Introduction: Caring for Those Who Care for Us

Quick Take:

It's all about family. Why do we save and invest? Sure, we want to secure our own financial future. But we're also anxious to look after those we love.

They are the reason we head off to work each morning, save for college and pony up for the bigger house in the more desirable neighborhood. These are the folks we care for today, who will remember us after we're gone-and whom we are anxious to protect from all manner of threats.

What threats? We worry about losing our job. We fret about hefty unexpected expenses. We fear becoming disabled and being unable to work. We worry about medical costs. We're concerned about dying prematurely and leaving our family destitute. These are the things that keep us up at night-and which we need to protect against if we're going to be financially content today.

Fending off threats. Fortunately, there's a slew of ways to cope with life's financial threats. When faced with unbearably large risks, often the solution is to buy insurance. True, you may own some insurance policies for years and never collect a dime.

The fact is, there are some risks that are potentially so devastating that you just have to have insurance. Indeed, this is the reason you likely need disability insurance, medical insurance and life insurance.

Insurance, however, won't cover every eventuality, which is why you need a reservoir of cash that you can tap in a financial emergency. That might mean keeping a wad of money in a savings account, drawing on your home-equity line of credit or borrowing against your 401(k) plan.

As you look to protect your family, also make sure your estate is in order. That means getting a will, possibly setting up trusts, keeping your affairs well organized and making sure you have the right beneficiaries listed on your retirement accounts and life insurance.

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Source: Jonathan Clements, Director of Financial Guidance, Citi Personal Wealth Management.

The information provided is solely for informational purposes. It is not an offer to buy or sell any of the securities, insurance products, investments, or other products named.

A policy change may incur fees and costs and may also require a medical exam. Since life insurance is medically underwritten, you should not cancel your current policy until your new policy is in force. A change to your current policy may incur charges, fees and costs. A new policy will require a medical exam. Surrender charges may be imposed and the period of time for which the surrender charges apply may increase with a new policy. You should consult with your own tax advisors regarding your potential tax liability on surrenders.

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