How to Be Financially Prepared for Unplanned Events

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Photo credit: Michael Longmire via Unsplash

During the pandemic, life as we know it has changed. Keep these items in mind to help stay financially prepared during COVID-19 and other unexpected trials.

Employer Benefits

Many health insurance plans have co-pays for visits but switch to deductible and coinsurance plans and out-of-pocket maximums with a hospital stay. It is good to know as a patient how much of the bill will be your responsibility.

What if an illness or injury causes you to miss work for an extended period or doesn’t allow you to work at all? Short- term and long-term disability plans usually pay a percentage of your income for specified periods of a disability. The term of the plans is usually based on the individual’s occupation or type of work performed. Both types typically have an elimination period (like a deductible), meaning you have to be disabled a certain number of days before coverage begins. Sick or vacation days could be used to meet this requirement.

See more: The Claim Game: What to Do When Your Insurance Claim Isn’t Covered

Emergency Funds

Financial professionals suggest that we have funds set aside equaling three to six month’s salary or three to six months of expenses to help maintain your standard of living during job loss/furlough, extended illness, etc.

Personal Account Access

Make sure a trusted love one has access and logins to accounts to make sure the bills get paid in the event you become incapacitated. Bank draft or bill pay can automatically make these payments if income is still coming in or the emergency fund is sufficient.

Will, Powers of Attorney & Health Care Directives

Every adult should have these in place. Wills allow you to clearly state how and to whom you want your property dispersed upon death. In addition, parents would need to address guardianship in directing who would raise their children. Powers of attorney allow people to handle your medical and financial needs in the event you are incapacitated. Advance medical directives state to what extremes you want medical professionals to take to sustain life.

At Farm Bureau, helping you is what we do best. So, since very few of us are experts in the above areas, your local Farm Bureau agent is a great resource in preparing for the unexpected. Many of our agents also have referral sources for other professionals in your area that can assist you in making sure you are financially prepared no matter what life brings your way.

About the author: Allan Williams is Director of Training – Marketing Department for the North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company Inc.

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