No two families are alike. Financial planning that works for one may not be the best option for another. However, there are aspects of financial well-being and security that are important for all families to participate in, at least in a broad sense. The following considerations are appropriate for all family types.
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Maintain an appropriate level of health insurance.
A medical emergency can completely wipe out a family’s funds if you are under-prepared and under-insured. If you don’t have health insurance through a job, Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), visit the guide at Healthcare.gov for more information on how to obtain health insurance. Keep in mind there are deadlines for signing up for health insurance.
If you are planning to retire prior to becoming eligible for Medicare, investigate what health insurance may be available to you through your employer, your spouse’s or partner’s employer, or another resource as well as the costs before finalizing your decision.
Make certain your legal affairs are in order.
A will, advance directives for health care, durable powers of attorney, and trusts in certain instances are basic documents that are important to consider. These ensure that your assets are distributed as you would want upon your death and that your wishes are honored regarding health and financial planning decisions if there comes a time when you can no longer make your wishes known. It is important to review and update these documents if there are any changes to your marital or family status.
» Learn more: The Importance of Having Powers of Attorney
Create contingency plans for the unexpected with financial products that can protect you and your family.
For example, disability income insurance can provide a portion of your income should you suffer a disability during your working years. Long-term care insurance can provide benefits to cover services should you need ongoing care and assistance with daily activities due to an accident, a chronic illness, or a sudden medical event such as a stroke.
Life insurance can provide your family with financial security should you die unexpectedly. Term life insurance is the best solution for most family situations and is affordable and customizable.
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Consider when you plan to take Social Security benefits.
Delaying Social Security will increase your monthly benefit for each year that you wait to begin taking benefits up to age 70. Calculate how much income in addition to Social Security you will need to maintain your lifestyle and determine the sources of a steady stream of income available to meet your needs over your lifetime.
Educate yourself on retirement planning and risk management options.
Consider consulting with a financial professional to help you understand the steps needed in preparing for a secure retirement. Learn about your pension distribution options and rules that apply to your pension and retirement savings.
Take advantage of workplace programs related to financial wellness and the workplace benefits that might be available to you.
Check with your employer about health, life, disability income, dental, critical illness, and long-term care insurance as well as retirement benefits such as 401(k) and 403(b) plans. Also explore what benefits continue to be available to you in retirement before finalizing your retirement plans.
We hope this list is helpful to you. If you’re already on track with these plans, hooray for you! If there are some you haven’t started working on yet, then there is no time like the present.
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