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One day when I grow up: the link between dreaming and planning for the future

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Baby Yum Yum - One day when I grow up the link between dreaming and planning for the future
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Jaden, aged 9, has dreams of becoming an online games vlogger. He also helps his father in the evenings with the odd plumbing jobs. Could he one day make a career of both or, in fact, have multiple jobs?

As parents or caregivers, each day is filled with its own adventures as well as its challenges. When it comes to our children, our role has increased beyond a meal on the table and a roof over their heads. We have the added responsibility to give our children a kick-start in life so that they can have a beautiful future with minimal worry or struggle. For many, our dreams and hopes for our children, are that they will grow up healthy, strong, independent and successful.

Dreaming & playtime

Many of us get so busy with day-to-day life that we forget to sit down with our children and ask them about their dreams. Today, why not chat to your children about drawing or writing about their dreams? Your son may have a dream to become a soccer player, but he may also be good at accounting, both of which can assist him later in life. How, you ask? He will be able to better manage the money he earns from playing soccer and later, when soccer is not his main source of income, he could use his accounting skills to open a business or manage the finances of a business.

Examples of dreams

  • Build robots
  • Make movies
  • Start a YouTube channel
  • Ballerina
  • To become a rugby player
  • Become a teacher
  • Architect – building life-sized Lego buildings
  • Plastic surgeon
  • Make-up artist
  • Pilot
  • Become a carpenter
  • Engineer
  • A chef
  • Own a business

From playtime to pay-time

As parents, there is a lot of pressure on us to assist our children in directing their dreams and strengths and to turn these into income-generating careers. Yes, that’s correct, careers! Times have changed, our children have more options and opportunities available to them. They will also no longer be sitting in the same jobs forever unless it is a very specialised field. Due to the 4th industrial revolution, the idea of multiple streams of income will become the new norm. One of the ways we can prepare our children for this is to ask them thought-provoking questions to spark their creativity, such as;

  • Can you work from anywhere in the world?
  • Do you like office work? For example, a 9-5pm job?
  • Where will you live when you are working?
  • Can you report to a manager/boss or do you want to be the boss?
  • How much money do you think a games vlogger earns?
  • Do you want to study and work in South Africa?
  • Will you be able to pay for the place you live and the car you drive?
  • Will people still need vloggers in the future?
  • Do you see yourself in the same career 10, 20 or 40 years from now?
  • What about using your strengths to earn an income in addition to your mainstream job; like sewing, baking, photography, cutting hair, doing make-up or fixing stuff?

Earning an income also doesn’t have to be limited to their adult-life. Schools across the country have a career or entrepreneur day. Ask your child to showcase their skills there – they can be making money while in school to start saving for their future.

From pay-time to planning

The question is, how can we best prepare our children for a journey when we do not know the destination? We can do this best by having these conversations while they are still young and to start saving for their future as soon as possible. Here are a few reasons why it is better to start planning now, rather than later;

  • Education is expensive.
  • Your kids will have more options available to them, as they will have the finances to fund these.
  • They won’t be as reliant on you financially in their adult life or when you are close to retirement.

From planning to possibilities

If you have not already started saving for your child’s future, then the best time to start is now. With the right resources, we as parents and caregivers can make the dreams of our precious little ones a reality. And like Jaden mentioned earlier, perhaps he can be everything he wants and more when he grows up.

Old Mutual has a number of education plans available HERE for you to explore. A trusted Old Mutual financial adviser can also assist you in making your savings goals a reality. Contact them HERE or call 0860 60 60 60. 

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