As time goes on, the reality of our finances seems to become more obvious, and at times, can be downright scary. While there are things in life that we can not control, there are also aspects that we can. Listed below are three of the top concerns many people share as well as some of the things we can do to approach these for the best possible outcome. ADVERTISEMENT
Financial Concern #1: How Will I Retire?
Aging is an honor- to be able to live a full life and watch our families and friends grow- while growing and experiencing life ourselves- is an amazing thing. Naturally, as we age, our ability to work may lessen and we find ourselves in a position where we are no longer able to work and bring in an “earned” income. By planning ahead for retirement and narrowing down a strategy to prepare ahead of time, we can greatly increase our chances of living a more comfortable retirement without financial worry over lack of employment. For most people, having a comfortable retirement doesn’t happen by chance. The best time to start learning and preparing is now. Regardless of your age or financial situation, it would be beneficial to find a trustworthy and competent financial advisor (who is also a fiduciary, meaning they look out for your best interest rather than selling brokerage products). A trusted advisor can steer you with a personalized money plan for now and your future based on your goals and needs. Empower yourself and learn as much as you can about the retirement products offered by your employer, or if you are self-employed what options are available to you. With all the controversy surrounding social security, it would be wise to not count on social security as your only option. Prepare as if Social Security benefits will not exist. And if they are available by the time you retire- great! That is just more income for things that are meaningful to you. By simply making a realistic and well-rounded plan and sticking to it consistently, you set yourself up for success into your retirement days.
Financial Concern #2: What Happens if I Lose My Health?
There are no guarantees in life- and this concept applies to all areas, including our health. While we don’t have total control of circumstances surrounding our health, we can still participate in those things within our control. Start by eating a balanced, healthy diet and getting moderate exercise on a regular basis. By sticking to these simple practices, we can sideline many potential threats to our health and improve the chances of being able to fight illnesses. Aside from caring for basic health, make sure to keep up on preventative screenings and appointments with doctors to catch some issues before they become dire. Lastly, make sure that you are properly insured. Having appropriate health coverage will help you to afford any needs that may come up. Long term care insurance is also available to help with special care that some people find themselves needing, typically later in life. Assisted living, nursing care, and in-home care can drain your account faster than you would believe. By enrolling in long term care coverage, you can help protect yourself and your legacy from this financial devastation while affording better care with more choices.
Financial Concern #3: If Something Happened to Me, Would My Kids Be Okay?
If you have kids, this thought has inevitably crossed your mind, and more than once. From the time they are born, they rely on us for their survival and their well being. And we want the best for them. While we never want to imagine that we would end up in a position to not be there for our children, planning for the possibility is necessary. Again, it is hard to think about. The likelihood is that you won’t need this backup plan, but you can rest easier if you know you have done your part just in case. Start with a living trust that details what would happen in the event that you were no longer here- where (and with who) would your children live, how your estate would be handled, what they would be inheriting and when. You can also include special instructions for their care to ensure that their needs are provided for. You will also need to obtain term life insurance that will assure that your not being there will not be a financial catastrophe as well. Your family would have enough to deal with emotionally and mentally, they wouldn’t need a financial burden to worry about as well. You will want to make sure to buy enough insurance that your children (and spouse or partner if applicable) will be provided a stable financial environment. This is another topic you can speak with your trusted advisor about.
These financial fears are hard to read about, let alone think about. However, taking the time to address these items, just in case, makes all the difference in the world if the situation would ever arise. Face your financial fears to empower yourself and your family.