Handling a financial crisis and minimizing its damage to your life and legacy is an important reason to improve your financial health. No one can predict the future, but there will always be unforeseen events that arise that need a financial strategy to protect your livelihood. Life insurance, living benefits, annuities, retirement funds — these are all tools we have created to help ourselves protect against these potential crises.
The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that people tend to underestimate risk and struggle to protect themselves against an uncertain future. But crises can also be opportunities to put a plan in place. Many people are looking to build strategies after seeing what a global pandemic can look like: a study conducted by LIMRA and Life Happens found that 31% of consumers said that COVID made them likely to purchase life insurance within the year. This forward thinking particularly affected younger consumers — almost half (45%) of Millennials surveyed said they were likely to buy coverage now to protect their future.
This renewed interest in life insurance is encouraging, but Americans still have a way to go before we can rest comfortably knowing that everyone is well-protected against life’s risks. About 52% of consumers are still without coverage, leaving their finances vulnerable to another global event like COVID-19.
Consumers consistently overestimate the cost of insurance – LIMRA shows by as much as three times its actual cost. Coverage is often more affordable than you may think, and more essential than ever. When FFS sat down with Mark Biermann for the Share Your Umbrella podcast, he spoke about his spirited response to the pandemic and how even the clients who bought these policies were shocked at how effective they were:
“When COVID kicked in, we knew immediately that we had to reach out to our people. In March, we immediately started calling our clients and saying, “Hey, you did not lose any money when the stock market went down.” And they'd say, “Really? Is that really true? I got a friend that just told me she looked at her 401k and lost all this money.” I’d say, “Hey, I can help her too.” People work too hard to lose their money.”
This underlines the importance of financial capability and good financial health — no one can be expected to use tools that they never knew existed.
Resources for the Financially Vulnerable during a Global Crisis
For the financially vulnerable, a health crisis or natural disaster could derail years of budgeting and saving. The right financial strategy can help you lose little or less. Even if you never find yourself in need of these resources, they are here for you to share with any loved one or friend who may find themselves in a tight spot:
• Paying Your Bills When You Can’t Afford Them
What happens when there’s not enough to pay the bills that are due? There are actions you can take to lessen the damage — check out this article to learn how to prioritize certain bills over others and which professionals offer free consultations.
From help with your utility bills to established funds to pay for childcare, check out this list of programs you may not have heard of which exist to aid people in crisis.
• How to Build an Emergency Fund
Even a few hundred dollars tucked away can mean the difference between losing your livelihood and being able to bounce back. Read this to learn how to build one today.
• How to Avoid Predatory Lenders
Predatory lenders and scammers often target those in crisis. Learn to avoid bad loans and steep interest rates by looking for these signs.
Weather Any Storm with the Right Financial Plan
Life happens, and no one can stop certain crises from occurring. But a little planning and forward thinking can mean the difference between a bruised bank account and years of struggle to get your financial life back on track. With the right resources, you and your family can plan ahead and live with the relief that financial security provides.
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