According to the Google dictionary, “adulting” is defined as “the practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks.” Perhaps the greatest adulting tasks of all are those required to “get our affairs in order” and be prepared for the absolute worst. As you set goals for the new year, it’s not as fun to think about mundane and necessary tasks, but it’s such a relief to have them done! Here’s our list of suggested “Adulting” goals for the new year so you can get them checked off your list and move on to the fun stuff.
Will & Estate Plan
It’s never too early to put in writing what you want to happen to your assets after you pass away. Don’t leave the burden of sorting it all out to your loved ones. They will have enough grief to process without having to worry about what’s to happen to your kids, belongings, assets, money and legacy. It can be painful to think about the “what ifs” but wouldn’t you rather spell out your wishes now instead of leaving all those important decisions up to someone else? Also, don’t forget to update it periodically as life changes.
There are multiple ways to go about setting up a will, estate plan or name a guardian for your children. There are websites with basic legal forms you can fill out and have notarized but we recommend you meet with an estate planning attorney in your area to help you sort everything out and make sure it’s all legal in your state. They can also guide you through the whole process.
Medical Power of Attorney
A medical power of attorney with detailed instructions about your medical care wishes can be part of your Will but you can also name a general medical care agent separately from a Will. While not everyone will need an estate plan (if you have no assets or dependents) everyone can benefit from naming someone to speak for them if they are incapacitated. Read more about this important document and download a free legal form on the American Bar Association website.
Reducing Debt & Saving Money
Eliminating or reducing debt, including student loans, car loans, home loans and consumer debt is the first step to building wealth. Paying off credit cards and high interest loans is a great place to start. Follow Dave Ramsey or The Budget Mom or free guidelines and programs for gradually paying down your debt and building up a savings. You’ll be less stressed and enjoy life more when you’ve got the funds saved up for things like emergencies, purchasing a home, retirement and your children’s education.
Life Insurance is essential if you would be leaving dependents behind. A spouse, children or even parents who would be responsible for your burial and taking care of your affairs can benefit from a life insurance policy.
How much life insurance do you need? That depends. How much debt are you leaving behind? How old are your children? Would your spouse need to hire childcare in order to replace the role you play within the household? What kind of lifestyle will they expect to maintain? Will you want to leave enough for their future needs like college or career training? We can help you determine your life insurance needs. Contact us to set up a time to go over all your needs.
Home Owner’s Insurance
If you own a home, you know you need insurance. In fact, if you are planning on buying a home with a mortgage, your lender may require you to have a minimum amount of home owner’s insurance. This protects your asset against damage and protects the lender from loss of their investment as well. What you may not know, is that home owner’s insurance policies may not protect all of your assets or cover all types of damage or theft. This is where having an agent to advise you in key!
If your home or business building were to burn down in a fire, or you were the victim of theft or vandalism, the structure and your belongings might be covered by insurance, but only if you can prove what needs to be replaced and the value of it. Do you have a record of everything you own? While it may be unrealistic to keep a catalog of every single thing inside your home or business, it’s important to have a record of the most valuable things you own. This can include receipts, photographs and a list, stored off-site, of things like electronics, jewelry, fire arms, furniture and anything else of value.
What happens if someone is seriously injured in a car accident that was your fault, or gets hurt while shopping at your store? You may be liable for damages, medical expenses and a whole host of other things someone could sue you for. Do you have the proper liability insurance for your situation? Your insurance agent can help you figure it out.
Being prepared for natural disasters and possible emergencies is one of those “adulting” tasks we all wish we’d done after it’s too late. We have a handy article on how to plan for the worst, Are You Prepared for a Disaster, so you’ll know where to start. Even if you’ve made a plan in the past, it’s always a good idea to take an inventory of your supplies, freshen up your stored items and review you things like evacuation plans, fire drills and emergency contact info. Get it on your calendar now so you’ll be sure to get it done.
Adulting Goals for the New Year
Setting a goal to have a conversation about all your grown up needs like getting insurance, procuring your legal documents and preparing for an emergency is one of the best things you can do to finally have peace of mind. Don’t leave the assets you’ve worked hard to acquire and your loved ones unprotected. Get these adulting goals for the new year done today!
Contact us today and we’ll help you figure out the insurance part at least!