While in the diaspora, you may occasionally think of investing back home through buying property and land. The huge error you might be making though, is believing that you still have years to decide what to do and come up with a plan to do it. Perhaps you’re thinking you’ll buy property as you approach the end of your contract or retirement age or some other significant milestone in your life. What is often overlooked is the possibility of returning home unexpectedly. We give 5 reasons below of why you would have to come home suddenly. This list is by no means exhaustive – there may be other circumstances that life throws at you that forces you to make a decision you thought was years ahead of you. The question is – would you be ready to come home suddenly? Would you have a home to come back to? Or would you be left grappling to find your feet?
- Right wing politics
You may find that increasingly you are living in a country where you are made to feel less and less welcome due to right wing, anti-immigration politics such as Brexit, Donald Trump or recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa. Right wing politics may result in unfair prejudices against you that make your daily life uncomfortable and perhaps even disheartening. In the worst case scenario, you may be subjected to verbal assaults to “go back home” or in the most extreme circumstance physical attacks. In such a situation, you may find yourself coming back home sooner than you expected.
- Civil strife
Right wing politics focuses internally and puts national sovereignty above everything else. There’s an argument that this is causing the international order to be thrown into turmoil as the world’s policeman, ie the United States, withdraws from the international scene to put America First. At the same time, the UN Security Council is paralysed and the International Criminal Court is ignored. More leaders are tempted to test their limits and jostle for power. Where leaders once saw a red light, they are now seeing amber – and hedging their bets that they can still drive their agenda through with force. The last decade has seen peaceful countries suddenly collapse into conflict zones. Imagine the terror of being forced home because of civil strife.
- Economic Instability
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) global growth is subdued. Global supply chains are under threat due to the US – China trade war, Brexit-related uncertainty continues and energy prices are being disrupted. The result is that global activity is weak and global trade remains sluggish. These factors could lead to the awful situation where you may be laid off and finding a new job in the country you live in may prove difficult, forcing you to consider coming home as your only option.
- Injury/ illness
We all want to be productive, financially self-sufficient and lead satisfying lives. But every year, millions of people lose their jobs after a medical condition compromises their ability to work. A career can be disrupted by a devastating medical condition that leads to changes to a person’s physical or mental capabilities. While a doctor’s job is to provide healing and relief, they may randomly suggest to a patient that they will never work again – this is crippling to a person’s ability to rehabilitate themselves back into the workforce. Similarly, employers can choose whether to support, ignore, or edge out a worker with a disabling condition. Unfortunately, in many instances there’s no guarantee that insurance will provide rehabilitative services to get a person back to work. While you can have a career that spans years – even decades – it can be lost in a matter of weeks or even a few days. In such a distressing scenario, you may have to come home out of necessity sooner than you expected.
This is a very tragic situation and gives us a chilling sensation even to think about it. All of us hate to imagine it or even contemplate it but the heartbreaking death of a breadwinner, supporting spouse or a child can leave us broken with grief. Unexpected death can leave us financially and emotionally devasted. The harsh reality of it may force us back home unexpectedly. It may also force us to think, what is our legacy to our children and loved ones?
While these situations are extreme, they are not outside the realm of possibility in the world we live in today. We can’t hide from life but we must be prepared for it. Buying property at home isn’t a decision that should be delayed indefinitely because you never know when you’ll be forced home sooner than you expect. Make the decision to invest today so that you have peace of mind knowing you have a home at home.