Thanks for Listening: Financial Shelter

Many of us go through life without ever thinking about the security of our finances. We tend to leave the thought of serious finances ” Blowing in the wind’! We sometimes see others who we think negatively have substantial financial wealth because they must have cheated their way to such a strong financial position. Maybe they had stronger related knowledge and counseling. It is good to consider the different aspects of personal, family, and business finance separately then build the elements into a completed structure. Think in terms of a structurally sound building or house.

First, an excellent foundation is needed. Let’s start with income. Why, because consistent ongoing improving income is necessary for us to complete our financially whole structure. We must gain money through employment, business ownership, and other means. Always put away some money into an emergency fund for the times when our everyday earnings may not be enough to cover unexpected financial needs.

What happens if income is interrupted by disability? If possible, a good disability insurance policy needs to be in place at an early age. Your health should provide the best possible rating and the lowest monthly premium.

In addition to disability insurance, we cannot take our need for liability insurance on our automobiles, houses, apartments, and businesses lightly. We must seriously consider an umbrella-type liability policy must be.

The next concern is premature death, that is dying before you build full protection for your loved ones. Utilize the same young health advantage above to get a proper amount of life insurance death benefit that will ensure the future wellbeing of your loved ones. If you purchase term life insurance, seek a policy that can convert to excellent whole life insurance!

College and retirement savings and investment should be started as early in life as possible. Why, because a little invested over a long period will almost always outperform a lot invested right before the time of need. In other words, your money needs to be making money in addition to what your job/career pays you from its beginning! There is a saying that goes something like this:” It’s important to earn as much as you can, and it’s even more important to get to keep more of what you earn.”

This brings us to taxes and other strategies that will minimize the erosion of our hard-earned money. Get personally involved in doing your taxes through utilizing the many tax preparation guides available. And, yes it is also fine to use tax preparation services.

Somehow many of us see learning to invest in the stock market, mutual funds or other financial instruments as being very difficult, but like most anything else a step by step learning process will help you master it. It boils down to” risk” management. A little history: When my employer switched from a defined benefit pension program to a 401k investment plan for its employees, I took the time to explain to each of the 32 employees under my supervision how the 401k worked. I let them know that” before tax” dollars would go into the plan, and the company would pay the investment expense and that they could become their own bank because they could borrow from their accumulated monies. Additionally, I had every employee start out with higher risk funds. Why? Because if one does not take risks when there is nothing to lose, then he/she is not likely to take any risk when there is something built up that can be lost. It was my way of helping them to learn” risk management”!

Getting our paperwork in order is one of the most neglected areas of our financial structure. The lack of writing of wills and other end-of-life documents has caused repeated grief and loss of property. Let me state right here right now that Richard Pryor was right when he said that no one we know had survived death! So write a will every year, that way it will always express your current wishes, and you will not get into the aged old pattern of thinking” If I write a will the Lord will take me away from here!

Thanks for listening!


William Leroy Kennedy

Beyond his career as an engineer, diversity and training manager, and financial advisor, he asserts, “Getting to teach others about how to become more financially astute has been one of the most rewarding parts of my career.”

While doing all of the above, Mr. Kennedy managed to help raise his daughter and son, six years apart, to become outstanding students with true senses of community. They graduated from UNC Chapel Hill/Harvard Law School and  Stanford/Harvard Business School, respectively.

Many hours were spent working with church, civil rights and community organizations in effort to help produce progress. Motivating youth to be all that they can be is a constant goal of Mr. Kennedy.

He is very high on using khanacademy.org as an educational tool that can help all, regardless of age or learning disability, succeed in life. Every adult and child should visit the site is his motto.

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