For most academics, the gears of course planning grind exceedingly fine. We tinker with projects, lectures, and assignments, trying to create what we imagine as the ideal learning experience. But that’s frequently not what we do outside of the classroom.
The winter holiday break is a good time to take stock of one’s life and position oneself better for the future. Although it’s never too late, the sooner you begin taking charge of your personal affairs, the better. So, some basics:
- Do you have a living will with advanced medical directives?
- Are your beneficiary designations up to date?
- Have you completed a personal financial inventory as part of an annual financial plan?
- Are you adequately insured?
- Do you know what your expected government-managed retirement benefits will be?
- Do you know the differences between different types of retirement investments?
I ask these questions because, if your experience has been anything like mine, you didn’t get trained in personal financial management while in graduate school, and you probably haven’t utilized whatever training might be available through your employer.