These are uncertain times for nearly everyone and everything, from accomplished professionals to young people, and from financial services companies to nonprofit organizations. While various states and countries may be dealing with varying amounts of fallout from this modern crisis and its economic fallout, few — if any — of us are completely spared. This is what life is like now, at least until further notice, making it a frightening time for Americans and others around the world. As a result, you may be wondering how you can secure your financial future.
Times are rough, but there’s never a bad time to start making more careful financial decisions. While your situation may prevent you from taking certain steps right this minute, it pays to know what a secure financial picture looks like. Here’s what you need to know.
Beginning with Budgeting
To create a secure financial future, you’ll need to save money. But filling up our savings accounts won’t be possible unless we first save up some money. Saving money means spending less than we earn, of course, but that simple equation can be very tough to complete.
As any secure professional or small business owner will tell you, there’s one tool that’s invaluable when it comes to accomplishing your saving goals: a budget. Creating a household budget is one of the most important single things that you can do in order to get closer to your financial goals. To create a smart budget, add in the big and non-negotiable essential expenses first, and remember to “pay yourself” by putting cash away in your bank or credit union account before you determine how much you can spend on frivolities.
What to Do With Your Money
As you save money, make sure that you’re putting it securely into a bank or credit union account. You’ll find a plenty of trusted local banks and credit unions around; there will be a reliable credit union in Hudsonville, MI just as surely as there will be a reliable bank in New York City. Find a local branch and local drive thrus for that personal touch, then set up online banking so that you can enjoy services anywhere in the United States and beyond.
Build an emergency fund in your main checking account (or, better yet, a separate checking account), then put extra cash that you don’t need ready access to in a savings account for long-term use. After you have a bit in store there, you can start investing in long-term investment vehicles. Investing is key to building a retirement nest egg.
Protecting Your Loved Ones
Building a strong financial future is something that you can do while you’re healthy and working hard. But what if, God forbid, something happened to you? If you had to get cancer care or were killed in a terrible accident, would your family’s financial health go out the window with you?
This isn’t something that we enjoy thinking about in the course of our daily life, but we should really give it some thought from time to time. Your death won’t free your family of the need to pay off any loans, mortgages, and credit cards, much less the need to buy groceries every Saturday or pay the utilities bills. If you weren’t able to earn your income anymore, would your family survive? This question is why it’s so important to have insurance coverage, including health coverage and life insurance. Your health coverage will help ensure that you don’t pay too much out of pocket for expensive things like cancer treatment, and your life insurance will ensure that your family gets some financial help at a critical time.
It’s also important to remember that your life insurance isn’t just useful for its eventual payout. If you find yourself in a jam and without much time left, you can reach a viatical settlement through an organization like the American Life Fund. American Life Fund and organizations like it allow folks to sell off their life insurance payout for a sum of cash now in order to pay for health coverage and other crucial expenses. At a stressful time like the period after a cancer diagnosis, having this option can be very meaningful. Immediate financial assistance could be worth a lot more than a payoff a year or two from now, and terminally ill individuals with afflictions like late stage cancer can often make things easier for both themselves and their families by selling off a life insurance policy.
Of course, you have to have a life insurance policy in place to do this. That’s just one more reminder of why it’s so important to find essential helpful information now and start building a financial future that can help you and your family no matter what the future holds.