Here are some articles that caught my eye this week…
Just before Christmas we were hit almost simultaneously with a large repair bill on our van and a large plumbing bill. In years past with the holidays fast approaching this would have added a huge amount of stress to what should be a happy time of the year and most of it would have landed on credit cards. But now with a fully funded emergency fund, we simply paid the bills, continued on with our holiday celebrations and then worked to build the emergency fund back up. A good emergency fund takes so much stress out of your life.
Great illustration of how in an attempt to help our children we can actually do great harm. While caring for and shielding our children is a very natural and noble parenting instinct, it is very important that we allow our children to learn and practice the skills that they will need to have to be productive adults. That includes being willing to allow them to make mistakes and helping them to learn from them. Author Andy Andrews says that as parents we often have a goal of raising great kids, but that is the wrong goal. Our goal should be to raise kids who become great adults. This is especially true in financial matters.
If your parents are retirement age this is why you need to do your best to look out for them. These can be difficult discussions because often parents do not want to share their financial status with their children, but elder financial abuse is becoming a bigger and bigger problem.
I am well familiar with the concept of laddering CD’s. Instead of buying one large CD that ties your money up for several years, the idea is to buy smaller CD’s over a period of time so that you always have something coming to maturity. The end result is you can get the benefit of the higher interest rates of longer terms, yet still have money available if you need it as the individual CD’s mature. I never thought about applying this same concept to life insurance. Life insurance is really only there to replace your financial contribution to the family should something happen to you. If you are saving properly over time, those savings will gradually replace your need for life insurance. It may be possible by applying the laddering idea to get the coverage you need when you need it and save money as time goes on.
There is much you can do to make life much easier for those you leave behind. It’s one final way you can show your love. If your estate is small and fairly simple you can do most of this on your own with very little cost. If you have more assets, then it is wise to seek the assistance of a good estate planning attorney.
Finally, in honor of Mother’s Day listen to what your momma is telling you! Happy Mother’s Day!