Like much of the world, I was riveted by the mammoth container ship that was stuck in the Suez Canal for 6 days, 3 hours and 38 minutes.
The ship, one of the world’s largest container ships named Ever Given is about as long as the Empire State Building is tall!
The jam backed up hundreds of ships at both ends of the canal waiting to get through. About 20 of these ships are carrying livestock.
The delays, by one estimate, cost the global economy $400 million perhour.
It’s spawned some great memes.
The ship was finally set free on March 29th, helped in part by Mother Nature – the moon and the tides.
So what does this have to do with personal finance?
Life, like giant ships, can sometimes unexpectedly go sideways.
I frequently tell my clients that financial planning involves hoping for the best and planning for the worst.
At the risk of sounding like a Debbie Downer, here are a few of the ways life can go sideways:
- Layoff/forced career change
- Women are frequently left in worse financial shape than men after divorce
- More likely to affect women than men
- Natural disasters
Here are some ways we can prepare for life going sideways:
- Long Term Care
- Emergency savings accounts
- In retirement accounts as a back-up
- 30-year mortgages for the most flexibility with the lowest payment
- Home Equity Line of Credit
- Retirement planning
- Social Security claiming strategy
- Joint/survivor option on pensions
- Estate Planning
- Documents/Trusts to address incapacity
- Where are documents, assets, and passwords?
These lists are by no means exhaustive.
I realize this isn’t the most uplifting of newsletters.
I help my clients think about and prepare for life going sideways. But thankfully I also have the great privilege of helping them celebrate life’s joyous occasions. Sometimes the ship gets unstuck and life is smooth sailing.
I help clients navigate life. This is why I love what I do.
Shout out to my colleague Anne McFarland CFP® for helping me brainstorm!