What financially empowered people do- part 1

There are a lot of blog posts and editorials about “What millionaires do” and why you are broke/poor/etc. because you don’t do those things.

I suggest we change the focus. I am not saying you don’t have a chance of being a millionaire; hey, anything is possible. But, I pride myself on meeting people where they are and I know there are more people who are thinking about catching up on their student loans or seeking methods of paying off their home early than how to be a millionaire.

There are people who are seeking financial empowerment.
Financial empowerment can be obtained long before there are six or more zeros in your net worth (on the positive side…). Following are the first four tips (in no certain order) you can use to get you on the journey to be one of the financially empowered.

TIP 1. Have a Will. For those with ANY assets, it is crucial to have air-tight wills (and trusts when assets accumulate, if needed). Financially empowered people don’t want their state of residence to determine who gets their property or takes care of their minor children should something happen to them. Keys to having a Will: if you are over 18 and have any assets, you need a Will. Get a cheap, state specific Will here. Really good for a ‘starter’ Will, but you may want to consult a lawyer if you have more assets to protect.

TIP 2. Be insured. Life, health, disability — (and don’t forget insurance for your stuff — car, home, apartment, etc). Get enough to protect you and/or your family’s livelihood. Medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy, enough said. (As a side note, it is easier to stay healthy than to get healthy). Financially empowered people have enough life insurance for their family to move forward as if they were still alive and working to support them. 10-12 times yearly income in 20 year level term is what I strongly suggest. Get a quote here. NOTE: ANY life insurance is better than NO life insurance. Do not go without it if you have people depending on your income. If you have a ‘bad’ policy, do not cancel it until you have a better one in place.

TIP 3. Plan for the known AND ‘unknown’. Financially empowered people have a plan for good and bad days — also known as a budget and a rainy day fund (for emergencies) — and basic savings. Don’t forget about birthdays, vacations, school clothing, etc. Imagine going into the holiday season with money you have saved to make cash purchases. The future cannot be predicted, but studies show that 70% of Americans will have a ‘severe’ adverse financial occurrence in a given 10 year period… You have to have a plan so life doesn’t happen to you, be prepared. Get budgeting forms and more on our resources page.

TIP 4. Develop money smarts. Not everybody needs a financial advisor, but everybody needs to understand their own finances. Here’s what I know:

If you’re HANDS OFF managing your money you’ll surely HAND IT OUT to someone else to manage it for you. (Share on Twitter | Facebook |Google+| LinkedIn)

You have to make an effort to learn proven methods of winning with money. Get a book, go to a class, ask Financially empowered people you trust in your life how they got to where they are. Get support; visit our resources page, join our email list, like us on Facebook, follow us on twitter. Join our FREE Master Your Money Challenge on Facebook.

Stay connected to receive more tips. Let us know what you think about the tips so far. Are you presently or plan to use any tips now?