With so much uncertainty in the current economic climate, one thing’s for sure: protecting your financial health is a top priority. For some who may have lost their jobs—or may know someone who has—there’s a lot to consider.
From health insurance to your plans for retirement, read these tips from Family Wealth Management Group, LLC to help protect your assets and financial future.
—Evaluate your financial health. Review your income, expenses, assets and liabilities. Don’t wait until your savings is depleted to alter your spending habits. Even if you have an emergency fund, pinching pennies now will help ensure that money is there when you need it.
—Review your health insurance options. If you have lost your job, some workers and their families (who might otherwise lose their health benefits) have the right to choose to continue group health benefits provided by their group health plan for limited periods of time under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
—Investigate unemployment benefits. Workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and meet other state eligibility requirements, may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits under the Federal-State Unemployment Insurance Program.
—Plan for retirement. Review your pension plan, 401 (k), IRAs, Social Security benefits and other savings plans to assess whether they meet your long-term retirement goals and will generate an income stream to meet your projected expenses.
—Protect your assets. Review your life, disability and long-term care insurance coverage, especially if you are the primary breadwinner. Are they portable (i.e. can you continue the coverage at your present group rate), once you are no longer employed? Ask your financial advisor whether individual coverage is appropriate in lieu of the group coverage and/or to supplement the group coverage.
—Analyze your spending habits. How much do you spend on trips to the market, afternoon lattes, video rentals or dry cleaning? Try to eliminate a portion of these expenses. Home-brewed coffee can shave four dollars a day from your food budget and save up to $120 a month.
—Call your creditors before you fall behind. Don’t let the default notices pile up before calling your lenders and credit card companies. These days, many companies are willing to defer or temporarily lower payments, while you look for employment.
—Re-define your financial goals. Redefine where you see yourself in five, 10 or 15 years. You may not be able to retire when you expected to, or pay outright for a four-year college, but instead of saying, “I can’t afford it” set new goals and ask, “How can I afford it?”
—Meet with a licensed financial professional. Get professional advice about investment losses, financial products, insurance coverage and other important issues. Addressing your current situation and making choices based upon your new reality will help rebuild your self-confidence and your bottom line.