Saving your way to comfortable living
TO SAY Jerico Hanson is a saver does not do justice to the life he has built on a simple philosophy - no matter how little you earn, save something. At 63, this retired civil servant knows more than a thing or two about living on a bud-get. He and his wife of 31 years raised three children, who are now pursuing coveted careers. Producing a lawyer and a doctor was not cheap, and the Hansons say they had to manage prudently the family's money, maintaining their commitment to saving.
But for Jerico, saving is more than just a habit; it is a way of life. He recalls his early years as a boy in Paul Mountain, St Catherine, saving cashew.
"When I was seven, we would go to cashew bush and I would gather them and save them up. After a time, I would share them among my brothers and we would roast them," he says. Jerico maintained this habit of saving throughout his school life, wrapping what he saved from his lunch money in cashew leaves and burying it in the ground.
By the time he moved to Kingston, Jerico had become a serious saver, relying on the money he had accumulated for everything he needed.
"I never had to ask anyone for help when I needed anything. I didn't have to go to my parents or beg money," he declares proudly.
With a keen eye for investments and a desire to increase his earnings 15 years ago, Jerico went to find out more about a relatively new company on the market.
"I heard about Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB), and the interest rate was very attractive," he explains.
Using the investment options and advice the company gave him, Jerico was able to pay off his mortgage in 10 years; buy a car without taking a loan; send his two children to university; and take a dream vacation to celebrate his wedding anniversary last year. Jerico credits JMMB with the know-how that helped him achieve his goals.
He is quick to point out, however, that advice alone won't get you the things you want in life. He has a cautionary word for the youthful seekers of bling.
"Instead of buying the BlackBerry, the latest pants and all the bling, buy ordinary clothes. You will still look good and have the savings that will help you later on," contends Jerico.
JMMB Client Services Manager Kisha Anderson says Jerico Hanson is only one of many JMMB clients who have achieved their goals through planning and disciplined saving.
"Most of our clients are serious savers and we have helped many of them to get to where they want to be," she says. Anderson agrees with Jerico's principle of disciplined saving, and points to the upcoming JMMB-sponsored series, Possibilities in Action Financial Forum, as a useful source of information for people who want to get on the path to wealth creation.
"Many Jamaicans are concerned about their financial future and are hungry for workable solutions to help them achieve their financial goals," she asserts.
The four-part series is slated to begin in Kingston with a forum scheduled for the Hilton Kingston hotel on Wednesday, March 24. The series heads to Mandeville for a forum on Tuesday, March 30, then to Junction, St Elizabeth, on April 14. It is scheduled to wrap up with a final forum in Portmore, St Catherine, on April 17.
Anderson says the forum will provide information and useful advice for people who are serious about saving.
"You have to be willing to make a plan and commit to consistent saving; it's the only sure way to achieve your goals," the communications manager added.
For more on the Possibilities in Action Financial Forum, send your questions to email@example.com and the team at JMMB will answer online, in print and on air.
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