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Take Control of Your Financial Future: A Financial Well-Being Checklist for Women

2018 12 Well Being

So often, as women, we dedicate our lives to taking care of those we love—our spouses, our children, our parents, or our grandchildren—and neglect to take time to inventory our own well-being, especially regarding finances.

 

What is Financial Well-Being?

Contrary to what one might intuit about financial well-being, it is a highly personal state which isn’t solely determined by a dollar amount. A person of great wealth can be financially anxious or unsettled while a person with a much lower net-worth can potentially achieve financial well-being prior to accumulating large amounts of money.

Financial well-being is generally understood as being financially secure because you have successfully managed your money in such a way that you are paying for all your expenses and have money left over to invest for your future. You are on track to meet your future financial goals and are fiscally prepared to handle any unforeseen circumstances without compromising your current lifestyle. But, this is only half the story.

Why is Financial Well-Being so Important?

Financial well-being and personal well-being are two sides of the same coin and are both essential to our quality of life. Susan Bradley, a Certified Financial Planner and the founder of the Sudden Money Institute identifies six key aspects that comprise our overall well-being:

  • Cash Flow: the money that flows in and out of your life everyday
  • Family: the ability to create a loving and supportive family life, meet your obligations and responsibilities, and make good estate planning decisions
  • Wellness: the enjoyment of the benefits of good health, ability to work and play as you wish both physically and mentally
  • Net Worth: the balance of what you own and what you owe; the ability to make sure your net worth grows for your enjoyment, support, and to be shared with others
  • Vision: ability to build a life that reflects your values, fulfills your dreams, and is fueled by your inspiration 
  • Security: feeling of safety now and when you look into the future, created by the use of insurance, saving for emergencies, investing for the future, and the support of friends and family

As this list illustrates, there are both quantifiable and intangible aspects of one’s well-being and they are not mutually exclusive. For example, your net worth isn’t just a number, but your ability to create a comfortable life to share with your loved ones. Security isn’t just about making the right investments and carrying the proper insurance policies, but also about the peace of mind those investments and policies proffer.  Family is about supporting one another in the present, but also about estate planning for the future.

Both the measurable, financial aspects of this list and the immeasurable, mental ones directly affect the other. It is when your financial well-being and personal well-being work in harmony that you achieve your highest quality of life.

This alignment of our financial goals with our personal ones affords us the opportunity to consciously shape our future, step by step. We have the power to live the life we desire if we take control of our wellness before we hit any potentially life-changing bumps in the road.

Take Inventory of Your Own Financial Well-Being

Here we have compiled a checklist based on the six aspects described above. It is our hope that this list helps you begin assessing your financial fitness so that you can better prepare for the future.

Financial Well-Being Checklist

Cash Flow

o   Do you know your monthly/annual inflow and outflow of expenses?

o   Which expenses are fixed and which are optional?

o   Which income sources are subject to change?

o   Would you have a way to make up for a sudden loss of income?

Family

o   Do you have power of attorney, medical guardianship, and financial guardianship paperwork in place?

o   Do you have life insurance, health insurance, long-term care insurance, or income replacement insurance?

o   Do you have a will drafted? Did you designate an executor of your will?

o   Have you designated guardians for any minor children in the case of your untimely passing?

o   Have you made a plan for your heirs’ inheritances through such vehicles as trusts?

Wellness

o   Have you thought about how a significant health issue could affect your income?

o   What steps do you take to maintain good physical health?

Net Worth

o   Are your assets growing?

o   Are your debts increasing or decreasing?

o   If you have debt, do you have a timeline of when you expect to satisfy each of these debts?

o   What assets do you rely on for the future?

o   What assets are the most predictable?

o   Do you know your risk tolerance level? Is your current risk level appropriate for your future financial goals?

o   What is your future net worth goal one year from now?  5 years from now? 10 years? And so on…

Vision

o   What financial decisions have you made based on your core values and beliefs?

o   If finances were not an issue, what would you do to live a more fulfilled life?

o   Is charity important to you?

o   Is leaving money to your heirs important?

Security

o   Do you carry the proper insurance policies?

o   Do you know the amount of coverage you need for home, car, health, income, disaster, or long-term care insurance?

o   Do you have a professional periodically review your policies to make sure they are still meeting your needs?

o   Do you have any money set aside for unexpected expenses, illness, or loss of income?

o   Do you have a strong emotional support system of family and friends?

o   Do you and your spouse have a plan in place to account for the sudden loss of the other?

If you are unsure about where you stand or would like some professional guidance along the way, sign up for a complimentary Get Acquainted meeting today. We look forward to helping you focus on enhancing your well-being one step at a time.

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