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Preparation for the Future

If it had not been for God and the lessons we learned the hard way, I'm not so sure we would have done what it was going to take to make it through the past couple of years financially.  Most of you remember our story that I blogged about in, Our Financial Story, and how we realized that health insurance was a must.  We went on to pay off debt, insure ourselves and plan for future crisis's.  Thanks to that planning, we have spent the past few years being able to pay off all medical bills through the numerous surgeries I've had and ER visits, etc.  We don't have to be covered in piles of debt anymore!  Preparation really does spare you the extra burden on top of a health crisis!

This week, I will be paying our last medical bill for the year.  It was a rough year with 2 surgeries and a surgical procedure, many ER visits, CT scans, ultrasounds and an MRI - along with all the doctor visits and more ahead the next few months.  However, we reached our out-of-pocket maximum and will have no more bills the rest of the year and will have paid all we owed already.  What a difference planning for crisis makes!

We haven't used a credit card in 6 years and it has almost been 5 years since we became debt-free.  I'm a number-cruncher and love to do it and I love seeing how things can be removed as financial stressors, if we just plan for it.  God allowed us to go through hard things to really cement these lessons in our minds.  God knew what was ahead with my health in the coming years and thank God I listened and learned the lessons beforehand.

What are some things that could happen to any of us that we must prepare for?

  1. Health Crisis - Insure your family with medical insurance and make sure you have that year's out-of-pocket maximum in your reach with an HSA or savings.  If you can't have the full amount, at least have the deductible.
  2. Job Loss - Have an emergency fund of your expenses for 3-6 months worth in your savings in case of a job loss.  That way, you can go on living, pay your bills, ease your worries and it will give your husband time to find the right job.
  3. Disability - This could fall under health as well but make sure you prepare in the event that your husband becomes disabled and can no longer work.  Have long-term disability insurance up to at least 55-65% of income along with a good emergency fund.
  4. Death - Have life insurance on both spouses and all children in the event of death to pay funeral costs.  Insure the husband's life at a higher level to cover lost income and even possibly the wife to cover childcare in the event of your death.
  5. Auto Crisis - Auto accidents happen and autos break down - make sure you have car insurance and include rental car coverage if needed.  We had our car stolen in Alaska and thanks to our car insurance, we got money to cover the cost of the vehicle's damage (which was totaled) and put towards a new vehicle.  Also having a fund set aside towards the purchase of a vehicle once you know yours is nearing its end.
  6. Home Crisis - Insure your property and home or have renter's insurance if you rent to cover your possessions in the event of devastation.  Also having a home security system will benefit you from burglaries or even protect your family from harm as the alarm will give you time to retrieve a weapon and protect your family.

Doing these things is not only wise, it will spare you a lot of extra heartache and burdens!