Nancy J. LaPointe Encourages Planning Ahead


Nancy J LaPointePeople don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan.

Good and Bad things happen, that is a fact.

Question is, how do you handle the good and the bad?

I was asked to speak on Financial Preparedness. What if a major hurricane, flood or other natural disaster happened here?

Point was not that a major hurricane would specifically happen here, but that disaster can strike any where and comes in many forms.

What if tomorrow you are raising three children on 1/3 the income alone, or later today your hospitalized and you’re the only one who knows how to do the bills, or your house is destroyed in a mudslide?

I want you to think of them as not only disaster preparation, but also as a means to structure a program to help give assurance that your dreams and goals can be realized and sustained.

Plan well, live well.  Planning gives you the ability to react with thought and to maximize options. Reacting without forethought can be disastrous and place you in a position where your choices are limited and your recovery period extended.

 

1.  WHERE ARE YOU FINANCIALLY?

What do you own?

What are you assets?

Do you have a record, stored in both paper and photo form, in at least two different locations.

Do you have a positive cash flow?

What do you own?

Do you know how much debt you have?

Chart these figures out.

Structure your finances.

Know your outgoing disbursements as well as you know your incoming resources.

Spend funds/energy on what you value.

What interest are you paying?

Strive to control and minimize your fixed costs.

See your future spending options as important as today’s opportunities to spend.

Save for your future spending, set aside funds for “what ifs” and tomorrow.

ACTION:

Immediate Disaster

Cash:

  • Have $150 in cash accessible at home, on your property or your person. Store it in a film canister or a home safe.
  • Have another $350 in travelers checks, with the contact information stored on your person and in a safe place.

For the Long Run:

  • Put-and-Take Account:
  • Have an emergency fund, equal to  at least three months of your fixed and essential expenses.   Have the overall fund earn interest bearing and accessible.
  • Have knowledge of your assets and your debts, how they are titled, when bills are due, interest rates…

What if tomorrow you have to take over for your significant other, or they have to take over for you?  Can it be done without financial costs?

I recommend that no one person in the household handles all financial matters. Both parties being aware will minimize frustration on a daily basis and transition time period.

2.  HAVE A FINANCIAL SUPPORT SYSTEM IN PLACE: Keep what you have!

An emergency fund is a great first step.  With an emergency fund, you are placing a dollar aside to cover a dollar worth of costs for a specific time period.  You are covering yourself for that period of time and hopefully reducing the need to go into debt or use the assets/options you have already accumulated.

What about risks/expenses you do not want to pay for dollar for dollar out of investments or savings?

Liability for auto accidents

Tree falling on yours or the neighbor’s house

Major medical expenses

An injury that keeps you from work

The development of a debilitating disease

When someone is financially dependent on you or you on them, where would you be if that income was gone?

You can be proactive by setting up financial  safety nets along with friends and family for the emotional support.

Recognize the risk of these occurrences as they apply to you, and take actions to reduce their impact. You can not get the needed coverage after the fact.

Recognize risk and put it in prospective.

Hurricane in Washington:  low, very low

Need for Custodial Care/Long Term Care in your life time: high

60% of Americans who reach age 65 will need long-term care at some point in their lives.

Chance of you being injured in an auto accident: 1 in 4 or 25%

Manage that risk!

Maintain the costs you can afford.

You can not eliminate all risk,  nor can you afford 100% coverage for all possible risks. It is probably not very likely that someone is truly insurance poor, but it is possible that someone could be financially devastated due to the lack of the appropriate coverage or combination of coverage.

Major Natural Disaster:  Possibility it could happen here, yet many choose not to purchase the appropriate insurance, or are under insured.

Result:    Devastation, few options

ACTION:

Manage your risk by reviewing your exposure and your options.

Review and analyze what you have in place.

Take realistic actions to retain the costs you can afford and share/transfer the risk of those costs you can not afford to retain.

Pay premiums to minimize your out of pocket costs in case of a crisis.

Purchase appropriate protection.

3.  PREPAY:  AVOID DEBT

If you are already facing financial issues due to past behavior or present spending habits, a natural disaster or other crisis could push you over the edge.  Practice Financial Preparedness by avoiding debt and strive to reduce debt, especially credit card debt, aggressively.

Recognize leisure and discretionary expenses as such.

Be aware of your spending habits, monitor your activities and align your spending with your values.

Pay for essentials as you go, control fixed costs and prepay for vacations and luxury items.

Utilize funds set aside for discretionary spending, you have more flexibility to adjust that type of spending as needed.

Have a budget and don’t be afraid to say “no” to yourself. Impulses are just that…impulses!

Have a savings and investment program to prepay for expected expenses, luxury items and your retirement spending.

Only use credit cards if you pay them off in full every month.

4.  HAVE A PLAN B:

This comes in many forms:

Acute/immediate:   Phone tree

Local meeting point outside the home

Escape route within the home and office area

Have a contact point for your family and friends outside of this geographical area.

Talk to family outside this area and work out arrangements to support each other in times of disaster, (home sharing/physical support).

Prolonged/Inevitable:  Health Care Directives, Durable Power of Attorney, Wills an

Letters of Instructions

Prepaid burial arrangements

Duplicates of all important records, policies, deeds, etc.

Have a Line of Credit with little or no active use.

MetLife does not provide legal or tax advice. Please consult with your own tax and legal advisors for such guidance.

5.  THINK OF TOMORROW: Chances are, you will be there.

Define your goals and objectives, for the next 6 months, 12 months, 5 years, 20 years from now.

Align your actions with the results you desire.

Balance our choices today with the choices you want tomorrow.

Spend time developing yourself personally, emotionally and spiritually.

Being financially prepared and having the tools in place that give you options, also gives you greater freedom and flexibility.

When you are proactive, you are working from a point of strength and control.  If you live based on a reactive model, you are limiting not expanding your choices.

Money gives us options or it retracts our choices.  Like all tools, it depends on how we work it.

Expect the Unexpected, plan for it, monitor the plan, be flexible, adjust for changes, and live for today and dream of tomorrow.

Plan Well , Live Well

5 Points:

  1. WHERE ARE YOU FINANCIALLY

Know your finances, have immediate cash and emergency reserves available.

2.  HAVE A FINANCIAL SUPPORT SYSTEM IN PLACE: Risk Management

Build a financial safety net, review what you have and make it stronger.

3.  PREPAY:  Avoid debt

Debt compounds and hinders your recovery.  It takes away resources that can help you be proactive.

4.  HAVE A PLAN B

Acute/Immediate- Have actively managed alternative contact points and meeting locations

Prolonged/Inevitable-  Estate Documents

5.  THINK OF TOMORROW

What choices do you want to have in the future?  Save for future spending and

enjoyment.

Define your goals and your values and plan your path.  Preplanning can help ensure success and gives you the option of flexibility. Financial Preparedness is acting ahead of the situation, not scrambling afterwards, and wondering how you got where you are.

Life happens. Get the most out of it!

 

Presented By:

Nancy LaPointe

Financial Services Representative

Senior Financial Planner

4520 Intelco Loop SE, Suite 1E

Lacey, WA 98503

 

This presentation is for informational purposes only. Neither MetLife nor any of it agents are in the business of giving tax, legal or accounting advice. Attendees should consult their own professional advisors to determine the appropriateness of any course of action.

Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MLIC), New York, NY 10036.  Securities products and investment advisory services offered by MetLife Securities, Inc. (MSI)(member FINRA/SIPC) and a registered investment adviser. Some health insurance products offered by unaffiliated insurers through the Enterprise General Insurance Agency Inc., (EGA) Somerset, NJ 08873-4175. MLIC, EGA and MSI are MetLife Companies.

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