1- Put Down The Shovel

Hopefully, you’re not in a financial hole, but if you are, the first thing you do is to stop digging!

Let’s also hope your loved ones won’t be tossed into a hole if you meet an untimely demise. Pursue today all action items listed below.

Take Action:

  • Don’t run up debt on a credit card or with installment loans
  • Provide for the guardianship of children
  • Buy some term life insurance if you have debt
  • Review IRA and 401(k) beneficiary designations

Commentary:

Do not charge anything on a credit card you cannot pay off in full when your next monthly statement arrives. Avoid payday and online installment loans at all costs. You will NEVER achieve financial success if you don’t manage debt properly.

  • Don’t buy “consumer goods” on an installment plan. It’s no different than charging it to a credit card.

If you have children: we know you expect a close relation or friend to become their guardian should you and their other parent die. Unless it’s in writing as a formal guardianship designation, don’t bet on it!

  • Execute a will to provide for the guardianship of your minor children

Also, remember: raising children is an expensive proposition. Don’t burden financially the guardians of your children.

  • Buy life insurance to fund a custodial account for your children.
  • Your children will then be a part of another family with new siblings. Consider allowing their guardians to access the custodial account for the support of all the kids (with restrictions) so there aren’t “haves” and “have nots.” Term life insurance can be extremely cheap!

If you have debt and are married or have a partner, buy term life insurance that will pay debt off in the event of your untimely death. Allow your survivor to mourn gratefully.

Review the beneficiary designations of your 401(k) and IRA(s) to be certain those designations still apply to your current circumstances. Stories abound with ex-spouses inheriting an IRA or 401(k) while the current spouse gets nothing!

Once you stop digging the hole you’re in, we’ll tell you how to get out of your financial hole in Step #5.