Life can throw you a number of curveballs at any moment. If not prepared, you may find yourself scrambling to find money and services to weather the storm. In some cases, your unpreparedness can become the reason why you’ll experience unwanted stress and expenses. Because you’re pressured to make a decision during an emergency, you’ll end up hiring or working with overpriced contractors who only provide low-quality services.
Fortunately, you can prevent any of these from happening if you start being proactive instead of being reactive. Practicing the former means looking for services the moment you need them. Being prepared all the time will make it easy for you to save money and sail through life’s unpredictability.
According to a recent Bankrate study, “More than one-third of households, 34 percent, endured a major unexpected expense over the past year.” The study also found that a $1,000 unexpected expense could be devastating. These numbers speak a lot about how unprepared people usually are and how they are pressured to spend money on the spot the moment an emergency arises.
Are you ready for the unexpected? Do you have the money or the services on hand when it counts? Here are 10 services you should have at the ready before you need it.
1. Homeowners insurance
Homeowners’ insurance is a must. It can be your saving grace after a disaster or theft. Home insurance is also a valuable asset for accidents in your home.
“The protections offered by a homeowner’s insurance policy may serve as a safety net if the unexpected occurs,” according to Allstate. As soon as you buy a home, your first call should be for homeowners’ insurance. You just never know what can happen.
Your home is one of the most important and expensive investments you can make in life. Without a homeowner’s insurance, this investment can easily go down the drain. Protect your investment and make sure that you’ll get to enjoy it for the longest time possible by getting a homeowner’s insurance first.
2. 401(k) Retirement Plan
You have most likely heard about a 401(k), but do you have one? Employers often offer this type of retirement investment, and they will match the amount you choose to invest.
Most 401(k) plans are flexible with fee visibility and investment limits indexed to inflation. A 401(k) can also be vital to a comfortable retirement.
Did you know half of Americans have no retirement savings? It is essential to get a 401(k) or some other form of savings ready before you need it. The sooner you get a retirement plan, the more money you can enjoy once you become unemployed because of old age or age-related medical conditions.
On the topic of savings, do you have an emergency fund? Most people don’t, and this could cause serious problems when unexpected expenses pop up. Having money set aside for an emergency is a self-service to have in place before you need it.
For example, if you lose your job, how long can you survive before you get a new one? Or if a major health issue arises, how will you pay for it? Ideally, your emergency fund should cover at least six months of your expenses. This amount will allow you to survive even if you were suddenly laid off from your job or got involved in an accident that prohibits you from working.
“Typically, it’s recommended to have a stash equivalent to 3 to 6 months of salary,” explained Simon Moore, Chief Investment Officer at Moola. “This money should be accessible, but not so accessible that you fritter it away on day-to-day expenses.”
4. A Life Insurance Policy
Life insurance is definitely a must if you have a family that depends on you. Unlike other insurance policies, it ensures life, rather than possessions. The money from a life insurance policy can be valuable in the event of a death.
Some life insurance policies can also give you a surge of cash once you reach an age when you don’t earn as much, or become retired.
5. Attorney At Law
Accidents, death settlements, personal injury lawsuits, and a variety of other legal issues will eventually come up in a person’s life. Having an attorney you trust beforehand makes these legal issues easier to manage.
“Trust your case to a lawyer who can craft and execute the best legal strategy for your unique case,” JR Reyna, a personal injury attorney explained.
Having an attorney is definitely a service you want in your pocket before you need it. The last thing you want to do is rush to find an attorney after an accident or legal issue arises.
6. Umbilical Cord Blood Bank
This one may seem a bit odd, but it could be a service that literally saves your future son or daughter’s life one day. What is an umbilical cord blood bank? This is a service that will take your baby’s umbilical cord immediately after birth and store it.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, “The transformation of these cells provides doctors with a way to treat leukemia and some inherited health disorders.”
Umbilical cord blood can be used to treat a number of diseases, like Leukemia. This is a service many parents to be may be considering, and it is definitely a service you want before you need it.
7. Offshore Bank Account
As the financial woes of many countries continue, it may be time to start looking at offshore bank accounts. These types of savings accounts offer plenty of benefits, especially for those who make international investments.
One of the most appealing aspects of offshore accounts is security. No matter what happens to your country’s banking system, your funds will be safe and secure. Another benefit is saving money on deposits and investments.
8. Business Line of Credit
If you own a business, especially a small business, you should have a business line of credit in place. It is also best to have a line of credit ready if something unexpected hits your business.
“With a business line of credit, you can borrow up to a certain limit — say, $100,000 — and pay interest only on the portion of the money that you borrow,” Steve Nicastro of Nerd Wallet explained.
This is a service that allows business owners to get a surge of cash when they need to cover day-to-day expenses or expand.
9. A Health Insurance Plan
Do you know how much a trip to the emergency room costs? According to a National Institute of Health (NIH) study, the cost of an emergency room visit can range between $1,200 to nearly $3,000.
These high costs make getting health insurance before you need is a must. Yes, monthly payments could be high. However, a trip to the emergency room and any long stay at the hospital could cost tens of thousands of dollars.
A Health Insurance plan can be very useful in times of medical emergencies. Aside from covering most of your expenses in the emergency room, a health insurance plan can also help you save a lot of money when you avail caregiving services, such as those offered by Tandem Careplanning. Looking for a Health Insurance plan should be done as soon as possible, not when you’re already aging or sick.
10. Investment Property
Many people looking to invest their money for long-term gain are looking to investment properties. This is mainly due to the volatility of the stock market.
Not only will you be securing a future investment gain, but you will also be accumulating monthly income from renters. Sometimes renters can literally pay your investment property for you over time.
Are You Ready for the Unexpected?
There are many services you need to have in place before life’s unexpected moments happen. From home theft to automobile accidents, being proactive about your life, health, and assets is essential. Do you have what you need to overcome unforeseen issues?