by Laurie Moon, ACSR
I’ve been thinking a lot about my clients, family and friends these days. Even more than usual. The challenges we are now facing in the midst of the coronavirus can be scary.
I am here to let you know that you can call on me in these tough times, not only as your local Insurance Agent, but also as your friend and neighbor. I am in the office, available by phone, and willing to chat about your health, wealth, or to discuss anything that might be on your mind. Leaning on one another in these times makes the days a little brighter.
As many are at home and out of work, financial stressors can be mounting. Now is a good time to reassess your financial situation. A few important tips below might bring you some relief and peace of mind:
1. Take Care of your Family
It’s a really hard topic to think about, but how would your family fare if you were no longer around? Whether you provide for your family financially or through by raising your children at home, your absence could have a significant impact on their lifestyle. Chances are low that you will die from coronavirus, but now is a smart time to apply for life insurance.
There are many types of life insurance, but for all of them the bottom line is the same: they pay cash to your family if the worst should happen to you. Life insurance payments can be used to cover daily living expenses, mortgage payments, outstanding loans, college tuition and other essential expenses. Now is the time to purchase life insurance, before you get ill.
2. Are You Getting the Best Rates?
With mortgages and lending rates being at record lows, now might be a great time to refinance your home, auto loans, credit cards or personal loans. Our team members at Downeast Credit Union are still working hard to serve members, so give them a call at 800.427.1223 to see if they can save you money through refinancing.
In addition, Downeast Insurance might be able to save you money by requoting your insurance products. It’s a good idea to reassess your insurance needs every few years, and I invite you to call or email me to see if I can provide you with a second opinion on your coverage and rates.
3. Smart Use of Your Emergency Fund
Chances are, you’re feeling the financial hit and possibly even tapping into your Emergency Fund savings. An Emergency Fund is money set aside for life’s unexpected events. Before you utilize your emergency funds, have you considered all options available like filing for unemployment, Skip-a-Payment options on your loans and mortgages, or hardship loans?
I like the advice that Dave Ramsey provides in considering when it’s the right time to use those Emergency Funds by asking yourself 3 questions:
Talk with your loved ones to determine what items are most urgent to pay in these tough times. Set up a household budget and stick with just the urgent and essential purchases for the time being. Once things settle out, consider building your Emergency Fund back up so you have 3-6 months to help afford things you need if another one of life’s speedbumps should occur in the road.
4. Verify Your Health Insurance Coverage
If you have lost your job, you need to know if you are still covered under your employer’s healthcare plan. Call your past employer for details on coverages available to you if you’re on furlough. And if you find that you no longer have insurance, it’s important to apply through the healthcare exchange or find your own insurance. You don’t want to find yourself sick and worrying about having to pay for your healthcare expenses out-of-pocket.
5. Name a Health Care Proxy
A Health Care Proxy is someone you designate to make healthcare decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to make medical decisions. You should confirm prior to appointing someone as your proxy that he or she will in fact be willing and able to carry out your wishes. Be sure to talk with your Proxy ahead of time so your medical treatment wishes are understood. If you are 18 or over, you can designate a proxy for free with this form from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.
I hope these tips provide some assistance to you through the COVID-19 pandemic. Knowing there are items we can control is comforting in these times. Together, we can help manage your financial situation in a way that puts the control back on your side. Call me today if you’d like help through these challenging times, or just to hear a friendly hello – I’m by your side!
All my best, Laurie Moon, ACSR
Regional Branch Manager & Licensed Insurance Agent
Downeast Insurance, Topsham, Maine
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