Smart Woman’s Cheat Sheet For The Unexpected
Any smart woman knows whether she is established financially or struggling to make ends meet, she can still learn to manage her money more effectively. Everyone knows how important it is to have money in savings for a rainy day. The rule of thumb is to have at least enough to cover three month’s worth of expenses.
The best way to achieve this goal is to create a budget that you can comfortably live with. You may want to look at cutting back on expenses. Do you really need cable tv, that $4 a day coffee habit, or that weekly night out with the girls at that expensive restaurant? You could be spending thousands of dollars a year that could go into your savings plan. It’s important to be extremely intentional about spending and saving money.
No one wants to think about difficult times, but smart women know they are a fact of life. When planning your finances, it’s important to think about the unexpected such as a job loss or an illness. Would your current financial picture be able to sustain you during these difficult times? We now know that the average person will change jobs 5-7 times during the life of their career.
This will sometimes be a choice and other times the employee will be laid off or fired. It takes a job-seeker anywhere from 3-6 months to find a new job. How fast a job-seeker finds a new job can also depend on the state of the current economy. If you experienced a job loss, would you have enough in savings to support your standard of living until you found a new job? Many people would not be able to. They would have to rely on unemployment insurance or if they were lucky, a severance payout from their former employer. Having significant savings could help alleviate some of the financial stress of unemployment.
Worse than a job loss is an accident or sudden illness. To a large extent, good health insurance will cover most medical expenses. But what about the day-to-day living expenses? Not only would you need a good health insurance plan but a good savings plan in place for your non medical expenses.
Also, short-term and long-term disability plans can help ease the burden of being incapacitated. Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) is another option. SSDI eligibility will depend on several factors. If you’re only ill for a short while, hopefully you have short-term disability insurance through your employer or a private carrier. A long illness would require long-term disability. A long-term disability insurance policy will pick up where short-term disability stops. A long-term policy can pay up to 60%of the insured’s salary. Not having long-term coverage in the event of a disability can be extremely devastating.
Social Security Disability
Even if you are a smart woman and have a solid amount of savings in place, an illness or tragic accident would be life-changing personally and financially. Having a large amount of savings set aside will definitely help during this time. But what if your medical situation turns into a long-term illness? Your savings will probably be eventually depleted. At this point, Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) could help.
To be eligible for SSDI, you must have been employed a specific number of years and paid into Social Security. Social Security taxes are withheld from your paycheck. A specific number of work credits will be required. Social Security will look at past earnings to make sure you have enough credits to be insured. If you become disabled and have not worked the required years and meet the income requirements, you may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
You also have to meet certain medical conditions. Your condition must meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of disability. In terms of disability, severe means that the condition you have interferes with your work-related tasks. It also means your condition has lasted one year or is expected to last one year. There is also total disability. Total disability means you aren’t able to do “substantial gainful activity ” for up to one year.
After Social Security approves your application, there is a five-month waiting period. You will not receive benefits until you have been disabled for five full months. In many cases, it can take up to a year to start receiving benefits. You can continue receiving SSDI as long as you are unable to work. Your file will be reviewed by the Social Security Administration every one-three years to determine continued eligibility.
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?
That we have to all appreciate the little things and to not take anything for granted.
2. What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate within yourself and/or life?
I’m blessed to have loving family and friends in my life.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? And what makes YOU most proud? Any goals and dreams that you still have?
Graduating from Arizona State University in 2013
4. We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth–we are all perfectly imperfect. What imperfections and quirks create who you are–your Identity?
Nobody’s perfect and it’s been hard to accept it. I’ve learned to embrace my curly hair, my curves and my quirky personality.
5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my unwavering intensity. Everything I do is 100 percent.