ST. CROIX INSIGHTS
BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC
Photo by Magdalena Smolnicka
Let’s face it: shit happens. Despite our best preparations, life often throws us curveballs. We can protect ourselves with all the insurance, savings, and safety nets we can afford, yet the potential for unforeseen challenges to disrupt our well-laid plans remains ever-present.
Life constantly brings us new surprises, many involving loss: losing a job, a loved one, money, car keys, passports, cabin pressure—on and on it goes.
We can’t prepare for every possible contingency, but there are some basic steps we can take to keep from going under at the first hint of trouble.
Build a Safety Net
Your landlord raises the rent unexpectedly. Your insurance coverage falls short on a hospital bill. Your daughter unexpectedly becomes a new mom. Many believe they’re prepared for life’s changes until they actually happen. It’s not the ideal moment to realize your preparations are inadequate.
If you don’t have an emergency fund, make today the day you start one. Find one lifestyle change you can make to free up some cash; if you’re having difficulty carving out the extra expense, ask your bank to automatically round up every purchase and siphon the change into a new account. Every little bit helps.
Respect the Contingency Plan
You can’t predict everything, but you can take steps to make yourself more resilient in the face of unexpected obstacles. Nobody likes paying for things they don’t need, but health and life insurance are some of the most important ways to protect your financial future and those of the people you love.
We live in a country where a single accident or unexpected medical event can send a family into financial ruin. It’s easy to believe we’re immune to these shifting sands until our own lives are swept away by them. If the worst occurs, those monthly premiums that once felt burdensome suddenly hold immense value.
Don’t Stress Over What You Can’t Control
After all the preparation and planning, there comes a point where we just have to let go and roll with the punches. (If we don’t, we’ll never leave the house!)
Life will change, sometimes in ways you expect, frequently in ways you don’t. If you expect the unexpected, do what you can to prepare, and trust in your own financial and emotional resilience, you’ll be able to manage any hand life deals you along the way.
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Ask yourself- can my portfolio support my lifestyle in my retirement?