Read any study on the reasons people fear stress and you’re sure to find finances at the top of the list. Income taxes, insurance coverages and retirement and estate planning can be stressful enough during the best of times. When life gets challenging, they are especially so.
Financial Planning is the last thing many people want to think about, yet financial concerns cause us more stress than most other issues in our lives. When we enter difficult and uncertain economic climates, the stress can grow exponentially. In times like these, it’s important to remember a few things.
Take a deep breath. You’ve heard the old saying, ‘This too shall pass.’ That’s true in every economic period in our country. Things may be unusually uncertain today, but things will get better and brighter.
Take a look at your assets. Not just the stuff you own but what is most important. Look at the people in your life. Think of your faith, your skills, your job or other sources of income. See these as blessings to build on rather than possessions to hoard.
Plan. They say that the best time to plant a tree is 100 years ago. The second-best time is NOW! You may not be happy with your current financial plan, but there is no time like the present to make some changes to make sure your family’s financial future is secure.
Try to start saving. Maybe you are a saver by nature; most people aren’t. Use times like this to examine what is essential and truly needed. Most people forced to look at their saving and spending habits discover many ways to get through life much cheaper.
Take advantage of new opportunities. While our government’s taxation laws are hard to forecast, recent changes in the tax law have given tens of millions of Americans the opportunity for tax savings they didn’t have in 2019.
Finally, get sound advice. Perhaps the thought of tackling financial planning on your own sounds more intimidating that anything else you can imagine. You wouldn’t be alone. Luckily, the Arthritis Foundation has a team of seasoned gift and financial planners here to answer any questions you might have about tax, estate and financial planning. We can even introduce you to some local professionals who can help you further. There is never a fee to talk with one of our planning professionals, and we are required to hold any content of our conversations in strict confidence.