6 Money Worries and How to Face Your Biggest Financial Fears

Boo! Halloween can be fun if you enjoy dressing up or seeing others dress up. It’s also a season when some people like to “scare themselves” with scary costumes, movies, Stephen King novels, and haunted houses! The truth is, many people enjoy being temporarily frightened—a phenomenon confirmed by science. Of course, a scary movie or haunted house is just make-believe, and we know it will be over soon. On the other hand, money worries and financial fears aren’t so fun—especially if you don’t know how to make them stop!

Your money worries may make you feel like hiding under the bed. But knowing how to face them can help you regain a sense of peace and control. Today, we look at some of the biggest financial fears, and how to deal with them constructively!

How to Stop Worrying About Money in Retirement

a woman with money worries holds up her few remaining bills

In survey after survey, running out of money is usually one of the top money worries of baby boomers and retirees. It’s not an unfounded fear, given that 37% of Americans admit they’re not saving for retirement, while 39% of those people say they have a $0 balance, according to a recent Anytime Estimate Retirement Finances Survey.

If you want to know how to stop worrying about money in retirement, here are some steps to take:

First, save a larger percentage of your income.

We recommend saving 15% to 20%. If that seems far-fetched, start where you are and increase it each year, even if it’s 2% of your income. Another way to save more efficiently is to increase your savings when you get a raise, when you pay off a car loan, or after paying off a credit card.

If you’d like to gamify your savings and learn how to save first, our Prosperity Pledge is going to include access to an exclusive savings app called Currence.

Second, plan on working longer.

Perhaps you’ll work part-time or seasonally, yet reconsider retiring at 65. It’s an arbitrary number that only makes people feel like they “should” be ready to retire—even if they’re not! Plus, work can add purpose and meaning to our lives, giving us a reason to get up in the morning along with a social circle.

Even if you can afford to retire at 65, consider how you can keep using your gifts and making a contribution, perhaps through volunteering.

Time to rethink retirement? Kim Butler’s book, Busting the Retirement Lies has seven steps and many inspirational stories to help you design a future you’ll love.

How to Stop Worrying That You’ll Never Retire

If you don’t enjoy your work, then working longer than you planned can be a scary thought! But many of us think about work and retirement all wrong. We think that retirement is the “reward” we get for doing work we don’t enjoy! But if you don’t enjoy what you do, why would you want to keep doing it until you are 65 or 70?

The key is to find work that you love. After all, your most valuable asset is your time. It is the only asset that can’t be renewed or replaced. With that in mind, spend your time doing work that you enjoy. Find work that you absolutely love, and you won’t want to give it up! The longer you work, the less time you can spend worrying about money.

Find What You Love to Stop Worrying About Money

The most successful people love their work. They have no desire to retire, although they may cut back and spend more time traveling and visiting loved ones. Many people also find work in their later years to be more profitable and rewarding. After all, they are benefiting from a lifetime of experience! Did you know that Warren Buffett made the majority of his wealth after age 66? (See this MarketWatch chart.)

You’re Never Too Old to Invest in Yourself

Many people use their “retirement” to launch a new career or freelance business, doing something they’ve always wanted to do! We’ve met authors, coaches, bakers, consultants, artists, professional speakers, and travel coordinators. The possibilities are endless! The key is discovering what you love to do.

And of course, follow our tip above to save more. That will ensure that when you DO wish to retire, you can!

Some resources to help you reinvent yourself:

Tammi Brannan helps people discover their unique purpose and path through the “Blueprint Process.” It’s not traditional “career counseling…” we think it’s better! (Tammi is also Kim Butler’s sister and a popular speaker at our advisor conference each year.)

Udacity.com offers “nano degrees” in many rising fields, including programming and AI.

How to Stop Worrying About the Stock Market

This is a very rational financial fear, given that the market is always fluctuating! While it feels great when there’s a bull market, the issue is that is can’t stay that way forever. And while it can’t stay a bear market, either, the losses have a far more significant impact on accounts than the gains.

In Preparation for a Crash, Reallocate Assets

If you’re anticipating a market crash and you’re worrying about money, consider reallocating your assets into places with more certainty. Life insurance may be a good place for you to reallocate some assets, because it’s protected from the stock market. In fact, any money you contribute is guaranteed not to decrease, unless you withdraw it. That means you can save into it without fear, and it will earn interest and dividends, too!

Some of other non-correlated assets we love include:

Cash

If you’re worrying about money, you may be better off with a savings account until the storm is over! This doesn’t mean you have to hold your money there forever, yet it can help you weather the storm, at least for a time until you feel more confident. You can even consider whole life insurance like your cash savings, since it’s also secure and liquid.

Non-Correlated Alternative Investments

Right now is a smart time to invest outside of the stock market. Learn about these assets (which are immune to market fluctuations) in this article: “Crash Proof Your Portfolio with Non-Correlated Alternative Assets.”

There are MANY ways to diversify your portfolio and invest outside of the stock market. If you would like a complimentary consultation to see which strategies and vehicles might make sense for your situation, email welcome@prosperitythinkers.com with “Consultation Request” in the subject line.

How to Stop Worrying About a Real Estate Downturn

This is also a very reasonable fear! Real estate can be a wonderful alternative investment, but right now, both stocks and real estate may be in bubbles. Seasoned real estate investors are concerned that prices in some markets have peaked. Finding rentals that can generate healthy cash flow has also become increasingly difficult. (In fact, it’s just been difficult for homeowners to buy homes in this competitive seller’s market.)

Proceed with Caution in Real Estate

This is NOT a good time to speculate with land or try to “flip” houses. There are still some situations where buying may make sense—yet only if the math works. I.e.: don’t buy for appreciation, buy for cash flow. The market is very overvalued at the moment, and homes are in short supply.

Three real estate moves we like right now:

Stop Paying Rent

If you can stop paying your landlord and instead purchase a home with comparable mortgage payments and a low down payment, it’s a win.

Cash-Flowing Rental Real Estate…

…in markets with a strong job market. If the numbers are solid and you’re buying for the long term and not for appreciation, this could be a good move.

Oil and Gas Leases

These are short-term secured opportunities that offer excellent cash flow. You can learn more about this in our article, “Is Investing in Oil a Good Idea.”

How to Stop Feeling Unprepared

Unfortunately, many families are indeed unprepared for a financial emergency. According to a survey cited in MoneyTips.com, 70% of Americans don’t have a life insurance policy—including 75% of millennial parents! If you have dependents who count on you and no life insurance—please put “life insurance” on your highest priority “to-do” list today.

Of course, life insurance doesn’t just protect dependents. It replaces income for widowed spouses, protects businesses, equalizes estates, provides legacy gifts, and offers living benefits. Many consumers think of life insurance as “death insurance,” but a good policy can offer:

  • Tax-advantaged savings
  • Collateral for personal or business loans
  • Long-term care insurance benefits
  • Critical or terminal illness benefits
  • Even benefits in the event of disability.

Ready to face your fears of mortality?

Skip the haunted house and schedule an appointment with Kim Butler. Kim is a recognized expert in high cash value whole life insurance (which can offer all the benefits above). Her firm also offers convertible term insurance, which is affordable for young families and can be converted to whole life.

How to Stop Worrying About Medical Bills

According to Fool.com, medical bills are at least a contributing cause of many bankruptcies in the United States. Medical debt is a serious problem for those facing it.

There are two important ways to protect yourself from unmanageable medical bills:

First, Get Healthcare Coverage Proactively.

Many Americans either get health insurance from an employer or live without it. Some people qualify for subsidized policies under the ACA (Affordable Care Act), while others struggle to make the new higher premium payments for ACA-approved policies. Sometimes, people assume they can’t afford coverage. Yet alternatives are available.

Temporary healthcare insurance is surprisingly affordable, and now it can be obtained for up to one year and renewed for three. This type of insurance won’t help those with chronic pre-existing conditions, but it can be perfect for young, healthy people who were priced out of Obamacare policies and don’t have benefits through work.

Another alternative gaining popularity is medical cost sharing plans offered by various religious organizations. There are typically some restrictions on what the plans cover and they may not be a “fit” for you. However, they have provided a welcome solution for many families.

If you are 65 or older, you’ll want to get informed about your Medicare options. People often incorrectly assume it covers all medical bills, or they fail to sign up for the best option. According to Dr. Katy Votava of Goodcare.com (a consultancy firm we recommend for healthcare advice), 9 out of 10 Medicare beneficiaries pay more out-of-pocket for their medical care than necessary.

Second, Take Charge of Your Health

Replace junk food and other negative habits with healthy ones. Add fresh fruits, vegetables, exercise, and gratitude to your daily routine. Use new technology such as the Oura Ring to get a better night’s sleep.

The correlation between health and wealth is undeniable, and the relationship is something of an upward spiral. According to a Time.com article, “Why Healthier Means Wealthier,” healthy people earn as much as three times more than people with poor health. Healthy people are not likely to be forced into early retirement and also deplete their savings more slowly (having fewer medical bills).

And remember—stress is not good for your health! So take positive action on your financial fears rather than ignoring them.

How to Stop Worrying About Money

Unlike imaginary monsters under the bed, ignoring problems won’t make them go away. While this might seem obvious, many people procrastinate when it comes to financial matters. If you want to stop worrying about money, you have to take some proactive steps. It will take time and hard work, yet you CAN do it.

Let this Halloween fright season be a reminder to face your fears—especially your biggest financial fears. It’s time to stop avoiding important things. Taking action now can bring peace of mind and help you avoid a real “horror story” later.

Need help? Prosperity Thinkers is here to assist you with:

  • Life insurance
  • Savings
  • Money methods
  • Or simply when you have a question or need a sounding board.

We look forward to serving you!

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