The big little things: 5 Easy ways to protect your money
It’s morning and you’re out the door. Immediately your home’s smart devices take over, dialing down the heat, turning off the coffeemaker, and arming surveillance inside and out. In the car, rain-sensing wipers activate at the first drops; adaptive cruise control maintains a steady pace; and upon arrival, parking assist gets you into a tight space, no problem.
Protective technologies are transforming everyday life, adding safety, convenience, and peace of mind. But how about in our financial lives? Are there similar measures that can help protect our income from interruptions due to illness, injury, disability, layoff and emergencies.
Just as smart homes and cars give us fewer “what ifs” to stress over, here are some strategies you can activate to help worry-proof your financial future.
Would you buy a new car without airbags? (Trick question. You can’t.) The point is, one-quarter of Americans travel through life without a financial cushion to reduce the impact of unexpected emergencies.1 Creating a rainy-day fund that totals six to 12 months of your income can help lessen your risk.
To activate: Set up an automatic withdrawal from your checking account or paycheck — the maximum you can comfortably afford — to build up emergency cash reserves and you’ll be on your way to becoming a world-class saver
Disability can occur in an instant. In fact, one in four of today’s 20-year-olds will become disabled during their working years.2 Disability income insurance can help protect a portion of your income while you recover.
To activate: If your employer offers Group Long-Term disability insurance, you should consider participating in the plan. But since most employer policies replace only about 40 to 60 percent of your income, look into individual disability income insurance, too. It can be a surprisingly affordable way to add financial confidence.
Wellness wearables are the hottest technology around, allowing you to monitor your footsteps, measure your UV exposure, and even take a blood sample, all to support smarter health decisions. To help make smarter decisions around your healthcare dollars, consider a health savings account. It’s a tax-efficient way to stretch your income to pay for preventive care that may not be covered by medical insurance, such as dental check-ups.3
To activate: Talk with your HR rep to learn about your existing medical coverage and understand your options.
Having two sources of propulsion in a vehicle, such as a gas-powered engine and an electric motor, helps ensure you reach your destination. Similarly, if you get laid off from your job, you may need more than federal/state unemployment benefits to sustain your lifestyle. Private unemployment coverage may be the answer.
To activate: Look into the options to purchase an individual unemployment insurance policy in your state. It may be a low-cost way to replace more of your lost income.
Perhaps you’ve investigated security technology to safeguard your home and loved ones. But have you given equal thought to protecting an even more valuable asset — your life?
To activate: Consider a whole life insurance plan to provide financial confidence for your family and help protect their future. Some whole life plans even let you build cash value to supplement your income. 4
With just a few simple steps, you can put any of these income-safeguards in place — minimal effort that can yield powerful protection for your financial future.
Brought to you by The Guardian Network © 2019, 2021. The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America®, New York, NY
2021-122907 Exp. 7/23