5 steps to a stronger financial future

Close up of savings jars with money PHOTO CREDIT: JGI/Jamie Grill

Similar to picking a good house, you need to have a good foundation, otherwise you can unknowingly put the rest of your assets at risk.

Here are five tips:

1. Build an emergency fund What would happen if you were stuck with an unexpected bill? If you aren’t sure what you would do or your first thought is to charge it, you have plenty of company. A good goal to have is to aim to have emergency funds set aside, most financial professionals recommend setting aside three to six months. If you prepare now, you’ll turn life’s emergencies into mere inconveniences.

2. Pay off debt There is no way to glam this up, you must come up with a strategy based on your needs and financial situation, buckle down and stick to the plan. Think about how you want to approach it and seek the support of friends and family to encourage you in this process. Anything extra you can pay helps. If you don’t know where to start, seek the help of a financial professional who can help you create a customized solution to meet your goals.

3. Get a will Where ever you are in life, married, kids, single, believe it or not, this one is for you. Arguably one of the best gifts to leave behind for loved ones is a well laid out plan. Worried about cost? If you participate in a legal plan with your employer this service is usually covered. In addition, consider creating a list or file where important account information is stored and tell a few trusted loved ones.

4. Invest in

health insurance Take time to ask your benefit specialist or financial professional questions. It’s worth noting that you might be able to find affordable financial professionals who can help. Often you are offered a complimentary financial analysis to help develop a customized solution that suits your needs. If you are scared off by high costs, work with a financial professional who can help find the plan that is right for you.

5. Invest in

life insurance Whether it’s protecting your mortgage, your loved ones, your future income or providing for adequate retirement income so you can have peace of mind. Life insurance can help to take care of a yourself and your family if the unimaginable happens.

Claire Damgaard is an agent for New York Life Insurance in Dubuque.

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