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A Positive Offense Is The Best Defense

(Previously published in the Ponte Vedra Recorder, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida –May 7, 2015)

Let’s face it, we will all experience some sort of curveball at some point in our lives. It’s how we handle these challenges and how well we prepare for them that can make all the difference. I believe it’s best to prepare for life’s curveballs before we are in a time of crisis or family emergency. Proper planning is key.

Let’s start with the one issue that, like it or not, we will all have to deal with at some point. Death. Recent reports from the insurance industry show that Americans have never been as underinsured regarding life insurance as they are today. I recognize that some people seem to think they are invincible but, the truth is, people in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s die every day, often leaving families behind who are devastated by the loss of current income and future retirement savings their death represents. Life insurance is readily available, is less expensive and more flexible than ever before and has many new features available.

Another issue that can be devastating is a disability. Experts tell us that the likelihood of a permanent disability during our adult life is about five times the chance of a premature death yet very few people have insurance coverage that pays disability benefits for longer than 26 weeks. Many companies offer long-term disability coverage on a payroll deduction basis. It’s something well worth checking into.

Regarding loss of a job, you cannot buy insurance to pay you if you lose your job but you can do a couple of things that are almost as good. First, maintain an emergency fund of at least 6 months of expenses to cover the loss of income. Also, have some of your savings in after-tax accounts that you can draw upon without triggering taxes and penalties. And, watch how much debt you carry; in a time of limited income, too many fixed payments can really squeeze your budget.

What impact will a loss in the market have on your future? What if the market drops 40%? How long will it take you to recover the loss? We use investment strategies designed to lessen market losses; do you have this protection in your investment structure?

As I said before, I believe the best defense for life’s unforeseen events is a good offense and that starts with a solid financial plan. A good financial plan, reviewed and updated annually, is a great way to keep the cost (and worry) of unexpected events to a minimum. We would be honored to discuss your specific needs. Creating a financial plan that anticipates the possibility of unfortunate events and helps protect you & your family from possible dire consequences, can certainly be one of the most important things you can do.

Frederic “Ric” Schilling is a Florida native, born in Jacksonville, Fl. Ric is President of Senior Guardians of America, a local North Florida firm specializing in tax reduction, long term illness planning, asset protection, probate avoidance and life income planning. Ric is a National Speaker and Advocate on Senior Issues and has been featured by the Florida Times Union and WJXT, TV-4 in Jacksonville as an authority on Estate Planning and Retirement Issues. Senior Guardians has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member in excellent standing with the National Ethics Association. Contact Frederic : 904-371-3302 or 888-891-3381 Please visit: This article is not intended to give tax or legal advice. Securities offered through Center Street Securities, Inc.(CSS), a registered Broker-Dealer and Member of FINRA & SIPC. Senior Guardians is independent of CSS.