The following is a guest post contributed by Arlene Chandler:
As people meander their way through life, obligations are aplenty and people handle them in unique ways. Some are tough, some are fun and several just simply have to be taken care of. Every person and every family has situations that pose a challenge in their own right, and a nearly universal belief is that any obstacle or duty in life is easier to handle when people are better prepared.
Certain people get lucky and avoid major health problems. Others are fortunate and avoid marital challenges or happiness issues. However, nearly everyone struggles with finances at some point in their life, and due to the near-universal understanding of how difficult money can be, it merits a deeper conversation.
Each and every day costs money. Many people don’t have the resources to lead a comfortable daily life, and even for those who do, there are certain financial obligations that can break the bank if people aren’t adequately prepared.
While each family will experience specific stresses related to them, there are certain financial costs that many people face in a lifetime. They’re listed below, with the goal of helping you better prepare for them if they’re intertwined with your journey.
Whether travelling to many of them as a family member or close friend, or organizing several for a loved ones, funerals are expensive. These are financial obligations that are simply unavoidable and worth every cent. The issue to realize, however, is that it’s still a numbers game and someone has to pay the bill.
Many people have life insurance coverage that helps cover their own funeral after they pass away, but many don’t. If you’re responsible for organizing someone’s funeral, or think you might be, it can be a good idea to talk about it beforehand with the others who are involved.
Bottom line and mitigation: Funerals are a cost in life that no one wants to go through, let alone pay for. However, there’s not much of a choice and the only thing you can do is prepare as best you can. If you’re tasked with organizing a funeral for a loved one like one of your parents, consider talking to your siblings if you have any and discussing the costs. Think about proposing a situation where you divide up the costs amongst yourselves to alleviate the financial pressures. The more the money is distributed, the less of a burden each person will feel in an already tough time. It can really help to talk about this before the fact to avoid any conflict.
The costs and care that people receive medically varies on a wide spectrum around the world. However, it’s pretty safe to say that medical costs are some of the most expensive that people face in a lifetime, regardless of where they’re from. The even tougher aspect of these financial obstacles is that they’re often unexpected, making planning ahead much more critical.
Whether it’s long term treatment for a degenerative disease, or simply a freak injury, medical costs are pricey and without the right coverage can be unbearable financially.
Bottom line and mitigation: Just like funerals and weddings, and probably even more so, medical care is expensive and many people suffer financially from the costs. It’s a very, very wise idea to get health coverage and life insurance where possible. Yes, it’s very expensive on a month-to-month basis, but it’s a much more viable option than spending $25,000 USD cash on a routine shoulder surgery.
Life is a journey, and finances represent a few speed bumps on the road. Each family is different, but it helps to have an understanding of what major finances you’ll face along the way, all with the goal of preparing yourself more efficiently.
Arlene Chandler is a mother that focuses her energy on family planning and parenting. In her free time she writes about insurance coverage like life cover from Suncorp.
Updated: September 27, 2013