Making smart choices regarding your insurance coverage and investments may be the most important thing you can do to help protect your family's financial security.
Here are 10 concepts to consider when developing a tangible financial security plan for you and your family.
1. Protection first
- Always plan for worst-case scenarios first - like what would happen if you lost your job or if you and your spouse got sick or injured. It can be important to have financial resources (emergency savings, life, health, and disability insurance) on which to fall back.
2. Life insurance
- If someone will suffer financially when you die, consider purchasing life insurance. COUNTRY Financial® can help you estimate how much you may need.
3. Save money regularly
- The more money you have saved, the more flexibility you'll have to deal with any financial setbacks or opportunities you may encounter in the future. If you feel you don't have any extra money to save, you may need to cut something non-essential out of your budget.
4. Keep debt in check
- Avoid debt whenever possible - it's expensive! Paying off high interest debts should be a top priority. If you have multiple credit card debt you're trying to pay down, consider consolidating your cards into one payment with a low interest rate, or seek the guidance of a credit counselor you can trust.
5. A simple investment strategy works best
- It's important to earn a return on your investments that will outpace inflation. Investing doesn't have to be complicated or difficult to understand. A simple plan can be easy to implement and maintain.
- Always consider your tolerance for risk and your time horizon when investing.
6. Home ownership can still pay
- Despite the downturn in the real estate and mortgage markets, owning your home can still pay off. You can usually get a tax deduction for the mortgage interest you pay. As you pay down your loan, the equity in your home will likely grow.
- Always make sure you have enough home insurance coverage if disaster strikes.
7. Understand your employee benefits
- If your company provides life, health, and disability benefits, know what they cover and how they work. Considering increasing your coverage if it's an option and you feel you need it.
- Also, take advantage of your company's 401(k) plan - if your company matches any of your contributions, it's like getting free money!
8. Plan for your children's education
- College costs are rising at a rapid rate, so don't miss the opportunity to invest in a college savings plan. Many plans have tax advanges. Plus, grandparents and other relatives can contribute to some plans.
9. Make the tax laws work for you
- Contributing to a 401(k) or a 529 college savings plan can help reduce your state and federal income taxes.
- Learn more about these kinds of plans as well as other tax-advantaged opportunities, such as Health Savings Accounts (HSA), heath care and dependent care flexible spending accounts, and permanent life insurance.
10. Get help from a professional
- Take the complexity out of planning for your family's financial security by reviewing your current plan and all of your options with a professional.
Policies issued by COUNTRY Life Insurance Company® or COUNTRY Investors Life Assurance Company®, Bloomington, IL.
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