We started of the year posing the idea that instead of setting big goals and worrying about your ability to make them, you can position yourself for success by setting up smart systems.
In previous posts, we talked about reviewing your Net Worth on an annual basis, and about Tracking Your Spending to increase your money awareness. The last system we recommend is the creation of a Personal Safety Net. Unemployment, illness, and family issues can take a toll on your financial situation. Many people never fully recover financially from these life events. By reviewing and adding to your safety net once a year you can increase your resilience, protect your savings and shield your family from the financial effects of life’s downturns.
The following are some basic components of a personal safety net that you can begin assembling today:
- Set aside 3-6 months of expenses as a cash Emergency Fund;
- Purchase or sign up for the benefit of Long-Term Disability Insurance to provide you with an continuous income should you become unable to do your job prior to retirement;
- Purchase adequate Term Life Insurance if you have people dependent on your income;
- Put in place a Medical Directive, to ensure that your wishes are carried out in the event of a medical emergency;
- A Durable Power of Attorney, will enable your trusted designee to carry out your financial and administrative responsibilities should you become incapacitated;
- Last Will and Testament – Ensures that your estate passes to your heirs outside of probate and according to your wishes;
- Review/Update beneficiaries for IRAs, 401(k)s and insurance policies. These accounts are distributed directly according to the designated beneficiary, no matter what your will may say, so it is important to keep them updated.
This may seem like a daunting project, but even tackling one of these items per month will go a long way to protecting you and your family and will give you all kinds of feelings of accomplishment and peace of mind!