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5 Things You Can Stop Worrying About

  01/14/10 06:35, by Len, Categories: Personal Financial Management, Retirement Planning, Health, Stress, Happiness

Source: Article in Men'sHealth by Steve Calechman

And five others that should trouble you deeply

1. You’ll never find someone
Why you shouldn’t worry: There are more women than men in the world, so chill out. And as you add birthdays, you add women to your dating range. Stop trying to hit bullseyes every night. Dating is unavoidable trial and error.

What you should worry about: Hooking up with a crazy person. “If you think she’s surrounded by off-the-wall people and she’s the only one who’s stable, think again,” says psychiatrist Dr Scott Haltzman, author of The Secrets of Happily Married Men.

2. Your private identity is public property because you’re always online
Why you shouldn’t worry: Only about six percent of identity theft originates from online transactions, says Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy at the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.

What you should worry about: The safekeeping of your driver’s licence and ID book. If either of these documents is stolen, the thief can then use it to open a bank account or store card, rent a flat in your name or even apply for a passport. By the time you realise what has happened – usually when you try to apply for a credit card or a store card yourself, only to be told you have a black credit rating against your name – it’s too late and the perpetrator has already bought himself a one-way ticket to Rio.

3. You’re completely unprepared to be a parent
Why you shouldn’t worry: Babies are resilient creatures, and they give instant feedback. So you’ll make mistakes and learn, just like you did when learning to drive a car. More good news: kids don’t develop long-term memory (to hold it against you) until they’re two or three years old, says paediatrician Dr Jim Sears, author of Father’s First Steps: 25 Things Every New Dad Should Know.

What you should worry about: Bad nutrition hurts a kid more than alcohol and drugs combined, Sears says. Lose your own bad eating habits: eat more avocado. Babies love the green stuff, and it’s loaded with healthy fats that help with brain development.

4. Your retirement home will be a box under a bridge
Why you shouldn’t worry: Contribute 10 percent of your salary each month to your pension, and you’re good. If you start earning R100 000 a year (about R8 300 amonth) at the age of 25 and get an eightpercent annual raise until retirement, by the time you’re 65 your portfolio will be worth just over R28-million (assuming an annual return of 13 percent – five percent better than inflflation), says Gregg Sneddon of The Financial Coach. So it’ll be a nice box on a good road, at the very least.

What you should worry about: Your testosterone. It’ll inspire you to invest in high-cost, high-risk, hard-to-sell investments in hopes of a big strike. Your pension, on the other hand, protects against such folly by limiting what types of investments it accepts, says Bert Whitehead, a fifinancial advisor and author of Why Smart People Do Stupid Things With Money.

If you want to “play the market” in the hopes of earning money to buy something better than a box, rather speak to a financial advisor to work out a savings and investment plan than trying to go it by “gut feel”. The bottom line is this: if you have time (and a good coach), you can afford to take the risk of equities in order to get the high returns of equities.

5. You’re going to die of cancer
Why you shouldn’t worry: You’re less likely to die of cancer than you are to die of stroke or heart attack. In fact, lung cancer ranks only sixteenth in the list of causes of death in South Africa, accounting for only 1.2 percent of deaths in the country in 2000, according to the Medical Research Council. In fact, you’re almost as likely to die of cancer as you are to die of suicide, which accounts for one percent of deaths in the same year.

What you should worry about: Your sex life and your father (not necessarily in the same context). Aids is still the biggest killer in South Africa, and your father holds clues as to your genetic predisposition towards stroke and heart disease, the second and third leading causes of death in this country. So don’t wait to adopt healthier habits.

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