Financial Security can be difficult to achieve, but, it’s an integral part of living the American dream. The ability to afford food, shelter, clothing, entertainment, medical bills, and other wants and/or needs is exactly what takes us from merely surviving to fully living.
The phrase, “money can’t buy happiness”, may sound earthy and grounded, but it really isn’t grounded in a reality that matches the world we live in. Try living without money for just a month; you’ll quickly find it really does come in handy.
Whether you’re just getting started on the path to financial security, or you’ve spent years honing your saving and planning skills, achieving financial security requires two main approaches: careful planning and in-depth research. By understanding the impact of the financial threats listed below, you improve your financial health and empower yourself to plan for a more secure future.
Planning for retirement is vital for people ages 18 and older. The younger you are when you begin planning, the better your nest egg will be when you finally retire.
It used to be that putting money away and investing in sound financial growth options like RRSPs was enough to afford you money to live on until the end of your life. That’s no longer the case, because we’re living longer than we ever have before. According to the U.S. Government’s Social Security Administration (SSA) statistics, the average American now lives to be around 85 years of age — almost 20 years longer than in 1950.
Unfortunately, simply existing past the age of 65 is, in fact, a financial threat, especially if you didn’t plan to live that long. As a precaution, today’s financial planners should anticipate living to at least 90; you can always spend the extra cushion later on down the road.
America is home to several of the world’s best healthcare facilities, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, surgical centers, and cancer treatment clinics. Unfortunately, we also spend the most per capita on healthcare out of every country in the world with similar life expectancies. The high cost of healthcare means many patients forego healthcare treatments altogether, suffering in silence rather than paying out of pocket.
It takes only one sudden acute illness or injury to put you in a position where you owe thousands of dollars in medical bills. Diseases like COPD, asthma, heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Diabetes can increase your risk for financial disaster in triplicate.
Having a robust insurance plan really does help, but it’s important to review your options before you choose. Not every medical insurance plan is the same, and some companies may provide better coverage than others. If nothing else, seek a plan providing emergency, serious illness, and drug coverage — your wallet will thank you.
An aging population means we have more seniors than ever before alive today. Unfortunately, seniors are also prime targets for identity theft and other forms of technological fraud. Criminals call or make contact with them directly, convincing them that they owe money or won a prize; they just need to send a small amount of money via Western Union or Moneygram to complete the deal.
Unsuspecting elderly Americans, who are generally trusting and lack technological literacy skills, hand over the cash without knowing any better. The resulting loss can range into the tens or hundreds of thousands, depending on the individual.
Even simple identity theft compromises your financial security. When a con artist commandeers your information and uses it to open credit accounts, they can run up thousands in unpaid bills. It can take years and several thousand dollars to eventually correct the issue. Identity theft incidents can prevent you from gaining access to credit, too; a bank may deny you outright for an auto loan or mortgage.
Failing to hold appropriate health, home, auto, or renter’s insurance is one of the biggest financial security risks Americans face today. Insurance is the best way to keep yourself covered and protected from situations beyond your control; without it, you’re at the mercy of fate and left praying an incident doesn’t occur. A hurricane, serious illness, political unrest, or other natural disaster could render you penniless, homeless and destitute, all within a matter of hours.
Your financial security matters, and the best way to protect it is with an insurance plan with coverage for unforeseen circumstances. Life happens, but that doesn’t mean you should just accept threats to financial security as fact. Find your best insurance plan now and keep your loved ones protected well into the future.