Karen van der Berg
Your luxury beach house or your brand-new car or even your diamond engagement ring. When people think about their different types of asset, most of them think of something tangible, something expensive in monetary terms. Surely one’s most valuable asset must be something one can touch? If that’s what you think, read on.
Anria van Heerden, a financial planner from Portico Financial Services, says people use so much of their time to amass assets and create wealth.
“The big question, of course, is whether we spend enough time on protecting the assets for which all of us work so hard.”
Anria regularly asks people what their biggest asset is. It is definitely not your house or car.
“Any person’s biggest asset is his ability to earn an income. You are your own biggest asset and also that of your family and everybody who is dependent on you. It is your ability to earn an income that helps you create wealth.”
According to Anria the next logical question is: how does one protect one’s own biggest asset?
“Have you ever wondered what would happen if you were to lose your ability to generate an income, if there is no longer a way for you to earn money? It could happen.”
She says one of the most important ways is, of course, to take care of your health and to live as healthy as possible by exercising, eating healthy food and following a healthy lifestyle. There is, however, one other thing.
“This, of course, is to replace your income in the most traditional way that we know of, but which not all of us always apply. That is to insure yourself.”
Anria says basic life assurance provides for your family by replacing your income once you are no longer there or are no longer able to provide for them. She emphasises that this is especially important to people with children.
“Remember, you are your own most important asset. Anything could happen to you any day. Make sure today that you protect the asset by having the necessary processes in place. Also, go and see a financial planner to discuss the various options.”
For Leana Viljoen (33) of Durban the importance of life assurance recently became a reality.
“One often reads about accidents in which other people’s loved ones were involved. Our family was recently shaken when my cousin was involved in a serious car accident and was left paralysed. He is a teacher and also a sports coach. He has three young little daughters. We will have more clarity about what the future holds as soon as he finishes his rehabilitation. For the present all we know is that nothing will be the same again. We are just grateful that his assurance is in order.”