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Tip of the Week

Financial Check-ups

Perhaps you are an experienced financial planner. Maybe you have taken a close look at your monthly spending, created a budget, prioritized your debt, and have even started planning for emergencies. Your home office is in order, your bills are organized, and documents you no longer need have been shredded. Your income taxes are filed and you have put your refund into savings. In the spirit of Financial Literacy Month, we are focusing this week on ways to sustain your financial well-being — protecting your assets.

Like exercise, financial fitness requires ongoing maintenance. Consider these insurance check-ups, created by financialliteracymonth.com, on routine tasks to help keep your insurance up to date:

  • Perform a health insurance check-up. Find out exactly what services are covered and learn what preventive services are offered while performing your health insurance check-up. Ask if there limits on medical tests, out-of-hospital care, mental health care, and prescription drugs. Research your premiums and co-payments. Find out if there a limit to the maximum you would pay out-of-pocket.
     
  • Perform an auto insurance check-up. Auto insurance pays for damages, injuries and other losses specifically covered by your policy. Most states require vehicle owners to purchase liability insurance, which covers bodily injury and property damage. Read your policy carefully while performing your auto insurance check-up to know exactly what it covers. Pay special attention to the exclusions section.
     
  • Obtain adequate life insurance. The life insurance coverage offered by your employer may not be enough. Realistically determine how much life insurance you need and then shop around. Term insurance is the most affordable type of life insurance, just be sure that the term lasts until your children are financially self-sufficient.
     
  • Don’t skimp on disability insurance. At any given age, your chances of becoming disabled are higher than your chances of dying. If your employer does not offer group disability insurance, seek an individual policy.
     
  • Protect your assets. You don’t need to have a lot of assets to need a will. Most importantly, a will allows you name guardians for your children. Without a will, state law determines how your assets will be distributed. Keep your will in a secure location, such as a fireproof filing cabinet or safety deposit box.

If you haven’t already, click here to take the financial literacy pledge, the first step towards a better financial life. 14,490 people have taken it so far. There is valuable information on the website for everyone, no matter what their finances look like currently.

Additional Resources:

Life Insurance Basics: An article to help you determine what types of insurance you really need

Gaps in Your Coverage: Just because you have insurance, doesn’t mean you are properly covered

Comparing Life Insurance Policies: The first step to protecting yourself is knowing what you want

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Montana Credit Unions for Community Development (or MCUCD) is the award-winning, charitable arm of the Montana Credit Union Network. A state-wide nonprofit organization, MCUCD works together with the state's credit unions to improve the lives and financial independence of all Montanans.