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Ironically, today of all days, my laptop decided enough was enough, and I didn’t need certain numbers or letters. More infuriatingly, all of my emails and passwords seemed to use at least one of them. It is useable with the help of Word’s insert symbol function and some copy and paste, but it’s a waste of time, and while in warranty, something that is going to get fixed.

Technology, with all its developments and new versions and updates, you would think would be fairly bulletproof, especially something like a laptop. It’s not like this is a new piece of technology…if Wikipedia is a reliable source to go on, then they’ve been making laptops since 1975. So how is it that my 6 month old work laptop has problems with some of the keyboard keys – not all of them, but some of them. The keyboard has been in production for more than 40 years, surely they’ve perfected it by now. So while I’ve had to delete everything from the computer and box it up, albeit in a fairly makeshift fashion, to be returned to the manufacturer, it’s not as much of a problem as it could have been, because we had a backup plan. With the cloud storage systems available, and our work system, I just had to check local files for anything I needed, then clear everything and move to another computer. Simple. But what if it’s some part of our life that goes wrong? There’s no such thing as cloud storage for our wellbeing.

We all get sick. Some of us more sick than others. Some get so sick that they can’t work for long periods of time. What do you do if that happens?

Sometimes, people lose their job. Other times, people get so frustrated that they just quit their job with nothing to move into. What do you do if that happens?

At some point, everyone will die (unless science comes up with something a bit special). Unfortunately, some people die much sooner than they would think. The question here is, what do those you leave behind do now? It’s nothing to do with you anymore.

So our final rule of thumb for this series is


There isn’t a one size fits all back up plan.

Some people have mortgages and debts, so they should have some sort of protection for that. If you’re sick and can no longer work, you need to replace your income. Others have husbands, wives and/or children. They might need a lump sum of money to sort themselves out, or better still, a replacement income to help with their day to day running.

However, the one thing that everyone should have is a will.

If you die without a will, and you aren’t married and have no kids, it’s your parents who inherit everything you have. Even if you have a long time partner, they won’t receive anything unless you are married. If you have any sort of ideas how you would want your assets to be divided, just make a will and save everyone else a lot of hassle. For those who have made a will, there are two things to remember:

  • If you have got married since making your will, it is no longer valid
  • If you get divorced after making your will, it is still valid, but your ex-partner is treated as if they have died before you.

There are people out there who live in a world where they don’t think anything bad will ever happen to them. They are dreaming. I know this is borderline scaremongering, but it’s just the truth. We always tell our clients that buying insurance will only ever be the worst decision you ever made, or the best – it depends if you ever need it.

All I would say is it’s good to have a backup plan. It’s not Plan A, or Plan B or even C, but the one that is automatically initiated if the worst happens.

You drive with car insurance, homeowners have house insurance, some people even have gadget insurance, so why wouldn’t you have some sort of life insurance? But don’t rush out and buy the first one you find on the internet, speak to someone like us – an adviser who can look at your personal situation and help you decide whether you need a lump sum, a replacement income, life cover, critical illness cover, income protection or whatever else you might need. They can talk you through it, how it’s set up and all the different options available, so that you can be sure that your backup plan is bulletproof, and not like my laptop.