5 Things That Destroy Financial Peace

Financial peace. What is it really? The challenge many of us have today is the fact that not only do we not have financial peace, we often don’t know where to start or even areas that might be unconsciously destroying our peace. In other words, often the problem is you don’t know what you don’t know. That however, doesn’t keep your mind from feeling that something is wrong…something is missing.

In order to start ourselves down the path towards financial peace, we must take a look at some of the areas that are keeping us from it. I have listed 5 things that destroy our financial peace below:

 

  1. Healthcare and Medicare planning – What happens if someone gets sick and is unable to pay their medical bills? This question is scary within itself, but with the recent changes in the healthcare laws, it’s even scarier. Not even Congress seems to understand what the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, is and how it will affect the rest of us. Obviously, this causes some people to become very concerned about themselves and their health and the health and well-being of their aging parents. Moreover, people are concerned that the changes in the healthcare industry could have damaging long-run problems that will affect their children and grandchildren. Have you read the recent healthcare law? Have you thought about how it will affect you and future generations? It’s very scary, isn’t it?
  2. Retirement Security – Everyone would love to be able to retire with confidence that they will have enough money to live on and provide at least something for future generations. But even if the right plan is in place, your money is nickel and dimed to death by the Federal Government, bill collectors, the market, and anyone else who wants a dime. What is worse is that you will lose money over time due to inflation. I have heard horror stories of how hard-earned money can vanish so quickly and how retirees cannot financially sustain themselves. For example, my wife’s grandmother and great grandmother lived in a mobile home that is not even 20 feet long. They live on about $11,000 a year with no savings and must take care of each other to get by. This is reality for many, many people. Even though security is most people’s number one financial goal, it’s often not achieved. How do you feel about it for you?
  3. Asset Planning – This includes protecting a person’s automobiles, homes, personal property, and so on. Often, people assume a simple insurance policy from just about anywhere would secure their assets. But insurance companies are not the commodity like we often think. In fact, many insurance companies now specialize in certain types of coverage and market to specific ages or incomes. The reality is that having the wrong coverage or the wrong company can be a devastating mistake if something were to happen to your assets. This is why we always hear on television how someone did not receive what they were entitled to, or thought they were entitled to, from their insurance company. Protecting our homes, autos, valuable personal items, boats, RVs, and so on, is and should be a major form of financial concern. The last thing you want is to be paying a debt on something you don’t even own. Isn’t it a scary thought that you could lose your hard-earned assets just because you did not have proper coverage?
  4. Tax Planning – If you are like most people, you don’t mind paying Uncle Sam, but you just want to make sure you are not overpaying. Jesus said to render to Caesar what is Caesar’s, but He never said to render to Caesar what is not Caesar’s. H & R Block did a study in 2007 which found that 80% of tax returns were filled out improperly and 98% of these errors were in favor of the IRS. The wealthy are often able to avoid some taxes through deductions and loopholes. They are not so much practicing tax evasion, which is illegal, but tax avoidance, which is legal, and a concept we should all take advantage of in the best way we can. One of our clients was left with several hundred thousand dollars when her husband had passed away. She lived modestly for just a few years, and then opened an account statement which said that all but $25,000 of her money was gone! Most of it went to the government and market losses because it was not given the proper treatment. A better understanding of the tax code would have avoided at least some of this. When was the last time you read the tax code?
  5. Final Expenses and Inheritance – The last thing we want to do is leave a pile of debt behind to our families. Wouldn’t you agree? There are people who live financially secure lives and enjoy retirement, but end up leaving their family in debt when they pass on. Proverbs 13:21 says that a good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children. We never know when our time will come, but there are some basic financial needs that come with our death whether we die prematurely or at a ripe old age. One study found that there are over 200 cash needs upon a person’s death. Most of these are things that people do not think of, and these are the things that cost us the most! The thing is, everyone leaves a legacy, but not everyone’s legacy is good. I know that I do not want my legacy to be my family mourning over my grave thinking about what kind of debt I left behind for them to pay. Do you? I know that I would rather be the man described in Proverbs who leaves them an inheritance. With the great uncertainty in our economy’s future, making sure our family is taken care of after our death is important.

 


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