Planning for the unknown is a key component of a financial plan. Unexpected events happen to everyone. While the future is inherently unpredictable, here, we believe, are four important actions you can take to be in a position to effectively deal with the unexpected and stay on track with meeting your goals.
1) Establish an Emergency Fund – Having a ready reserve of cash available in case you have unexpected needs is critical. From unexpected expenses to a job loss, having cash on hand gives you the resources and flexibility to handle the unexpected twists life can throw at you. I recommend having three to six months’ worth of regular livings expenses in your emergency fund. For people with more uncertainty with their jobs or health, I suggest a larger cash reserve. Also, establishing a home equity line of credit can be another good ready reserve, assuming you have the discipline to not use the line for discretionary expenses.
2) Keep Your Fixed Costs as Low as Possible – This is an often overlooked technique that can really pay off when things don’t go as planned. Keeping your debt payments and other fixed monthly expenses as low as possible means it is easier to tighten the belt when things go awry. You can accomplish this by using credit sparingly, and not over-buying on a home or car.
3) Implement Power of Attorney Documents – Power of attorney documents name someone else to make financial or health care decisions for you if you become incapacitated. If you are disabled and unable to make decisions for yourself, life goes on and your affairs will need attention. A financial power of attorney will allow someone to pay your bills, manage your investments, and take necessary action on your behalf. A health care power of attorney names someone to work with your doctors to make decisions regarding your health and medical treatment.
4) Have a “Plan B” for Your Job/Career – A job loss can be a devastating event for an individual or family, especially if the period of unemployment goes on for an extended period of time. Sometimes job loss is unavoidable. Thinking about and building a “Plan B” regarding your job and career can help you bounce back and obtain your next job opportunity quickly. Update your résumé once per year with your most recent responsibilities and accomplishments. Continue to stay connected to your industry network and always be working to build new connections. These are the people who can help you out the next time you are on a job search.
Dealing with the unknown is a part of life. You can improve your ability to handle life’s uncertainty successfully by planning ahead and equipping yourself with the resources and tools necessary to persevere and thrive in an unexpected situation.
For more information, visit our website at www.makinglifecount.com or contact Lucas Bucl at 913-345-1881 or firstname.lastname@example.org.