Getting Your Life in Order: Why You Should Not Put This Off Until Tomorrow

To lead a fulfilling life, it’s important to have a sense of purpose, good physical and mental health, meaningful relationships, financial stability, personal growth, and a balance between work and leisure. However, what you need for your life can vary from person to person based on individual values and goals. It goes beyond these basic concepts. Really you need to consider financial as well as long term goals and how to prepare – in case of an emergency. 

A few items that help to get your life in order. 

Having a will is important for several reasons:

1. Asset Distribution: A will allows you to specify how your assets and property should be distributed after your death. This ensures that your wishes are followed and can help prevent disputes among family members. 

2. Guardianship: If you have minor children, a will lets you designate a guardian to care for them if you and the other parent are unable to do so. Without a will, the court may make this decision on your behalf. 

3. Executor Choice: You can name an executor in your will, someone you trust to manage your estate and carry out your wishes. This simplifies the legal process after your passing. 

4. Avoid Intestacy Laws: Without a will, your estate may be subject to intestacy laws, which vary by jurisdiction. This could result in assets being distributed in a way you wouldn’t have chosen. 

5. Peace of Mind: Having a will provides peace of mind, knowing that your affairs are in order and your loved ones are taken care of according to your wishes.

Overall, a will is a crucial document that helps ensure your legacy and assets are handled as you desire, and it simplifies matters for your loved ones during a difficult time. More information on why you need a will located on Nerd Wallet .

The next thing to consider is life insurance 

Life insurance is important for several reasons:

1. Financial Protection: Life insurance provides a financial safety net for your loved ones in case you pass away. It can help cover living expenses, pay off debts, and provide for your family’s financial needs. 

2. Debt Repayment: If you have outstanding debts like a mortgage, car loans, or student loans, life insurance can ensure that your family doesn’t inherit these financial burdens. 

3. Income Replacement: If your income contributes significantly to your family’s finances, life insurance can replace that income, helping your family maintain their standard of living. 

4. Funeral and End-of-Life Expenses: Life insurance can cover funeral and burial expenses, which can be substantial, relieving your family from the financial burden during a difficult time. 

5. Estate Planning: Life insurance can be used as an estate planning tool to provide liquidity for estate taxes or to leave a financial legacy to beneficiaries. 

6. Peace of Mind: Knowing that your loved ones are financially protected in the event of your passing can provide peace of mind and reduce stress for you and your family.

The specific reasons for getting life insurance can vary depending on your personal circumstances and financial goals, but it generally serves as a valuable tool to protect your family’s financial well-being in case of unforeseen events.

If you are interested in life insurance with no medical exam – Fabric by Gerber Life is a great option. They are life insurance with no medical exam and cheap term life insurance!

Emergency Fund

The amount of money needed for an emergency fund can vary from person to person based on individual circumstances, but a general guideline is to aim for three to six months’ worth of living expenses. This fund is designed to cover essential costs in case of unexpected events like medical emergencies, job loss, or car repairs.

However, the ideal size of your emergency fund depends on factors such as:

1. Income Stability: If your job is less secure, you might want a larger emergency fund. 

2. Family Size: Having dependents may necessitate a larger fund. 

3. Healthcare Costs: If you have high medical expenses, you might need more savings. 

4. Debt: If you have significant debt, it’s a good idea to have a larger fund to avoid adding to your debt in emergencies. 

5. Industry and Job Market: Some industries and job markets are more stable than others. Consider your industry’s stability when deciding on the size of your fund. 

6. Risk Tolerance: Some people prefer a larger cushion for peace of mind, while others may be comfortable with a smaller fund.

It’s essential to assess your own situation and create an emergency fund that makes you feel secure and covers your essential expenses in times of crisis. Starting with a smaller fund and gradually building it over time is a practical approach if you’re unsure how much you need.

More on debt and budgeting with Dave Ramsey

Home Ownership (have 20% for down payment or be saving for it)

Putting down a 20% down payment when buying a house is often considered a good idea for several reasons:

1. Lower Monthly Payments: A larger down payment reduces the principal amount you need to finance, resulting in lower monthly mortgage payments. This can make homeownership more affordable. 

2. Lower Interest Costs: With a larger down payment, you’ll likely qualify for a better interest rate on your mortgage. Over the life of the loan, this can save you a significant amount of money. 

3. No Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): Many lenders require PMI if your down payment is less than 20% of the home’s purchase price. Avoiding PMI can save you hundreds of dollars per month. 

4. Equity Buildup: A larger down payment means you start with more equity in your home. This can provide a buffer against market fluctuations and give you a better chance of building wealth through property appreciation. 

5. Improved Loan Approval Odds: A 20% down payment can make you a more attractive borrower to lenders, increasing your chances of loan approval. 

6. Financial Security: By saving for a substantial down payment, you demonstrate financial discipline and are less likely to become “house poor” – a situation where a significant portion of your income goes toward housing costs.

While a 20% down payment is a good financial goal, it’s not always feasible for everyone. Many people buy homes with smaller down payments, such as 5% or 10%, and that’s acceptable as long as they understand the potential drawbacks, like higher monthly payments and the need for PMI. The right down payment amount depends on your financial situation and goals. 

More information buying a house through Ohio Department of Commerce. 

A Medical Power of Attorney (also known as a Healthcare Proxy or Healthcare Power of Attorney) is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so due to illness or incapacity. Here are some key points about a Medical Power of Attorney:

1. Agent or Proxy: In this document, you designate a trusted individual as your “agent” or “proxy.” This person is authorized to make healthcare decisions for you when you cannot, based on your wishes or their understanding of what you would want. 

2. Decision-Making Authority: Your designated agent can make decisions about medical treatments, procedures, and other healthcare matters. These decisions can include choices about surgery, medications, end-of-life care, and more. 

3. Legal Requirements: Medical Power of Attorney documents must meet specific legal requirements, which can vary by jurisdiction. It’s important to consult an attorney or use a reputable legal service to ensure that your document complies with your local laws. 

4. Advance Healthcare Directive: In some cases, a Medical Power of Attorney is part of an advance healthcare directive, which may also include a living will, where you can specify your preferences for certain medical treatments and end-of-life care. 

5. Choosing Your Agent: It’s crucial to choose an agent who understands your values and wishes regarding medical care. Discuss your healthcare preferences with your agent so they are well-informed when making decisions on your behalf. 

6. Revocable: You can typically revoke or change your Medical Power of Attorney at any time, as long as you are mentally competent. Be sure to inform your healthcare providers and family members of any changes.

A Medical Power of Attorney is a valuable legal tool to ensure that your medical wishes are honored when you are unable to make decisions for yourself. It provides peace of mind and helps your loved ones act in your best interests during challenging medical situations.

List of Passwords, Accounts and Information

Maintaining a master list of all your accounts and passwords is a responsible and practical practice for several reasons:

1. Security: Keeping a record of your account information allows you to create strong, unique passwords for each account. This helps protect your online identity and data from hacking and unauthorized access. 

2. Password Management: It simplifies password management. Instead of relying on memory or using the same password for multiple accounts, you can store and organize your passwords securely. 

3. Account Recovery: If you ever forget a password or need to recover a locked account, having a master list makes the process much more straightforward. It can save you time and frustration. 

4. Estate Planning: In case something happens to you, having a master list can be invaluable for your loved ones or executor to manage your digital assets and online accounts. 

5. Organization: It provides an organized and centralized way to keep track of your online presence, subscriptions, and memberships. This can help you streamline your digital life. 

6. Password Changes: Regularly changing passwords is a good security practice. A master list makes it easier to remember when and where you’ve updated your passwords.

However, it’s essential to keep your master list secure. Store it in a safe place, like a password manager, a locked physical document, or a secure digital file with strong encryption. Be cautious about sharing this information and update it regularly to reflect changes in your accounts and passwords.

As you end 2023, make sure to consider all of these items and make sure you have a plan in place to cover expenses, unintended circumstances, and have your affairs in order.

The last thing I recommend is writing your obituary. It seems a bit morbid; yet if there are people, things, ideas, or memories you want shared – include it in a folder for loved ones. When unforeseen circumstances occur, it is difficult for those around you to be able to think, be able to write, find pictures, and deal with all the things in the event of a passing.

If you make the plans now, hopefully you won’t need any of this until much later in life. When you are prepared, you typically don’t need any of this. 




A travel, home, & lifestyle blog written by Heidi Stevenson. Follow along for affordable ways to travel, sophisticated and savvy style, expensive looks for less for the home, and everyday style



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