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Thursday, January 7, 2010

LIFE TIP #4

LIFE TIP #4 - HAVE A BACK UP PLAN

This is a commercial break life tip session, so pardon my brevity and any typos.
Yes, I'm currently do as most of you are doing, watching a stunned freshman from UT try to fill some pretty big shoes. And I'm rooting for him. I think even Alabama fans grew an immediate soft spot for Mr. Gilbert, whose last minute failed hand-off before the half cost the Longhorns a senseless touchdown. I won't make any predictions. I try to never do that in football because I hate to be wrong. (Except for some odd reason, I can ALWAYS tell you when Romo is going to run it in himself, but he and I have always been tight like that.)

So, this sudden change in game plans got me thinking while I grudgingly did the evening dishes. Back up plans. Who has them? I've grown increasingly interested in them, partly because of how far Brock and I have come together in terms of becoming masters of our finances and because my job calls for it. There is nothing in pipeline logistics that allows a shoot from the hip mentality.

But enough with boring examples. Let's imagine you're in a bad relationship with your boyfriend. He's a loser, he doesn't respect you, and you recently discovered he's been cheating on you with . . . let's say with everyone. (It's my story, and I can do what I want to do, and I say he's an ass.) Okay, so do you have a back up plan? Did you consider the idea that he could stray? Yes? Good.

Okay, so your back up plan is to maim him. Got it. A little extreme, but this is all hypothetical, so I can help you refine your plan without being named as an accomplice. Okay, so do you have your torture method of choice? I'm no expert, but it seems to be the gunshot wound has been very popular over the years. At least that's what I read in the City and State section of our local paper. That's a good back up plan, but I think there are some definite holes you need to fill. For instance, what if you're a poor shot? What if you only have one bullet, and you only managed to graze his ear? These are the things you need to consider. I wouldn't go so far as to put your plan on paper - you know, premeditation isn't smiled upon in civilian courts . . .

But seriously, real back up plans for real people involve things like retirement savings, money market accounts, plenty of life insurance and a will. If you don't even have one of these already in the works, you don't have much of a plan for anything. I'll tell you why I didn't have them before I did - it just seemed like something OTHER people did. It seemed like it would be hard to do. The truth is, if you have a trustworthy person guiding you through the process, none of it is hard. The important thing is to take that first step and don't stop stepping until you've got all your bases covered. The peace of mind is worth it.

When I think of where Brock and I started financially, I sometimes think a magic unicorn must have worked on our lives overnight and gotten them straight. Then one night I discovered that Brock had a unicorn hat that he put on after I'd gone to bed each night because he's had this life long fantasy of BEING a unicorn. Tell you what, I thought twice about getting up to pee after I saw that.

A back up plan means that you're going to have to put some thought into where your life is going and then make a plan for what you will do if the unexpected happens. I won't say it's fun, and you're going to kick yourself repeatedly once you actually get some of these things going and find out how easy it was all along. And if you don't kick yourself, I'll be your back up plan. I've got a unicorn in the house with some mad hooves . . .

Go Texas.

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