By Phyllis Keller
As a woman, I sometimes find myself not wanting to bother with financial planning, insurance and tax returns, just to name a few financial issues. I am married to a CPA, CFP® professional so this makes it easy for me to not get in the weeds on these matters.
However, I know I need to be as intelligent as I can be for many reasons. Many, many years ago, I felt I had no clue what insurance policies we had, what they covered, and what they paid out if and when. I even paid the bills but did not know any specifics. So my husband and I sat down and I forced myself to educate myself about our insurance.
You hope you wake up to another day, but if something had happened to my husband, I had to have the knowledge to carry on and the insurance would have been a major start. Do you have the right insurance for your needs?
We have an older daughter and triplets who are four years younger. They are all “adulting” now, but when they were born, we knew they would be in college at the same time so we needed to plan ahead. We immediately started saving for their college educations and calculated this into our annual budget.
Three graduated from college with no debt and some money left over and the fourth went out-of-state so her out-of-state tuition ate through all of her savings. But she had no debt. So from sound college planning, our children dodged the college debt bullet. Where are your college savings?
As baby boomers, we are entering “twilight years.” We stay active and healthy, but we have wills, power of attorneys, and directives to physicians and have made sure the beneficiaries are noted on our portfolio and bank accounts. I have to be prepared, as well as my husband, if something were to happen to one or both of us. As most, we have property and interests that we have the responsibility to maintain.
We also want no surprises for our children such as no will that would require time and effort in the probate process, and potentially have our assets distributed in a way that we did not approve of. They live all over the country and do not have time for our financial negligence. Do you have a will and estate documents?
So, as a woman, as much as I would prefer to keep my head in the sand, I have financially enlightened myself. This makes me prepared for most things life throws my way so I can carry on. I hope women take charge of their finances, call a Certified Financial Planner professional since October is Financial Planning Month, and understand what it would take for them to carry on.
Phyllis Keller is the Chief Information Officer for KMH Wealth Management, LLC and Keller & Associates CPAs PLLC.