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7 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR FINANCIAL HEALTH RIGHT NOW

 

 An emergency fund is more essential than ever, and so is making every dollar count.



Ellen B. recently left her two-bedroom apartment in Washington, D.C., to stay with family in Kansas City, Missouri. This gave her more time with her parents and an opportunity to take stock financially.

“I started paying more attention to my finances several years ago, but the uncertainty we are all facing now adds some urgency [to] getting my finances in better shape,” Ellen says. “I feel more motivated to make specific plans for budgeting and saving for the unexpected.” 

Many are facing economic uncertainty, but there are ways to use this period to shore up your finances. Today is a “great time to review our finances and better plan for the unknowns ahead,” says Molly Berger, a financial coach based in Denver.

TIP NO. 1: TAKE STOCK OF YOUR SPENDING

“See if there is anything that can be cut or downsized,” Berger advises. Look over your credit card statements; many companies have an online tool that will break down your statement spending by category.

 

“ASK YOURSELF HOW MANY MONTHS OF EXPENSES YOU NEED TO FEEL SAFE IN THIS CLIMATE.” LINDSAY BRYAN-PODVIN, FINANCIAL THERAPIST

 

TIP NO. 2: SHED SOME STUFF

You may have more than you think: The average two-bedroom apartment rental holds nearly $30,000 worth of belongings. So try applying the six-month clutter rule — if you haven’t used it in half a year, it can go. It could also be time to clean out your closets, earmarking items to sell or donate. You could make quick cash from your spare stuff and perhaps even save rent money you’re spending on storage space.

TIP NO. 3: PAD YOUR EMERGENCY FUND

If you’re working from home more, you’re spending less by not commuting or shelling out for that midday latte or after-work cocktail. So if you’re able to, put that money into an emergency fund. Don’t have one of those yet? Not to worry, you’re far from alone: A 2019 study by the Federal Reserve found that nearly 40 percent of American households would struggle to pay for an unexpected $400 expense. But it’s never too late to start saving. 

Start by calculating the essentials — rent, food, utilities — and base your emergency savings goals off that monthly number, advises Lindsay Bryan-Podvin, a financial therapist in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “Ask yourself how many months of expenses you need to feel safe in this climate. … Then, work to increase saving money in your emergency fund,” she says.

 

TIP NO. 4: DITCH SOME SUBSCRIPTIONS

Take a look at any recurring subscriptions you’re not using or services that have an annual membership fee. Saving even $50 per month could boost your savings to the tune of $600 per year! “For instance, I canceled some of my frequent flyer memberships since I will not be traveling anytime soon,” Berger explains. 

 

TIP NO. 5: DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP

If you’re struggling to keep up with bills, do your homework on what kinds of help are available. Call your credit card company, utility company or landlord, and ask whether you can have extra time to pay penalty-free or lower your interest rate. 

The same goes for student loans. The CARES Act paused federal student-loan payments for six months without interest. But if you’re still employed and able to pay, “you can take a big dent out of your student loans,” advises Stacey Tisdale, CEO of Mind Money Media.

 

For those with private loans, it “is a great time to be reaching out to companies to refinance,” she adds, while stressing the need to ask plenty of questions before making a move.

TIP NO. 6: PROTECT YOURSELF WITH INSURANCE

Make sure your homeowner’s or rental insurance policy is up to date to protect yourself from unforeseen expenses. While 95 percent of homeowners have a policy, only 37 percent of renters do, according to a poll by the Insurance Information Institute. “Call your insurance providers and see if you have appropriate coverage for your situation,” Berger recommends. It’s often cheaper than you think: Policies can cost less per month than a fancy coffee for you and a friend.

Life insurance and financial legacy planning are also important. “These are the tasks that can help provide peace of mind long term, not just day to day, that can make us feel more prepared,” Bryan-Podvin says. 

 

TIP NO. 7: WHEN YOU DO SPEND, SHOW YOUR VALUES

Small businesses are hurting right now. Purchasing restaurant gift cards, buying fitness studio class packs, donating to a staff relief fund or booking future salon appointments can all help. Some restaurants are accepting donations to cook for first responders, which is a way to double your impact.

Bryan-Podvin says that the crisis has spurred her to shop hyperlocally in order to give back within her community. “I want to ensure that the money I do spend right now, mostly on food, is going to local farmers, purveyors and restaurants, and I’m tipping generously when I do so,” she says.

 

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By Kaelyn Forde



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American life insurance policy trends have shifted

 
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US adults are taking this coverage more seriously and have been considering it more frequently.
 
 
 
The pandemic crisis has forced millions of Americans to consider their finances and their mortality, creating a striking shift in life insurance policy trends across the country.
 
This changing direction has been particularly strong among younger adults, parents and minorities.
 
American young adults, those with kids and minorities have all been taking a closer look at their finance management. Among those examinations has been a boost to life insurance policy trends, suggests a new Unum survey. The research showed that since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, 41 percent of adults say they have adjusted the way they handle their finances. Almost one quarter (22 percent) of those adults are also thinking of adding or increasing their life coverage.
The pandemic has forced many American adults to think very differently about their financial lives. By the start of the crisis, most did not know how much coverage they needed. Moreover, another 45 percent either don’t have a plan or don’t know if they have one.
 
The pandemic has altered the lives of Americans right down to life insurance policy trends.
 
“The pandemic changed our lives, and it’s not a surprise more people are thinking about how they are protecting their families with life insurance,” explained Chris Pyne, Unum Group Benefits executive vice president. “For most people, the ability to earn an income throughout their life is the biggest asset they have.”
 
Forty eight percent of American households – nearly half – would risk financial disaster within three months of the death of a primary wage earner without adequate coverage. Though 22 percent of survey respondents said they had considered adding to their coverage as a result of the pandemic, certain demographics were more likely to do so than others.
 

Those most likely to have considered buying coverage for the first time or adding to what they had since the start of the pandemic include: Hispanic adults (38 percent), Generation Z adults (38 percent), Black adults (36 percent), households with children (34 percent), and Millennials (30 percent). When delving more deeply into this life insurance policy trend and asking respondents how much coverage they needed, 36 percent said they required either the equivalent to or double their annual income. Another 28 percent felt they would require three to four times their annual income.

 

 
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The Roe Agency Announces Employee Benefits Partnership!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

The Roe Agency at Allstate Announces Employee Benefits Partnership

 

[Naples Florida] – The Roe Agency, Allstate Agency, has announced an exclusive partnership with Florida based Employee Benefits Consulting Firm, J Donovan Financial.

 

Dan, Principal of The Roe Agency, recognizes that the typical group health insurance model, while it was stagnant before, now requires a fresh and innovative perspective to ensure sustainability. By the end of 2020, it is predicted that over 10 million Americans will have lost employer sponsored health coverage. Dan and his team are proud to offer their national client base access to strategic health care options that have been saving businesses money at a time when they need it most.

 

The Roe Agency chose J Donovan Financial for their industry leading technology and progressive approach to benefits. J Donovan Financial and it’s team has received numerous national accolades, including being featured as a Face of Change in the industry by BenefitsPro and named a 2020 Rising Star by Employee Benefits Adviser.

 

 “The pandemic has changed the way we think about many things. I never realized that we could change the way we think about group benefits until now. With so much unknown, saving dollars and providing enhanced benefits is a top priority for us. I’m excited to be able to offer this service to our clients,” says Dan.

 

To see if your business is a candidate for this group benefits strategy, please contact Dan at The Roe Agency.

 

Allstate Agency, The Roe Agency, has been protecting clients for over 17 years.

 

(239) 593-7333

 

 

 

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