By Timothy Gamble
Your home. Your car. Your cash. Your job. These are important assets for you
and your family. Assets that are at risk in an economic crisis.
Here are some ideas to help you secure your current assets before the
next economic crisis:
1) Make sure the banks and insurance companies you use are financially healthy. There are rating services you can use, such as Bauer Financial and BankRate for banks and credit unions, and A.M. Best Company, Inc for insurance companies.
2) Pay off your mortgage if possible, or at least refinance into a fixed rate. For most people, their home is their largest and most important financial asset. Yet, in 2009 over 3 million families lost their homes to foreclosure. Don't be one of those in the next economic meltdown.
3) Pay off your vehicles, and anything else that you are making payments on that you don't want to lose. Can't pay off your vehicle anytime soon? Then trade down and get out from under that car payment. That clunker you own outright may look embarrassing, but it will be of more use to you than that shiny new car that gets towed away because you missed a payment. Same goes for other things that your making payments on that might get repossessed in a crisis.
4) Pay your taxes on time and in full. The government has given itself extraordinary powers to seize your paycheck, savings, investments, and property to collect back taxes.
6) Guard against identity theft.
Identity theft is a $20 billion dollar a year industry, and it will
only increase as the economy worsens. Be careful with whom you share
your personal information. Shred or burn financial documents instead of
just throwing them away. Be especially careful online, and keep your
antivirus software updated daily.
7) Take steps to protect your current job. Check out the article Fifteen Commandments of Keeping Your Job. Don't give your employer a reason to fire you.
8) Get ready now to look for a new job.
Don't wait until you are fired. Keep your resume constantly up-to-date.
Make sure you have updated contact info for all your references. Start
networking now - you will be more likely to find a new job through a
friend or colleague than from the classifieds or even employment
services. Building a network is essential career advice, good times or
9) Learn new skills. Realize
you may have to find a new job in a different field from your current
job. Or you may have to go into business for yourself. Prepare by
learning new skills. Take some classes at a local community college.
Take a marketing and/or public relations class (surprisingly useful to
most jobs/careers). Learn to sell (read the book SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham - considered a business classic). Brush up on your computer skills. Learn coding.
Learn bookkeeping & accounting. Learn Spanish for the workplace.
Consider learning a trade (electrician, plumber, welder, HVAC repair,
etc.) as a back-up to your current career. The more you know, the more
employable you will be.
Don't wait until the next financial crisis hits to protect your assets. Start preparing now.
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