Not many of us take the time to prepare for a life-changing event. We live our lives, take care of ourselves as best we can and don’t think about challenges that can occur.
If you have ever experienced a life-changing event, you shift your thinking and begin to look at life with caution and think about ways to prepare, because we know we are human and things happen when you least expect them.
I had this experience in 2014 when I was diagnosed with a Brain Tumor. My life changed in a matter of seconds. As a result, I have learned the importance of being prepared.
In this week’s post, I want to share some tips that I hope you will take to heart, share with your family, friends, and colleagues. If you have suggestions, please share in the message box so others can be aware.
- Make sure you have health insurance: If your employer offers health insurance as a benefit, sign up for it. Employee-sponsored health insurance is the most reasonable way to purchase healthcare insurance. If your employer does not offer you healthcare insurance, check out the Marketplace for a policy that you will give you coverage. The Healthcare Market Place was formed in 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act. Although the Affordable Care Act is under siege, it is still the law of the land and is available for people to gain healthcare insurance. An individual policy is expensive so shop around to see what is available in your state.
- Get your expenses under control. If you have high credit card debt try to consolidate your bills so you can get them under control. There are organizations to help you do this, so do some research.
- Know your income and expenses. Make a budget so you can know your expenses and have a plan to save on a regular basis. The earlier you do this, the better, but it never too late to start. My father was always making me a budget so I could pay my bills and learn how to save. I never really appreciate that, but his work has paid off in more ways than I ever imagined. There is a saying that says’ pay yourself first.’ Try to put money away for a ‘rainy day.’ Make yourself do this even if it is just a small amount. Having savings is critical for everyone whether it be To plan a vacation, buy a house or a car or pay unexpected medical bills.
- Think about setting up a ‘medical savings account.’ Having one will help you pay your deductibles and out of pocket costs. Today many people have high deductible health insurance plans and high out of pocket costs that need to be paid BEFORE your health insurance policy begins to provide coverage. If you have a terrible accident or are diagnosed with a medical condition, you will have to pay your deductible and any out of pocket costs BEFORE you receive care. Having a savings account that will allow you to pay these expenses will allow you to get the care you need.
- Check to see if your employer offers disability insurance. Many employers provide this type of a policy for their employees at a reasonable rate so check to see if your employer offers a policy. If so, sign up. Disability insurance will help you have an income if you are not able to work due to an injury or significant medical condition. Policies are activated in various ways, so make sure you understand what you are signing up for. Disability insurance will help ease financial hardship when you are injured or are hit with a severe medical condition.
- Get your advance directives in order. Advanced Directives allows for your wishes to be known to your loved ones in case you cannot express yourself. You can have your advance directives drawn up today and review them from time to time to make sure wishes are still the same as you age.
- Take the lead with your family and have a conversation as to what each of you wants to happen if you cannot speak for yourself. Ask someone to be your healthcare surrogate and also someone to be your financial surrogate. Get your paperwork in order and let your family know where your relevant documents are. Don’t wait for a crisis to occur. Share the information with your family so in case of a catastrophic event decisions can be made to meet your wishes. Hopefully, it will spur the members of your family to take the same action.
- Get your spiritual life up to date. Make peace with those you may be fighting with or have unresolved conflicts. Tell your family and friend how much they mean to you.
- If you have children, make sure they have healthcare coverage and are up to date on their vaccinations and other medical preventative tools we have in place as part of our wellness plan.
- Get your annual check-ups and take care of yourself – You are worth it!
I hope these 10 points help you, your family and friend to be prepared for the unexpected. If you think of another tip, please place in the message box so others can learn.
I hope you will review this post yourself and share with your family and friends.
Have a good week!
Anne, great points all the way around. I would add one thing. If you have adult children, age 18 or above, ask them for their advance directive and make certain you help them through the process. This is especially important for young adults leaving home to go to school or take a new job. After 18 you, as their parent, can’t see their health records or be told what is going on with them medically. If an issue occurs, having an advance directive will allow whomever is the healthcare agent to speak for them if they have an issue and cannot speak for themselves. It will also allow them to know what is going on medically. Do it now!!