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How to future-proof yourself and your family

6 minute read
Family playing in the rain with their dog

The world around us is changing faster than it ever has before. Thanks to technology, businesses like Airbnb, Facebook and Amazon are now household names and it won’t be long before we’ll be using 3D printing and driverless cars to buy a new pair of shoes or travel to the office.

It can be overwhelming to imagine what our lives will be like in 10 or 20 years; so what are some ways you can future-proof not only you, but your family too?

We’ve spoken to experts, looked into the latest research and decoded the jargon to help you protect your future.

How to future-proof your finances

You’re never too young to start future-proofing your finances and the most obvious place to start is with a budget. The MoneySmart website offers a free financial planning tool, which can help you decide how much you can commit to savings each month. Put in place a savings and investment plan and look at making extra contributions into your superannuation.

Most importantly, consider how you and your family would cope with an unexpected emergency – such as the diagnosis of a serious illness. This would undoubtedly be an emotionally stressful time for everyone, so you wouldn’t want to be worried about finances as well. nib Critical Illness gives members who are diagnosed with certain illnesses such as cancer, stroke, or a heart attack* a lump sum payment (up to $75,000) to help pay for living expenses, treatment not covered by health insurance, lifestyle changes and time you may have to take off from work to focus on your recovery^. This could be the difference between having a comfortable financial future and having to go into debt or re-mortgage the house as a result of a serious illness.

*Each of these Critical Illness Conditions has a specific medical definition and severity level that must be met for a claim. You should refer to the PDS for a full list of the Critical Illness Conditions covered, their medical definition and the benefit payable.

Dad and his daughter doing yoga together in the living room.

How to future-proof your career

Automation has meant that many traditional occupations are at risk of extinction, futurist Michael McQueen explains, making it essential that workers remain relevant to both their employer and their customers.

Michael recommends asking yourself, “What value are you adding that customers can't get from a digital version of you?”. The trick to remaining relevant in your career is to take initiative and increase your skillset – this can often mean putting your hand up to work on different projects in the office, signing up for a training course, creating a diverse network of workers who aren’t necessarily in your industry and taking responsibility for your professional development.

How to future-proof your kids

It’s not just technology that’s changing dramatically, but also the way we interact with each other – and it’s important to teach your kids to thrive in an ever-evolving environment. Oxford anthropologist Anna Machin explained to the Telegraph UK that the term ‘resilience’ has become increasingly important when it comes to future-proofing your kids – and the best way to foster resilience and emotional intelligence is to work hard on the bond you have with your child. “The safer your child feels in your relationship and love, the more confidence and self-esteem they will have to go out and face the world. If they feel secure and strongly tethered, it allows them to sail out into the storm, knowing they can pull back into port if they begin to sink.”

Psychologist Tali Sharot also spoke with the Telegraph UK explaining parents should focus less on specific skills and more on traits, “With grit and optimism you are more likely to succeed wherever you are.” Computers are now using automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to perform many of the rational aspects of our work, so it’s less about IQ and more about EQ (emotional intelligence): adaptability, creativity and relationship building.

Mother and daughter sitting at the beach meditating together.

How to future-proof your health

Experts are predicting that anyone born after 1970 could live to over 120 years of age, and if we want to spend our twilight years with the energy of Jane Fonda and dance moves of Mick Jagger, it’s important to lay the foundations of a healthy lifestyle now. Find out what health checks you should be getting based on your age, focus on healthy eating (not dieting!) and commit to an exercise routine (here’s our beginner’s guide to get you started).

How to future-proof your mental wellbeing

Research has shown that people living with a serious mental health condition die 12-13 years earlier than their peers – a shocking statistic that reinforces just how important mental wellbeing is when it comes to looking after yourself. In Australia, it’s estimated that 45% of us will experience a mental health condition in our lifetime. Whether it’s related to stress, anxiety or depression, it’s essential to know how to recognise and manage the signals you may be struggling. Practising mindfulness has been found to reduce the symptoms of depression by up to 20% and it’s easy to do in your own home. Check out our beginner’s guide to mindfulness for more information or try one of these six free ways to get help for mental health.

^Coverage is subject to the terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions as contained in the PDS. Refer to the PDS for a full list of Critical Illness Conditions covered. This information is general advice only and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should refer to the combined Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Financial Services Guides (FSG) to consider if nib Critical Illness is appropriate for you based on your personal circumstances.

TAL Life Limited ABN 70 050 109 450, AFSL 237848 (TAL Life) of Level 16, 363 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000 is the issuer of this product and PDS. TAL Direct Pty Limited ABN 39 084 666 017, AFSL 243260 (TAL Direct) is the distributor of this product and is the issuer of the TAL Direct FSG. TAL Direct has appointed nib life pty ltd ABN 91 003 037 625 (nib) as an authorised representative, Authorised Representative Number 321683. Neither nib, nor any of its employees, agents or other representatives, guarantee or accept liability for this product.

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