|Interview: Jean Chatzky
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ways to prepare for crises
Besides having an emergency fund, what are some ways that people can financially prepare for common crises, such as job loss or a large medical expense?
think part of the planning is making sure that you're
properly insured. That means going through the list
of coverages -- do you have the right type and amount
of health insurance? Life insurance? Most of the people
reading this will not have disability insurance and
many of them should. It's expensive but if you can
buy it through your employer, it's often something
that you can afford.
Do you have a will? 70 percent of people
don't have wills, which means that a lot of parents
of young children don't have wills and haven't named
guardians for their minor children. You need a will
when you have dependents, or if you have an object
that you care about where it goes to.
In your book, "You Don't Have to Be Rich,"
you talk about feng shuing your finances. Would you
explain what that means as it relates to emergency
terms of finances in general, I don't know if it does
relate directly to emergency funds, but what I do
know is that people who have an organizational system
for their finances are much happier. When they need
to put their fingers on an important piece of paper,
they can do it very quickly and without a big headache.
So it saves them time and money. This is not telling
people they have to go out and hire a professional
organizer. It's not telling them that they have to
drop a hundred dollars or two on organizing tools.
All I'm saying is that you need a filing system that
you understand, so that if you're across the country,
and you need to call home and say to your spouse,
"I need you to find the last three statements
from our brokerage account," here's where you
can pinpoint exactly where they are, and somebody
else can find them for you.