Are You Financially Ready for an Emergency?
by Celeste Lohrenz
By nature, personal finances are those monetary concerns that keep us, individually, up at night. We all adopt our own tactics and tricks to keep on top of our bills, rent/mortgage payments and other expenses, but some of us have more complicated assets than others and may need professional guidance from time to time. If you’re at the point where your personal wealth management has not led to the rewards you were anticipating, consider collaborating with our in-house financial advisors, John Kuehnle.
Regardless of the condition of your personal finances, John Kuehnle can help you get them in shape. After all, you never know when a situation may arise that requires someone besides yourself to sort through your personal finances on your behalf.
To avoid a worst-case scenario—where your assets are inaccessible due to outdated paperwork or ineffective management—follow these quick tips:
• Consolidate and back up: There is nothing wrong with keeping paper records as many of us do, but if you decide to go this route it is a good idea to keep them all in one organized, central and secure location. By doing so, you can easily share the information with trusted family, In Case of Emergency (ICE) contacts and financial advisors/attorneys. You may also want to make duplicate digital copies as a backup. Given how easy it is to back up your files up to a cloud server these days, taking this extra precaution may be wise. Files can be encrypted for security purposes and the cloud will keep them safe in case of a fire or destruction of your hard copies.
• Make a plan: It’s never fun to think about worst-case scenarios, but doing so ahead of time may save you many headaches down the road. It is a good idea to create a financial plan for common emergencies like serious illness, property destruction, natural disasters and any other scenario that could leave you unable to handle your own personal finances. Then, share that plan with the appropriate parties, make sure they understand how you would want your finances handled and, again, store these plans in a secure and central location for easy access.
• Continue to update: Having a budget is a smart financial decision, but many people create that budget for a designated time frame, file it away and never look at it again. It is a good idea to continually updating your budget, whether that means once a month or every six months. Having a sound financial plan that outlines when bills are due, for example, can aid others who are helping to keep you on top of your finances when you can’t do so yourself.
• Create an emergency savings account: While your personal finances should be accessible in case of an emergency, as discussed above, it is also helpful to start an emergency savings account. One that you can add to on a regular basis and has a low or no minimum balance requirement is preferred so it can be deeply tapped in case of emergency without penalty.
Personal finances can be complicated, but once you’ve gotten on top of them, they can be a piece of cake to manage. If you need help getting to a good place with your assets, reach out to us at 203-783-5700.