Everyone knows you need a checkup now and then. You go to the doctor to get some bloodwork done. You go to the dentist to get your teeth cleaned.
Ah, but what about your money? When’s the last time you got a checkup for your bank account? How’s your pocketbook’s health these days?
Are you doing everything you can to improve your personal bottom line? Spoiler alert: You’re probably not, because almost no one is. There are specific steps you could be taking right now to put more money in your pocket.
That’s why it’s time for a financial wellness checkup. Call us the Money Doctor, because we’ve put together a list of important questions to ask yourself about your financial health.
Not all these questions may apply to you, but we know some of them will. That’s why you should make sure to read them all – you never know which one will make a real difference.
1. Are you getting pro help to grow your money?
To properly manage your money, work with a professional — it’s totally worth it. If you’re not doing this, you could be missing out on some serious financial gains.
A Vanguard study found that, on average, a hypothetical $500,000 investment over 25 years would grow to $1.7 million if you manage it yourself, but more than $3.4 million if you work with a financial adviser. That’s twice as much!
If you’ve got at least $100,000 in investments, check out a free service called SmartAsset. You fill out a short questionnaire and instantly get matched with up to three vetted financial advisers in your area, all legally bound to work in your best interests.
Even if you don’t want help picking investments, an adviser can help lower your tax burden, create a comprehensive financial plan for you, maximize your Social Security, and serve as a second pair of eyes to make sure you’re on the right track.
Please carefully review the methodologies employed in the Vanguard white paper, “Putting a value on your value: Quantifying Vanguard Advisor’s Alpha.”
2. Are you diversifying your savings?
Putting all your money in one place — stocks, bonds, crypto, whatever — is a recipe for losing wealth, not building it. Diversification is key to financial security. Here’s an easy way to start: Buy gold and/or other precious metals. Those investments typically do well when the stock market decides to tumble.
Be careful who you deal with, though. Not all gold dealers are on the up-and-up, and some of them are only too happy to sell you gold and silver at vastly inflated prices.
Oxford Gold Group, on the other hand, has a 4.7-star rating (out of five stars) on Trustpilot, where 96% of reviewers call the company “excellent” and 4% call it “great.” It also has an AA rating with the Business Consumer Alliance and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
They’ll allow you to invest in a gold IRA that adheres to IRS regulations. They also offer gold bars and coins, as well as silver (including silver IRAs), platinum and palladium.
If you’ve ever thought of investing in gold, give Oxford Gold a try.
3. Are you paying 25% interest on a credit card?
The average credit card interest rate these days is approaching 25% — a record high. Sounds like what a loan shark would charge, doesn’t it?
Never borrow recklessly, but when it’s time, do it right. Take advantage of much lower rates by borrowing against your home. Use that low-interest loan to fix up your house, to pay off high-interest debt or for any other purpose (besides financing a lifestyle you can’t afford).
Qualify for a rate of 6%, and you’ll be able to borrow $25,000 for a monthly payment of only $150. That’s a fraction of what credit cards charge, and will literally save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
How do you shop for the best deal? Simple: Head to a loan shopping site like Quicken Loans. They’ve eliminated most of the hoops you had to jump through in the past, so it only takes a couple of minutes to see how much you could get.
4. Are you protecting your family?
There’s nothing you wouldn’t do for your family, right? Well, if something happens to you, who’s going to pay the mortgage or college bills? This is why life insurance is so important.
Not everybody needs insurance. If your kids are grown and you have a nice, fat bank account, there’s really no need. But if your family would have a hard time getting along without you, life insurance is definitely something you should look into. Just don’t pay too much for it by buying the wrong kind, or buying from a commissioned salesperson.
Shopping for life insurance used to be a long, complicated process. Now? Not so much. For example, Ethos is a company that lets you apply online in minutes without getting off the couch. There are no medical exams, no blood tests. You can get term life insurance ranging from $20,000 to $2 million. And it may cost as little as $7 a month: less than you might be spending now on coffee.
Simply answer a few online health questions and get a personalized quote in less than five minutes. This could be the most important thing you ever do for the people you love.
And Ethos is rock-solid: They’ve protected more than 100,000 families and provided more than $34 billion in coverage. So, why not check it out? Click here right now for a quick, free quote from Ethos.
5. Are you planning ahead for healthcare costs?
Here’s hoping your retirement years are active, healthy and vibrant and that you’re able to function as you always have, right up to the time you shuffle off this mortal coil.
But don’t bet on it. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 7 in 10 people who turn 65 today will probably need some kind of long-term care.
“But won’t Medicare take care of all that?” Nope. Medicare doesn’t cover long-term custodial care — and paying for it out of pocket could take a huge chunk of your retirement savings. That, plus inflation, could mean near or total depletion of your nest egg.
Without long-term care insurance, your options aren’t great: running through savings, borrowing money, burdening your family with your care, and possibly losing independence because you can’t live on your own.
One place to find long-term care insurance is GoldenCare (Unless you live in the four states where GoldenCare doesn’t operate: Alaska, Florida, Hawaii and Washington.)
At least check it out and see if it’s a fit. Because planning now could mean a more secure tomorrow.
6. Are you paying too much for car insurance?
If you’re like most Americans, you’re probably paying too much for car insurance. But shopping around for a better deal is such a hassle.
Well, it used to be.
Now you can just check out Provide Insurance, the largest online marketplace for insurance in the U.S. Provide Insurance lets you compare quotes from more than 175 different carriers in minutes.
All you have to do is answer a few questions about yourself and your driving history. Then Provide will show you the best options for your needs and budget.
You could save up to $610 a year on car insurance by using Provide Insurance. That’s money you could use for other things, like investing, saving or paying off debt.
Don’t let your current insurer overcharge you. Try Provide Insurance today and see how much you can save on car insurance.
7. Are you protecting your home from costly repairs?
Home repairs aren’t cheap. Whether it’s a leaky roof or a broken appliance, your home can quickly become a nightmare and cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars to keep up.
But you don’t have to worry. Luckily, with a home warranty company called American Home Shield, you can safeguard yourself against giant repair bills. From home appliances to electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling systems, it can all be protected.
AHS protects your stuff no matter the age. Their plans cover up to 23 appliances and systems, and if they can’t repair it, they’ll replace it. That’s why American Home Shield is America’s top home warranty company with more than 17,000 contractors and 2 million members.
All over America, homeowners are choosing AHS for the savings, service and peace of mind that it delivers.
8. Are you protecting your pets?
Your pet is more than just an animal, they are a member of your family.
Unfortunately, accidents and illnesses can happen, leaving you with hefty vet bills. That’s where Lemonade Pet Insurance comes in. With customizable plans and affordable premiums, you can ensure your pet gets the care they need without breaking the bank.
Lemonade is not your average pet insurance. They use technology to make the process seamless and efficient, with around half of claims settled instantly. Plus, unclaimed premiums are donated to charity, including animal rights organizations. You can feel good about protecting your pet while also contributing to a good cause.
Visit Lemonade’s website today to get a personalized quote for your furry friend and take the first step in securing their health and well-being.
9. Are you dealing with your debt?
In a perfect world, we’d never buy more than we could pay off each month. But marketing experts know how to make us want things — electronics, designer clothes and accessories, etc.
No need to save up for it, either: Flash a credit card and you can get this stuff right now! Trouble is, credit card balances can quickly grow into debt that could take a decade to repay.
Fortunately, a company like Freedom Debt Relief can help get you back on track in as little as 24 to 48 months — and save you thousands and thousands of dollars in interest. And it costs nothing to sign up.
A specialist will review your situation, then help you decide the best way to fix it. That could be consolidation (combining all your debt into a single loan with a lower interest rate than your credit cards) or debt relief (negotiating to have some of the balance forgiven by your creditors).
The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and over 650,000 clients enrolled.
Start your journey to a debt-free life: Get a free, no-risk consultation today.
10. Are you shielding yourself from costly auto repairs?
The cost of car repairs is skyrocketing. One shop told Consumer Reports that a decade ago, their average repair was $1,600. These days, the average bill is $4,000.
Typically, a vehicle manufacturer warranty lasts three years. Yet the average car is around 12 years old. If you’re concerned about coming up with thousands of dollars for a repair bill, protect your investment with Endurance Warranty Services.
The company provides extended warranty plans of up to 36 months. Choose from at least six different plans, to get only the coverage you actually need, for cars up to 20 years old.
All their warranties include 24/7 roadside assistance plus rental car benefits while your vehicle is being repaired. For the first year, you’ll get the Elite Benefits program for free; this includes complete tire coverage, key fob replacement, a collision discount and a $1,000 payment if your car is determined to be a total loss.
Endurance has a network of thousands of ASE-certified repair shops. More important: Endurance pays the repair bill upfront. All you need to cover is the deductible.
ConsumerAffairs calls Endurance “a solid choice” for drivers of any age, and “particularly appealing” for those with older vehicles.
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