Where there’s a will, there’s a way

How can you be assured that your adult kids remain friends after your death? Or that your young children are taken care of as you wish? Write your will and do it soon.
A will is a legal instrument that spells out to whom your assets are to be distributed when you die. It also names an executor, who is in charge of making sure your wishes are carried out. And, in many places, it is the only legal way to designate a guardian for a minor child.
Because life is an ever-changing affair, wills should be rewritten periodically to reflect changes that occur in your life. Rewrite your will when:
1 You get married.
2 You have children.
3 You get divorced.
4 You inherit money.
5 Your net worth substantially increases.
6 A beneficiary dies.
7 You move to another state.
The first step in considering your will is to take a financial inventory of your assets, debts, life insurance policies and property you own. Next assemble your legal profile including copies of prenuptial agreements, divorce decrees, trusts, business partnership agreements and so on.
Then collect the names and addresses of beneficiaries, including your favorite charities and the name and address of the person you designate as executor.
Something else to consider is a living will. It provides instructions in the event that you become seriously ill and can’t make your own medical decisions. It should tell your wishes about the use of life-sustaining respirators and medications and under what conditions you would want to be resuscitated.
Deciding who gets what after you die is not a pleasant task, but it’s better than letting someone else decide.

When is home insurance a requirement?

Anyone that lives in the Cypress, TX area should consider purchasing their own home. When you are a property owner in this area, you can benefit a range of different ways. While there are a lot of advantages that come with buying a home, you need to understand your insurance requirements. There are several situations when you will need coverage. 

When Taking out a Mortgage

One situation when you will need to get home insurance is when you pledge your loan as collateral to another party. If you take out a mortgage, a home equity line of credit, or another type of loan, the lender will want to make sure that their collateral is secure. The best way that they can do this is by ensuring you have home insurance at all times. It is important to work with your lender to fully understand their home insurance requirements.

When Moving into an Association

Another situation when you will be required to take get a home insurance policy is when you are going to move into an area that has a home association. If you move into an area with an association, the local document and regulations will require that you carry insurance at all times. This will provide assurances to the association that you can handle any liability claims and repair your home when necessary.

Ultimately, picking a new home insurance policy is always going to be a big decision. For those that are in the Cypress, TX area, and are looking for insurance, InsureUS is a great company to contact. The team at InsureUS excels at helping property owners understand all of their needs and options. This will help ensure you have a guide that can allow you to pick a policy that provides you with the right coverage. 

The six myths of financial planning

Many people may not realize that they could benefit from financial planning. The Institute of Certified Financial Planners says these are the most common misconceptions people may have:
Myth No. 1: Financial planning is for the wealthy. It’s not about “getting wealthy” either, but that could happen. It is about achieving short-term and long-term financial goals, about taking control of your financial life.
Myth No. 2: Financial planning is about investing. That’s part of it. Financial planning is considering all financial aspects of your life: Taxes, insurance, retirement, budgeting and life goals. It makes those aspects work together efficiently. You must have a balance of all these.
Myth No. 3: It’s not needed until you’re older. Wrong. The best time to start is when you are young. The older you are, the fewer opportunities you may have. For every 10 years you delay saving for retirement, you have to save three times as much a month in order to end up with the same size retirement nest egg.
Myth No. 4: Financial planning requires a lot of work and a big plan. Not necessarily. Any worthwhile plan should consider your overall needs and situation. If you need help, see a financial planner for advice. It’s valuable as you calculate retirement, education and other goals.
Myth No. 5: It is a one-time effort. Financial planning is a lifelong process. A plan must be periodically reviewed and updated as children are born, jobs are changed, or investment needs are changed.
Myth No. 6: You can get along without planning. Sure you can, but it is much better to take charge of your life than to just get along.

Three strategies if you are worried in the current crisis

Wild. That’s the ride of the stock market today. Up 500, down 1,000. Every day it is a new shock. You look at your holdings and a sign flashes in front of your eyes: DANGER. DANGER. DANGER.
But don’t panic.
Here are three ways to think about it:

  1. Don’t look.
    If you have 30 years to go before retirement, just don’t look at your 401(k) numbers. Just don’t. Keep contributing. You have years for the market to rise and it will. Don’t look. Don’t sell. Keep putting money in.
  2. Breathe deeply and peek.
    If you are a couple years from retirement, take it easy. Even in your 60s, you are still a long-term investor. However, you might want to rebalance your assets. As you near retirement, maybe fewer stocks are best along with other more secure investments. But, on the other hand, if you think the current crisis will pass quickly, just breathe.
    What you can do before retirement, is make sure you don’t have credit card debt, but do have a stash of emergency cash.
    Don’t make any hasty moves. Talk to a financial advisor.
  3. Breathe, peek, and maybe put off that vacation.
    If you are retired in the current crisis, you’ve seen that fat load of earnings of the last two years circle the drain. Everyone has. It is not just you. But, yeah, you’re retired.
    Don’t panic.
    Maybe don’t draw from the IRA to pay for that fancy vacation. Sorry. Should have done that last year.
    Have a little gratitude. You probably lived free on earnings for the last year or two.
    Talk to your investment advisor about risk and rebalancing. But it is not a good time to sell. You know what legendary investor Warren Buffet once said when asked if he lost money during the drop: No, he said, I didn’t sell.

Emergency fund: Did the Covid crisis convince you?

One day in March millions of people found themselves out of work with no paycheck coming in.
The Covid crisis hit everyone at the same time and it convinced many to start an emergency savings fund.
If you look up the subject, you see a daunting suggestion: Save 6 months of your expenses. Or a year. It sounds unlikely, if not impossible.
But even one month of expenses, or two, could have saved most people a lot of trouble. Thinking about it that way may seem more doable.
Money experts say to be successful you have to:

  • Make your savings automatic.
  • Put them in a high-interest savings account.
  • Put a manageable amount of money in and keep putting it in.
    Yet, to make savings stick in place, you have to define what is and what is not an emergency. Loss of paycheck, for whatever reason, is one emergency. On the other hand, suddenly remembering your car insurance is due is not an emergency.
    Before you start your emergency fund, look over your checking account and write down those many chunks of money you have to come up with quarterly or bi-annually: Insurance of all sorts, vacation money, school fees, and the like. Those are not emergencies. They are recurring expenses.
    Consider starting two funds. One fund in a savings account at your bank for recurring expenses. One fund in an online, high-interest savings account for long-term emergencies.
    At just $10 per week, you can save more than $500 in a year. That gets your fund started.
    With another $10 a week, you give your recurring expenses a boost, too.
    Any time you get an unexpected chunk of money, put 20 percent in savings. Resolve not to let wants interfere with what you need.