LIVING BEYOND EXPECTATIONS
From the Desk of Sarah Nadler
Let's talk about the future.
Once you have a financial system in place, and you've mastered the craft of making money, it's time to start building toward the financial future you envisioned.
Truth be told, one of the first priorities that I see many couples not putting enough emphasis on as soon as they have a little discretionary income, is stabilizing and protecting their family against disaster.
Trigger Alert: I'm going to put you in a dark place for a moment, but I promise, there is a light at the end of this article!
I want you to imagine for a moment, what would happen to you financially if your partner or spouse died today?
That's an awful thing to ask somebody to think of, I know. But as a financial advisor, it's my job sometimes to bring up the elephant in the room...even when a client doesn't want to hear it!
One thing many clients know about me is that I'm a huge Netflix fan (#noshame) and my favorite show is Blue Bloods - a tv series about a family of cops in NYC.
See, I was watching this episode a while ago where detective Danny Reagan knocks on the door to notify the wife of a murder victim...
I realized in the next few seconds of that scene, two heartbreaking things that I still get chills about to this day:
For those of you who are new on the blog, Sarah Nadler is a financial guide & mindset coach and is licensed by the state of Oregon as an insurance provider. Her work has been featured on Enterprise Podcast Network, The Sierra Leone Times, and her latest book Walking Past Expectations was rated #6 on Lifney's list of Best Books to Read On The Beach This Summer 2019.
1) I would be absolutely DEVASTATED emotionally if anything like that ever happened to Ben...
2) I'd have been on the streets within 60 days.
See, I started thinking about it, and realized pretty quickly that with the enormous debt load we were both carrying ($1300/month toward credit card debt...each!) plus monthly bills that narrowly missed exceeding our income, and we had no reserve.
Now, normally I'm a genius at making money (just saying!) and in fact it's one of the things that helps me make great progress for our clients at the Financial Journey - I'm good at finding potential revenue streams for clients who are struggling to find potential in themselves.
But my ability to do that has everything to do with the support I get from my hubby (love you, babe!)
As I watched that episode with Danny Reagan, I got really choked up, because I knew with stark clarity in that moment that the emotional devastation from the loss of my best friend and love of my life, would have destroyed me.
And then I went cold when I realized that the loss of the second breadwinner in our household would have put me on the streets.
Okay, enough with my sob story! None of it happened, and Ben and I are both well-protected from that sort of thing - so let me tell you how we did it.
You know, people laugh all the time at 'preppers'.
(People who believe a catastrophic disaster or emergency is likely to occur in the future and make active preparations for it, typically by stockpiling food, ammunition, and other supplies.)
But the truth is, those who plan for a disaster, rarely experience one. Thanks, Murphy!
So step one of having a Basic Security Plan is to prepare. This doesn't mean you need to have a bunker in your basement, or hidden in the yard with a secret entrance, but reasonable precaution against natural or human-caused disasters is sensible.
Things like having a source of heat & light, in case the power fails in a storm, or keeping food supplies in your home (don't get me started about the time I got snowed in for a week in Colorado!)
The same applies to your finances. Putting steps in place to care for you or a loved one in case of disaster is the sensible thing to do.
Do we have a tool to help you with this? Yes, it's called life insurance.
The primary reason for buying life insurance is to protect a family when a bread-winning member dies. It can also be used to protect a business, transfer wealth from one generation to another, provide reserve income in retirement and serve as a source of financing in an emergency, or for investments.
There are also tax advantages to life insurance.
When the owner of the insurance policy passes, their beneficiary (the person you named to receive the money) does not have to count the benefits as gross income on their tax return. That makes life insurance MUCH smarter than simply having a savings account for your kids in case something happens to you.
Another benefit is that money stashed into life insurance cannot be claimed or taken away by creditors who the deceased owed money to.
The next step of a Basic Security Plan is to discuss safety measures with your family. In this day and age of mass shootings, home invasions, identity theft, etc., it's smart to have a code word known only by your closest loved ones.
In Blue Blood, as a family of cops they shared an interesting scenario with a great solution to this problem. In one scene, Detective Danny Reagan asks his two sons:
"When I say, 'please don't hurt my family', what do you do?"
"Hit the ground!"
"Because it means Dad's gonna shoot the bad guys."
When I was growing up my mother, a teacher, often had others pick me up from school (I know, it would never happen today...gotta love the 80s!)
I knew, even at a young age, not to get in the car with anybody claiming to be sent by Mom, unless they uttered the code word "Tinkerbell".
We never had to use it. But I know I felt more secure as a child, knowing my mother (a single mom) had a plan for our security.
Whatever choices you make to use the discretionary income that The Financial Journey helps you uncover, don't forget to ensure the safety, security & future wealth of your family or loved ones.
Are you ready to build a strong foundation for your household financial management?
Learn the basics of how money works, and skills you can use to prevent fights, loss of income, or overspending.