A dear friend once said this to me, “If you can solve a problem with money, it is not a problem.”

I suppose there is some wisdom in that statement, but what do you think?

The events of life have a way of dealing us some unexpected cards. Dealing with unexpected events can test us.

There are an infinite number of life events that can set us back.

Here are a few I have seen over the years that can set families back both emotionally and financially:

Sudden cutback in employment

Immediate change in health

Teenager dies in a car crash

Stock market drops 50 percent

Spouse announces that they want a divorce

Earthquake flattens part of a home

Your mother needs to move in after the death of your father.

The list could and does go on every day in every city and nearly every family

I agree that some problems are not correlated with finances, but many are exactly correlated.

So what can we do? As the Boy Scout motto correctly states “Be Prepared.”

Here are few ideas that may help.

Have three to six months budget in immediate cash available

Keep insurance premiums paid, including liability coverage

Keep life, medical and disability insurance up-to-date

Draft all estate planning documents and keep them current

Diversify your investments

Don’t take your loved ones for granted

Let your trusted friends know where your documents, keys, and insurance papers are located.

Clear as debt as possible

Communicate your “life wishes” to those who you trust while you are still able.

Don’t delay in expressing your love and concern for the important people in your life.

Recognize that you may not always be as sharp as you are today.

Write your personal and family history … now.

Travel while you can even if it is not “first class.”

There are probably many other things to consider.

Life has a way of changing quickly sometimes. We all need to be somewhat flexible with our plans and with our finances.

When I started advising folks about their financial issues nearly 50 years ago, I used to think linearly. I used to think that ‘c’ followed ‘b’ and ‘b’ followed ‘a’.

I have learned that life and managing money is not always such a straight line. Along the way, there may be a few detours, a few roadblocks, some surprises and events that you never thought would happen, but they did.

Some of these may involve your children, your health, your employment, your parents, and this list goes on.

Best advice? Be prepared for the unknown.

Tom and John Mills are registered investment advisers and certified financial planners. Reach them at 254-0155, MillsWealth.com. Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Strategic Wealth Advisors Group (SWAG), a registered investment adviser.

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