Your next vacation is probably fun to think about, but the thought of paying for it may not be. Sometimes we have to think about the not-so-fun things so we can enjoy the fun ones.
Spend a little time considering the following four "not fun" topics so your next vacation can be stress-free.
1. Life Insurance
This one isn't pleasant because it requires thinking about your own death. But let's try re-framing it. Life insurance is really about what you want your financial legacy to be. Whether you want to make sure your loved ones are taken care of, you want to cover your final expenses or avoid putting your family into debt, life insurance can help meet those goals. So take some time to think about how much life insurance you need.
2. Estate Planning
Similar to thinking about life insurance, this one also requires facing your own mortality. But having a will drawn up can avoid confusion and fighting once you are gone. It is your chance to spell out your wishes. An attorney who specializes in estate planning can help you draft a will. Even if you don't think you have much, a will can divide up the money and property you leave behind plus spell out any special wishes you may have.
While it may be fun to dream about retirement in much the same way you dream about your next vacation, when you actually think about the numbers, it may induce panic. But retirement is a long-term goal and the sooner you start planning for it, the more likely it is to happen when and how you want it. So you should start picturing what you want out of retirement. Do you plan to stop working entirely or work part time? Will you keep your big house or downsize? Do you hope to travel or stay close to home? All of these factors will affect how much you need to save for retirement. Even if you change your mind regularly, start thinking about what you want out of retirement so you can be sure you can pay for it.
In addition to being boring, talking about credit is often confusing and scary, but avoid the subject at your own peril. The worse your credit is, the higher your interest rates will be, and the more you'll spend servicing your debt over the course of your lifetime... hundreds of thousands of dollars more, potentially. The key to talking about credit is first figuring out where you stand. Each of us is entitled to one credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus for free once a year. Once you look at your credit report, however, you may be even more confused, as these documents are generally pretty dense. You can use a free site like Credit.com for a breakdown of the information in your credit reports, a clear explanation of why your credit is what it is, and most importantly learn some simple steps you can take to improve it.
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