These are the final steps in our 10 Steps to Financial Success series. Make certain to take a look at Part One and Part Two of the series for a complete guide to managing your finances.
Step 9 – Plan Ahead with Insurance
As this point, you may have done a lot of work to get your finances in order. Part of your effort has been planning, and if you’ve created an emergency fund then that’s a core piece of being prepared for unanticipated events. But there’s more that must be done to expect the unexpected, and it comes in the form of a very common, easy-to-overlook financial tool that could be absolutely essential to your life. And this tool is…insurance!
Yes, insurance. As the saying goes, you may not think about insurance until you really need it. But when you need it, insurance can take care of those you love, your health, your home and your car. Here are some of the basic types of insurance you should be familiar with, and it’s likely that you already have policies for some of them:
Disability (Short-Term and Long-Term)
Auto and Recreational Vehicle (such as a RV, boat, motorcycle, or plane)
Homeowner’s or Renter’s
If you add up the costs of necessary insurance, the total can be substantial. Fortunately, health, disability and life insurance are frequently offered at a subsidized cost (or even at no cost) by a lot of employers. Automobile insurance is mandated by most states, and you may not be able to purchase a car without prior proof that it will be insured. All of the insurance types above are offered by insurers, but the exact nature of the coverage varies from insurer to insurer and should be compared feature by feature.
Step 10 – Do Your Research and Get Professional Help
We are at the final step in your program. By now you may have learned a lot and taken a few of these steps towards your financial success. So after everything else we’ve talked about here, what’s left to do? Managing money and how it integrates into your life usually isn’t simple or easy, and all of us can benefit from some assistance now and then. The last step is for you to get help, either from a Certified Planner™ or by doing your own, in-depth research.
If you’d like to do your own research then there is a wealth of information from many reputable sites on the internet. Just a few sources that you may want to look through for financial information are Money® magazine, Bankrate.com and BALANCE™. There are also magazines and thousands of books on managing your money. Additionally, you can search for seminars you can attend that are often free, sponsored by banks, credit unions, investment firms and local and national non-profit organizations. Delta Community offers a variety of free classes around metro Atlanta through our Financial Education Center.
However you approach stepping up to financial success, what is most important is that you do your research, get started, and remain committed to a program that will benefit you throughout your life.