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Financial security means being able to take advantage of a financial opportunity and being able to weather any financial storm. 

These days, that storm might be a real meteorological event.

Superstition alone might save you.  So might a 10-minute procrasti-task.

Better To Have It and Not Need It…

Both of my kids are living on their own.  One of them recently informed me that the go-bags I left behind 18 months ago were discovered wet and buried under leaves in the backyard.

This child wanted to know what to do with them. 

This is one of those parental trauma moments. 

Am I mortified that the bags have been forgotten?  Or am I grateful they still exist? 

Am I aghast at what this child has not learned from me?  Or am I reassured when asked if a storage bin would be a good idea?

Maybe a little of everything.

No matter what, the fact is that the go-bags have not been needed.   

Call it superstition or some corollary to Murphy’s Law, but I believe if you are prepared for the emergency, the likelihood that the emergency happens goes waaaay down.

Better to have emergency supplies and not need them than to need them and not have them.

Start with the Basics, Take Baby Steps

The following items are basic but meet the “have-it-and-not-need-it Lanning superstition strength test.”

  • Emergency kits. San Francisco, where I’m based, is known for earthquakes and lately, severe storms.  Reminders to be prepared for 72 hours without water, food, utilities, or services are everywhere. 
    • The basics: water, food, and a windup radio or solar charger.
    • Time commitment: An hour. 
    • How: Online retailer.   Add to Cart.
  • Emergency dollar bills in your possession. The basics:  have a big chunk of one-dollar bills.  Should you have the ability to borrow from or bribe someone during an emergency, you don’t want to be holding anything bigger than a $5 bill.  An emergency is not the time to expect someone to make change.
    • The basics: at least $200 in $1 bills.  Or more.
    • Time commitment: An hour.
    • How: Go to the bank branch and get it.  Believe it or not, bank branches do exist, and many are open on Saturdays still. 
  • Emergency funds in the bank. The general rule of thumb, especially since the pandemic, is to have three to six months’ worth of expenses in the bank, sitting there, probably not making big money.  You want it highly liquid and highly accessible.  Self-employed folks might consider having a year’s worth of expenses.
    • The basics: 3-12 months of cash in the bank.
    • Time commitment: Two hours.
    • How: Figure out how much you have, what you need, set up an auto-transfer from checking to savings that happens until you reach the amount you want.
  • Emergency documents. By this I mean, getting your estate planning in order.  Yes, of course, you should know where your passport and driver’s license are.  But, really, get your estate planning – your will, trust, health care directive with HIPAA authorization, and power of attorney – in place.  The chances you become incapacitated or die anytime soon go way down.
    • The basics: Estate planning documents.
    • Time commitment: Fifteen minutes to start.  Probably about 5 hours total.
    • How: Get an estate planning referral and call that person to set up a meeting. 

Enter:  Procrasti-tasking

Waiting until you have the perfect plan or the exact right answers gets in the way of getting any of the above done.  That doesn’t serve you.

So, get started.  Really.  Any small task counts. 

Much of the above can be broken down into what I call “procrasti-tasks” – you know, the tasks you do because they’re easy and fast so you can procrastinate on tackling a much larger task.   (Just about anyone can see how much I’ve been procrastinating by how clean my house is.)

You could have all of the above tackled in less than two months, 10 minutes at a time. 

Emergency Preparedness Is Also Peace-of-Mind Preparedness

Hear me on this:  Even if the emergency does happen, at least you will be prepared and know what to do.  This takes down the temperature of panic, anxiety, fear, etc.  That alone makes getting prepared for an emergency worth it.

Then help your kids, extended family, neighbors and friends do theirs too!

If you want to talk emergency preparedness or about your favorite procrasti-tasks, please reach out.

Lanning Financial Inc. is a registered investment adviser. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

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Disclosure – Lanning Financial Inc. is a Registered Investment Adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Lanning Financial Inc. and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be rendered by Lanning Financial Inc. unless a client service agreement is in place. / Lanning Financial Inc. provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers or industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you away from our website. Lanning Financial Inc. is not responsible for errors or omissions in the material on third party websites, and does not necessarily approve of or endorse the information provided. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites.

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