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MONEY MATTERS FOR FATHERS

Father’s Day is globally celebrated in June; it is a day dedicated to the celebration of

fathers. A father has a huge role to play in the family; a lifelong responsibility that comes

with significant financial implications, as there are so many demands on their resources.

Here are some tried and tested tips for all our fathers out there:

Establish an Emergency Fund

Having an emergency fund is one of the most important steps in a financial plan. If you

don’t already have one, do start to build one. Ideally, at any moment of time, you should

have six to twelve months of living expenses saved in your emergency fund. If it's a

challenge to set that aside all at once, start small and build up gradually. Automating your

savings with a direct debit each month is a convenient way of achieving this.

Consider your Risk Tolerance

Too many men have lost huge sums through some “too good to be true” business deals

introduced by friends. Men tend to bet big on riskier investments, hoping for that

phenomenal lucky break; sometimes it doesn't materialize, the deal goes sour and can

turn the family finances upside down. Particularly where there are dependents, be a little

more cautious about diving into those speculative opportunities that promise huge returns.

Often what sounds too good to be true, is too good to be true.

Talk about Money with your Partner

Money woes are a leading cause of fractured relationships and divorce. Keeping financial

problems to yourself makes things worse and can damage the fabric and stability of your

relationship. Ideally, marriage ought to be a trusting relationship and discussing financial

worries with your spouse and sharing the burden should ease it. Because men and women

tend to have different money personalities, there are benefits in discussing financial plans

and working together towards achieving joint goals.

If you have loads of money and you hide it away from your spouse, leaving them

completely in the dark, this breeds mistrust and will put a strain on your relationship when

they find out.


Protect your Family against the Unknown

Far too many people ignore the need for insurance until a major mishap or setback occurs;

it is then that the impact of inadequate insurance coverage becomes glaring. No matter

how meticulous you are with your finances, failure to purchase adequate insurance can

impair your financial future and put you and your loved ones in a desperate situation in an

instant. Motor vehicle, household, health and life insurance, are just a few of the various

policies that are available to protect you and your family. Life insurance is particularly

important if you are the primary or sole breadwinner.

Insurance plans serve not only the financial obligations in the case of a disaster but often

have an interesting investment component that paves the way to support important

milestones for your child including higher education, investment in a business venture or

other goals.

Save for your Children’s Education

Funding your children’s education is likely to be one of the largest expenses you will ever

face and it must thus be carefully planned for. With the rising costs of education, if sound

investments are not made early, covering the huge expenses for the secondary and post-

secondary years can be a huge challenge. When your children are still young, you have

the benefit of time to select investments that offer the prospect of higher returns over the

long term. There are educational insurance plans that encourage you to plan for several

years ahead when you need the money. With careful planning, discipline, consistency,

sacrifice and professional advice, you can make adequate provision for your children’s

education and give them the best chances in life.

Do you have an Estate Plan?

Naturally we don't like to dwell on death, but you do have loved ones and you do want to

ensure that they are taken care of should anything happen to you. The only way to achieve

this is through an estate plan; it will ensure that your investments and property and other

assets do not go into the wrong hands. Review and update your will, trust and other estate

planning documents periodically, to ensure that they are in accordance with your current

status and intentions; you might have had more children or wished to include or remove

some beneficiaries, may have acquired additional assets or disposed of some.

Review your Beneficiary Designations

At some time or the other, you have probably had to fill out a form or some other

documentation where you had to clearly state your next-of-kin. When last was it updated?

Many people don’t take this designation that seriously and sometimes even forget whom

they designated as time goes by. It is important to check beneficiary designations

periodically, say once a year, to make sure that they are up-to-date on all documents

including your insurance policies, your next-of-kin form and your estate planning

documents.

Who is your Next-of-Kin?

In Western cultures, the choice of the spouse as next-of-kin is the most obvious one, for

example, the mother of his children is generally the person in whom a man places the

most trust. In Nigeria, however, it is very common for a man to choose his brother as next-

of-kin. In the event of the husband’s death, making the wife your next-of-kin will save her

and the children a lot of hardship given the traditional extended family system where other

family members can often forcefully claim their brother’s property. There are numerous

examples of widows having to cope with not only the loss of their spouse but also of all

their personal possessions and property.

Many people assume that if they pass on, their spouse will automatically become

beneficiary to their estate. If you were to die intestate, that is, without leaving a will, your

property will not simply pass to your spouse as you might think; strict rules rank your next

of kin, and your property will be distributed according to laws of intestacy. In Nigeria, an

estate may be subject to native law and custom, which varies from state to state; this may

not be what you would have desired for your family.

Teach your Children about Money

As financial literacy is not taught in schools, fathers have the responsibility to teach their

kids the value of money and how to manage it. This is a life skill that will serve them

throughout their lives. A financially responsible child that is taught to value money and who

understands that money is earned through hard work and learns to manage it prudently,

will also make it possible for the family to achieve its long-term goals.

Invest Time in the Family

In the final analysis, all the money in the world cannot replace that precious time for

bonding, building and nurturing deep and loving relationships with your family. This is the

greatest investment of all.

Posted by Nimi Akinkugbe

Author Photo
Mrs. Nimi Akinkugbe is currently the CEO of Bestman Games, founded in 2012, which brought the globally renowned 'Monopoly' board game to Nigeria. She served as the the Head of Private and Business Banking at Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc (formerly known as IBTC Chartered Bank plc). Mrs. Akinkugbe also served as Head of Asset Management and Private Banking Department of IBTC Chartered Bank plc. where she was responsible for IBTC Asset Management Limited. Nimi holds a Bachelor’s Degree from The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and an MBA from Lagos Business School. She is a Director at The Play Pen (Child Development Centre), The Daisy Management Centre and Bestman Games Ltd. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Ajumogobia Science Foundation, Women in Management & Business (WIMBIZ) and the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON) Artistes Committee. In her free time, she enjoys playing the piano, writing, travel, boating and orchid gardening.

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