Daily Dupaco

Friday, April 12, 2013

Facing the what-ifs of life

The benefits of having an exercise partner are clear. There is strength in numbers. We hold ourselves more accountable when someone else is watching, and working out with a pal can make the time fly by. Why not approach personal finance the same way? This is a series following the progress of two sisters who have added a new label to their friendship – financial fitness buddies.

The key to any good financial fitness workout, I’ve realized, is determining your net worth.

Once you've calculated the difference between what you own and what you owe, it's a lot easier to review your entire financial picture and determine what changes, if any, should be made.

Among other things, knowing your net worth helps you determine whether you're adequately covered with life or disability insurance.

During the past several days, I've been in contact with my insurance agent, reviewing my family's life insurance coverage.

We're having in-depth conversations about some of the dreaded what-ifs of life: What if I'm not able to raise my children? What if something happens to my husband? Should our coverage take care of a percentage of our children's college expenses? What if an illness renders one of our children uninsurable?

As we look at various what-if scenarios, we're making tough decisions about what our family would really need and what would be nice to have if the unexpected happens.

I’ll be honest. These things aren't pleasant to think about. And having lost my mom to cancer while I was in high school, I know all too well how life doesn't always go the way we want it to.

In a perfect world, my husband and I will both see our children become happy, healthy, productive citizens. We'll watch them start their own families. And we'll live happily ever after.

It's not easy to think about the alternative. But I'm glad we're at least considering it, because now we will have a little more peace of mind knowing that our family is better prepared.


By Emily Kittle

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