Better to be safe, but not too safe - Mary Holm

Friday 9 April 2004

Q. Many people would agree with your "house built on an old tip site" buyer, that one should carry out careful checks before a major purchase. But why stop with the council?

To be really safe you should also have structural, plumbing, drainage, electrical, groundwater, geological reports and probably a cultural audit would be wise too (though this may be no longer necessary "po

By The Landlord

st Brash"?) It is true that any specific problem could have been avoided if one had checked for it in advance. But at what cost?

I'm semi-retired and most of my friends are nearing that stage, and your article started me thinking back.

I observe that those who have lived cautious lives have not had noticeably fewer problems than those who were more impulsive, the reverse actually. And the cautious are generally poorer.

I don't think this is due to chance, rather it is that the cost of missed opportunities is much greater than the cost of overcoming mistakes.

Life is full of uncertainty, and attempts to make it less so rapidly come to cost more than the benefit. Too much insurance guarantees you'll stay poor.

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