January 4, 2021
Life Happens… How to Prepare for the Unexpected
At every stage of life we’re forced to make decisions that drastically affect our futures. Of course, we also experience things no one can predict, forcing us to reconsider our plans. Some of these events are negative and some are positive, but they all have one thing in common: they are bound to impact you financially in one way or another. Your fiduciary financial advisor can help you plan for and navigate these changes.
The more you are able to plan financially, the better situated you will be to respond to life’s surprises.
Some of the most common life events you’d think of include marriages, births, and deaths. But as demonstrated recently by the global pandemic, there are also completely unpredictable events that can’t be avoided and will greatly interfere with our plans. How can you plan financially for the unexpected curveballs life will inevitably throw your way?
Start by saving your money.
First, create an emergency fund by setting a little bit aside monthly or annually. Over time, it’s best to build this fund up to a point where it would cover three to six months of your current expenses. This gives you some breathing room in the event of an unexpected loss of income, injury, or other catastrophe. It’s always a good time to start building up a fund like this.
A significant savings or investment portfolio will help you with perhaps the most obvious life change that we all expect to undergo: retirement. At whatever point you are ready to say goodbye to your daily job and spend the rest of your time with your family, you will be glad to have a sizable reserve of money set aside, ideally having increased through compounding interest over several decades.
However, these savings may also play an important role if an unexpected life change threatens to create long-term financial hardship for you and your family. A catastrophic injury may force you to miss years of employment; you may unexpectedly need to make adjustments to care for aging parents who can no longer live independently; or an unavoidable global event like the recent pandemic could interrupt your income. In all of these cases, a robust savings account and a trusted fiduciary financial advisor are powerful assets that can help you make it through safely.
Depending on your individual circumstances, you may want to buy a life insurance policy. There are numerous types of insurance policies designed to satisfy different needs and offer protection for various scenarios. This is definitely something to consider while young even if you don’t think you need insurance, because depending on the type of insurance you purchase, premiums tend to be far more affordable when you purchase them as a young, healthy adult. Additionally, we recommend you begin to think about and draft an estate plan. This plan will alleviate stress for everyone involved down the road when your estate needs to be settled.
Start taking control of the things you can’t control by creating a plan. Your fiduciary financial advisor is the best guide to help you assess your income, consider your expenses, and suggest strategies to prepare you and your family for whatever comes your way.