Quad Cities, IL/IA

Working with the community... for a healthier community.

Good Financial Habits Made Better


Submitted by Modern Woodmen

Making smarter money resolutions

It’s been mere weeks since we toasted to 2013 and committed to those pesky New Year’s resolutions. In addition to promises of losing weight or becoming physically fit, many of us challenged ourselves to get fiscally fit.
Consider this your friendly reminder to keep working on those resolutions!
You may want to save more, spend less or gain more financial savvy. But you can make those resolutions even smarter and your results even better. Check out these simple tips to bring your good money resolutions to the next level. by Kim Woodward

Good: Putting a focus on your finances.
Better: Enlisting the help of an expert.

Many of us can benefit from a professional to help make sense of all the information out there. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by financial information from newspapers, television, and friends and family members.
When your car needs repair, you call your mechanic. When you’re sick, you visit your doctor. So when it’s time to fix your finances, it can help to call an expert – your Modern Woodmen financial representative. Your agent’s job is to help you plan for life and protect your family. He or she can look at your unique financial situation and help provide recommendations, in a similar way to how your medical doctor looks at your medical history before making a diagnosis.

Good: Creating a budget.
Better: Agreeing on a spending plan.

We all know that spending is more fun than budgeting. When you create an unrealistic budget to cut expenses, it’s hard to stick to it. Instead, think about your priorities and create a spending plan that is in line with your personal goals. Cut spending in areas that aren’t important to you. This keeps you from being a slave to your money and instead helps you realize what your money can do for you.

Good: Putting money aside for unforeseen expenses.
Better: Building an adequate emergency reserve fund.

The first step in building financial security is creating an emergency fund. This – coupled with adequate life insurance protection – builds a strong foundation for your family. Saving three to six months of expenses keeps you secure in the face of unforeseen circumstances – like layoffs, home repairs or medical emergencies. Every year, job loss or disability impacts millions of families – putting homes, family and the future in jeopardy.

Good:  Purchasing life insurance to pay for final expenses.
Better: Adding additional coverage to do more.

If something happens to you, the cost of a funeral can cause a financial burden for loved ones left behind. The cost of an average funeral in the United States can easily exceed $10,000, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
But there are many other expenses your family may face if you die unexpectedly. Life insurance protection can help pay medical bills, eliminate debt, protect a mortgage, provide liquidity, help children afford college and more. Purchasing coverage to pay for your funeral may not be enough.

Good: Starting to save for retirement.
Better: Creating a specific plan to reach your retirement goals.

Saying you will start saving and having a plan to meet your goals are two different things. Most people have good intentions about saving, but this isn’t always enough. Americans are living longer than ever, fewer companies are offering pension plans, and health-care costs continue to rise.

Sit down with your Modern Woodmen representative and consider the following questions:

  • Where do I want to be financially in 10 or 20 years?
  • How long do I have before I need to access my savings?
  • How much risk am I comfortable with?

This is the first step to structure a plan to get you where you need to be financially.

Let’s start the conversation. Contact Ruth Ahnen, FIC, of Modern Woodmen of America, located at 2435 E. Kimberly Rd., Suite 310S, in Bettendorf. Call 563-508-0842, or e-mail ruth.ahnen@mwarep.org.

Founded in 1883 as a fraternal benefit society, Modern Woodmen of America offers financial services and fraternal member benefits to individuals and families throughout the United States.