in Tasmania have been tragic and the team at iGenWealth offer our sincere sympathy to all those impacted.  We usually like to have a bit of fun with our iGenWealth posts but this week, it’s just too hard to find anything amusing to write about and frankly, we felt it wouldn’t be respectful anyway. Hopefully, you’ll forgive us this one time.

Several of the iGenWealth team were caught at the Tasman Peninsula fires but fortunately, were all safely evacuated. Some of us needed to spend the night at one of the fire evacuation centres with residents who’d evacuated from their homes near the fire front,  many have since lost their homes, businesses and in some cases everything they own apart from the clothes they were wearing.  Some of these people faced the loss of everything but nevertheless were quietly going about the business of helping the “visitor” evacuees .

I witnessed a lady from the Lions Club bus dishing out sausages to hungry evacuees at the Nubeena centre. As she dished up food she joked with the people in the line that she’d instructed her teenage son to pack “the important things we’d need if the house burns” while she tried to complete fire-proofing her home.  Throwing themselves in the car and racing away from the fire front  she said she had checked the back seat of the car and discovered too late that there had been a communication breakdown… Forgetting warm clothes, food, water, treasured possessions and photo albums, her son had packed his boogie board, surfing gear and wetsuits.  I saw her again early the next morning tirelessly moving around Nubeena’s footy oval dishing out donated dog food to hungry pets evacuees had brought with them.  When I thanked her for looking after us she grinned and, referring to the volunteers from the local community, told me “We forgot about a few things to start with but we’re remembering them and getting things sorted out now !”

There are stories of selflessness, bravery and survival.  Stories of grandparents saving grandchildren, neighbours and friends supporting each other and of people opening their homes and businesses to strangers who just need a hand.  A trip down to the Tasman Peninsula a couple of nights ago to collect abandoned possessions showed a community in the process of clean-up and rebuilding, one slow step at a time.  It’s early days but as the year progresses, homes will be rebuilt, possessions will be replaced and people will move forward with their lives.

The fires coincide with the beginning of the New Year which is generally a time when we make resolutions. These might include things like increasing our savings, paying off old debts, increasing investments, reviewing insurance and achieving financial goals.  Getting ahead financially doesn’t require an economics degree, just some organization and a small amount of discipline.  The year 2013 is the next chapter in the book of your life and you get to make the decisions about what’s in that chapter. How will you write the chapter and looking back at the end of 2013 and what do you think you will have achieved financially?  Compared to the issues faced by some Tasmanians impacted by bush fires at the moment, getting ahead financially in the year 2013 for the rest of us seems like it’s going to be pretty easy to get where we want to be.

So, what are you waiting for?  2013 is your year!

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