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4 Ways to Feel More in Control of Your Financial Future
Life as we know it has been upended by COVID-19. And it's dealt many of us -- young and old -- an unwanted reality check that life can change in an instant. We've become much more aware of our own mortality. In just a few short months, many lives around the world have been cut short.
Unfortunately, none of us are invincible, and time is something that none of us are guaranteed. An accident, a terminal illness, or an infectious disease doesn't discriminate. Our paycheck could disappear tomorrow. Were we prepared? Or did this give us the wake-up call that showed us we needed to do better so that we wouldn't find ourselves in this position again? Not knowing how the bills will be paid, and food will be put on the table, and a roof kept over your family's heads can be one of the most stressful things to deal with.
The good news? There are things you can do today to gain more control and protect the ones you love during these uncertain times. Here are four of them:
1) Create or update your will
Less than half of Americans have a will, which is a legal document that outlines your wishes for where your assets will go and who will care for any minor children in the event you pass away. If you die without a will, your individual state's laws will decide where your money and belongings will go and who will take care of your kids. Do you think your state (complete strangers) will make better decisions than you? As if that isn't bad enough, when there is no will in place and your estate goes into probate (this means that the fate of your assets will go into the court system), you can count on the process dragging out, eating up money within the estate and being subject to additional taxes. This means less money in your loved one's hands, where it belongs.
It is an amazing gift to your loved ones to spare them from having this experience with the absence of a will. You worked hard for what you have. Ensure that your wishes will be carried out by getting a will in place. And just as important, if you already have a will in place, make sure that it is periodically updated as life changes happen.
Don't let social distancing stop you . . . many attorney's can still help you without having to meet in person. Technology is a great thing!
2) Create an advanced directive
This is another legal document that is a must-have. As mentioned above, a will outlines what you want done with your assets, minor children, etc. An advanced directive on the other hand outlines what kind of medical care you'd want if you find yourself in the position where you can't make these decisions for yourself.
The most common types of advanced directives are the "living will" and the "durable power of attorney". A living will spells out your health care wishes in the event that you're terminally ill, or unconscious, unable to make these decisions for yourself, but they need to be made nonetheless. Do you want life saving measures to be taken? Do you want to be kept on life support? A durable power of attorney is a document in which you name a trusted person(s) that you have chosen to make these health care decisions for you if you are unable to.
3) Get life insurance in place
If you have anyone who depends on you financially, have unpaid debts, or any type of financial obligations, it is absolutely crucial that you have life insurance in place. If your salary is suddenly gone from your family's household, what kind of affect would that have on your loved ones? How quickly would they be in a bad position? For many Americans the effects would be devastating.
Even if, and especially if, you're a stay-at-home parent or caregiver, you need life insurance also. Think they don't need life insurance? According to Salary.com, stay-at-home parents contribute the equivalent of a $162,581 annual salary! Want more reasons? Click here to learn 9 reasons why it is essential to also cover the immense value that stay-at-home parents bring to the table.
Life insurance ensures they can stay in their home, and the bills will be paid, and that money will be the last thing they have to worry about when their entire world just changed in an instant.
4) Consider disability insurance
Also known as "paycheck insurance", disability insurance protects your income if you suffer from an illness or injury and are unable to work. Whether it is a temporary or permanent situation, accidents, and health changes can happen suddenly and without warning. The current COVID-19 crisis has definitely shown us that. It is hard to stay on top of your bills when you are unable to work. That's where disability insurance can come into play, ensuring an income if the unexpected happens. And just like life insurance, there are policies for every situation and budget.
Preparing for these types of situations is not always the funnest thing to do or think about. But the price that your loved ones will pay if you don't is steep. And as our current crisis has shown us being blindsided and unprepared is an incredibly stressful and scary position to be in. Show them you love them by taking control of your future, and giving everyone peace of mind.
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There's no better time than today to talk to an insurance professional to put a customized solution in place that will work for your family's unique needs.
Call Tenaya Insurance Services at (925) 322-8073 today!