You may feel like your finances are in order right now, but would you be ready if an unexpected problem with your life home, medical expenses, or unemployment arises?
Here are a few ways every woman can be financially prepared for whatever comes their way.
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Be Informed About Your Current Financial Situation
If you don’t usually manage the finances of the household, audit your family’s financial accounts.
“Make sure you know where all your accounts are held,” said Samantha Melting, head of consumer bank Synchrony. “[Take note of] account numbers, current balance and payment amounts, and how to access accounts – passwords, user IDs, website address, etc. This includes bank, retirement and insurance accounts.
Melting recommends that you keep a record of this information in a safe place.
“It becomes very important if someone else, such as your partner or spouse, is dealing with your financial issues and you are suddenly trying to resolve it during a difficult time,” he said. “I was not prepared for the loss of my husband, who was managing our financial affairs, and that was very difficult to understand after the event and added to my grief.”
Create an Emergency Fund
Another important way to prepare for an unexpected life event is to have an emergency fund that can help you weather the financial effects of the event without having to go into debt. Ideally, you should have three to six months of living expenses saved up in an emergency fund.
To help your money grow faster, consider investing your money in a certificate of deposit. While traditional certificates of deposit charge you a penalty for withdrawing money before the CD expires, Synchrony’s option gives you access to your funds with impunity, which is especially useful if you need money to cover an unexpected expense.
Another option for your emergency fund is a high yield savings account. This account has no minimum balance or deposit requirements and no monthly fees.
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Develop a Estate Plan
It is important to create an estate plan to be prepared for the unexpected loss of a partner.
“Have a plan, a will, or estate plan explaining the transfer of wealth and assets,” said Hilary Fiorella, executive director of The American College Center for Women in Financial Services. “Make sure you have a living will, a power of attorney, and a permanent power of attorney for any healthcare needs.”
Reassess Your Financial Goals
After any life-changing event, it’s important to get your finances back in order so you’re ready for the next turn.
“It’s time to reset your financial goals to reflect your new life,” Melting said.
This is especially true if you have experienced the loss of a partner.
“If you’re the only one saving for retirement now, are you saving enough for retirement? How will your lifestyle need to adapt to a possible loss of income?” Meltdown said. “It’s time to evaluate your spending, savings and investments to achieve your short and long term goals.”
After a major life change, it can be helpful to seek professional guidance.
“You may be comfortable making these decisions on your own, but it’s okay to seek help from experts to help you come up with a plan that works for you,” Melting said. “This may be a stressful time in your life, but making this investment in yourself now will strengthen your future financial success.”
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This article was originally published on GOBankingRates.com: 4 Ways Women Can Prepare Their Financial Situations for Unexpected Events That Will Change Their Lives
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