As fun, fulfilling, and rewarding as your life might be, tomorrow isn’t guaranteed for everyone. One minute everything is fine and the next minute you’re dealing with something unexpected, such as a natural disaster or an unexpected death.
No matter what happens in life, it’s always better to be prepared. By being prepared, unexpected events don’t have to be unwelcome surprises, and this way you’ll be ready to deal with anything.
So when it comes to planning for the future and for unexpected events, you need to ask yourself, what is my family prepared for?
Preparing For A Natural Disaster
Take natural disasters for example. Now the thought of a natural disaster can be frightening. What you may not know is that you can prepare yourself with a few simple steps and help your family prepare for all possible scenarios in case an emergency is imminent.
Creating A Plan
One of your most basic steps for a natural disaster is to create an emergency plan for your family. This needs to include basic information about your house, out of town contacts, and ways that you and your children may be contacted at such as school phone numbers and workplace phone numbers. Your plan should also include evacuation routes and shelter plans.
Another good step for you and your children is to consider all scenarios for the area where you live. If your area where you live is prone to tornadoes for example, then you need to sit down and discuss all possibilities for what might happen and what you need to do when were if a tornado touches down.
In the event of a natural disaster, it’s important to come up with a communication plan in case anyone gets separated. Each member of the family should have a cell phone and a charger, as well as any important contact information. One thing to note is that text messages often work better than phone calls in emergency situations, so make sure everyone knows how to text.
Making An Emergency Kit
One of the most important things you can have during a natural disaster is an emergency kit that covers at least three days of needed supplies. This includes plenty of bottled water and a supply of food to last a few days. That might include packaged, dried food, canned goods, and easily transported items. Make sure that your emergency kit has extra clothes as well as first aid material.
Creating A Will
It’s not exactly fun to think about, but preparing your family for anything means also thinking about what might happen if you were in an accident and needed someone to look after your family or your children. This is where creating a living will can be very helpful. A living will allows you to outline your wishes so that your family knows what to do if something happens to you in an emergency situation. This also takes out any guesswork as to what your wishes may have been for property, material goods, or money.
It’s important to note a few things about living wills:
- They are binding legal documents, so you need to make sure that every single thing you want your family to know is in there. Once you submit it to probate court, the entire probate process can take anywhere from six to twelve months.
- A will can be changed, so if you change your mind about something you can always go back and change it. But you should know that if you do need to make changes, you need to do so legally and not just tear up a copy that you may have at home.
- It’s estimated that as many as 55% of adult Americans don’t have a will or estate plan option, so there’s never been a better time to get one started.
- Living wills can be done at any age. It’s easy to think of a living will as something that only seniors have to worry about. But anything can happen to anyone at any time and creating a living will at a young age can give you and your family peace of mind in the event something happens.
Preparing For Death
It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, no one really likes to think about what the end of life is going to be like. But the fact that you need to make sure your family safe. One way to make sure they’re taken care of is to do some end-of-life planning.
The last thing you want, if something were to happen to you or a family member, is to have a hallway huddle where arguing ensues over what a loved one may have wanted. By doing some end-of-life planning, like creating your will on this website, you can share your wishes with all your loved ones and plan the end of life down to a tee. You can plan for whether you’ll be buried or cremated, you can indicate whether you’d like someone to run an obituary in a local paper, you can indicate where you might like to be buried such as a specific location, and you can appoint a certain family member or family members to be your power of attorney if you’re unable to make decisions for yourself. It’s also important to note that your end-of-life planning can also include steps for who will take care of your children if something happens to you when expectedly.
It’s better to be prepared than to be left scrambling, and by creating a living will and doing some basic end-of-life planning you can save yourself and your family a lot of stress.
Managing Your Money
As you consider the question, is my family taken care of, one thing you also need to consider is where you are financially.
It doesn’t matter how much money you make or what your circumstances are, having a plan for your money is a smart thing to do. Again, if something were to happen unexpectedly, you want to make sure that your family or your children have some money to their names.
So what can you do? One of the best things you can do is to carefully maintain a savings account, especially for emergency situations. You probably have heard quite a bit of talk about having a rainy day fund, and that’s exactly what a savings account can be. In fact, some banks actually give you the option of having both a long-term savings account and a short-term savings account, so you can have a savings account for the long haul and a savings account as a rainy day fund.
One of the first things you want to do is determine how big do you want your rainy-day fund to be. Most people in the financial planning industry will tell you that you need three to six months of expenses to take care of yourself and your family. You should also try to deposit into your rainy-day fund on a regular basis, perhaps with a predetermined amount out of every paycheck.
It might be a good idea to sit down and write down how much your monthly expenses are and then figure out how much rainy day fund is going to need in it. If you find that you’re having trouble contributing to your rainy-day fund, take a look at some of your expenses and try to find out ways you can cut back on some things to contribute to it.
In addition to having a rainy day fund in the bank to deal with situations like natural disasters or untimely family emergencies, you should also make sure to have some cash on hand. If in the event that your home is destroyed in a fire or you’re forced to find shelter during a natural disaster, you want to be able to have some cash on hand to tide yourself over. Even if you just have a few hundred bucks stashed somewhere in your house, that can go a long way toward helping if you need it in an emergency situation.
But managing money is not all about rainy day funds and sometimes it’s about long-term financial planning and day-to-day budgeting of money. You may find that in some cases, even if you’re a hard worker and you try to pay your bills on time, you may be facing bankruptcy and have no idea what to do.
This should also be considered a way to protect your family, especially your children. If something happens to you, then there’s a good chance that they will inherit your debt. In fact, for most individuals is a choice between chapter 7 and chapter 13. So if you are facing bankruptcy, the best thing you can do is to visit a financial planning office and figure out ways to get your finances back on track.
As you look at your finances and are trying to figure out a strategy, life insurance can be a big part of that strategy. Life insurance can ensure that your kids and other loved ones have a financial safety net of sorts if you pass away. Life insurance can be used to leave an inheritance for your children, it can be used to pay off debts, it can be used to pay final costs, and it can be even be used to make a charitable contribution, especially if your loved one had a favorite charity.
There are so many things you can do to live a balanced life and take care of the personal health of you and your children. In fact, more than 80% of children aged 5 to 11 are considered to have very good or excellent health.
But taking care of yourself and your family must go beyond physical or health or mental health. When it comes to making sure you and your family are safe, you can never be too prepared. By having emergency plans in place, making good financial decisions, and doing things like making a living will, you can be prepared for anything and protect your family now and in the future.