Top 5 Scary Financial Topics
Halloween is just around the corner, and creepy things like ghosts, vampires, and werewolves are haunting our collective imagination. But for many of us, no supernatural being has as strong an aura of scariness as certain financial topics. Let’s take a closer look at the money-related matters we tend to find intimidating, and why.
1. Life insurance. It’s not hard to see where the fear factor derives from since we’re talking about mortality. But if we accept that nobody lives forever, it’s easy to feel good about the benefits of life insurance. Life insurance is a contract between a policyholder and an insurance company. In the event of untimely death, the insurance company is obliged to pay a pre-determined amount of money to the policyholder’s beneficiaries. As spelled out in the contract, the payout can be in a lump sum, or broken into annual or monthly payments. You can also opt for coverage of critical illnesses such as cancer or heart disease. Rather than being frightening, discussing and obtaining life insurance coverage should give you peace of mind, because you know that your loved ones will be protected against financial disaster when you’re gone.
2. Budgeting. If you’re used to winging it where your finances are concerned, then the idea of creating and sticking to a budget may seem unpleasant and confining. But you’re much less likely to get into serious money trouble if you just bite the bullet. A budget is an estimation of your income and expenses over a particular period of time. You add up your total income and keep written track of your spending. Figure out your expenses and set financial goals such as whether you want to save money or pay off debt. When you have your finances in hand it’s the opposite of scary—you know where you stand and can happily plan for big purchases or any other financial goal.
3. Retirement planning. Depending on your age, retirement can seem unreal—like a distant dream. And who wants to think about being old anyway? Well, considering the alternative, you should look forward to your twilight years. And there’s no reason you can’t enjoy them and have a very good quality of life if you plan correctly. Social security alone isn’t going to cut it, so you need to look into additional retirement plans, the sooner the better. Options include employer plans such as 401(k)s, Roth IRAs, simple IRAs, SEP IRAs, traditional IRAs, solo 401(k)s, and more.
4. Checking your credit score. You’re probably aware of the difficulties that can arise from having a bad credit score… which may be exactly why you’re afraid to check and see what yours is. But there are a number of reasons why it’s best to gird yourself and do it. First, it’s always good to know where you stand. It’s important to know if you have a lousy score and need to take steps to improve it. Second, regularly checking your score lets you make sure there’s no inaccurate or incomplete information. If something’s amiss, you dispute the info with the credit bureau.
5. Consulting with a financial professional. If you consider yourself somewhat ignorant on financial topics (and most people do), you may feel mortified over revealing your lack of knowledge to an expert. Don’t be. Financial consultants understand that it’s common for people to need professional advice. They’re not there to judge—they’re there to help. You’re much more likely to come away from a meeting with a professional feeling relief from money-related anxiety than embarrassment.
A conversation with a financial professional can make the topics mentioned above seem much less intimidating and much easier to deal with. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a painless consultation.
For Educational Purposes Only – Not to be relied upon as financial, tax, or legal advice.
The cost and availability of life insurance depend on factors such as age, health, and the type and amount of insurance purchased. Before implementing a strategy involving life insurance, it would be prudent to make sure you are insurable. As with most financial decisions, there are expenses associated with the purchase of life insurance. Policies commonly have mortality and expense charges; if a policy is surrendered prematurely, there may be surrender charges and income tax implications. You should consult a qualified tax professional for tax advice on your own personal situation. All guarantees are based upon the claims-paying ability of the issuer. Optional riders and benefits may be subject to eligibility requirements, additional premium requirements and/or minimum or maximum coverage amounts. Availability and rider provisions vary by each state.