Tips for protecting your family's financial future

Monday, February 11, 2013 - 12:00am

(StatePoint) Do you lay awake at night wondering if you'll have enough money to pay the bills, let alone retire? Could you pay the bills at $170 to $350 daily if you or your spouse were disabled? Do you have an extra $100,000 a year for this care?

Expect the unexpected. Be prepared. Many challenges which can ruin your financial life can be avoided in less than 60 minutes, according to financial experts.

"Even if you are just starting out in your career you have to start making plans for retirement if you want your money to be there when you need it," says Kris Miller, a retirement and living trust expert and author of the new book "Ready for PREtirement? Plan Retirement Early So Your Money Is There When You Need It."

"No one relishes talking about emergencies, layoffs, long-term illness and death. Planning for such circumstances is crucial to protecting your family's financial future," she stresses.

Here are some of her best tips on taking the right steps early on:

o Start Saving Money Now. Even if you just eliminate a few expenses, such as that extra cup of coffeehouse coffee, and use that savings to investi in retirement, it will make a big difference.

o Max out your 401(k). All you have to do is fill out a form to increase it to the maximum contribution. And if your employer matches a percentage of contributions, that's free money. Best of all, you get a tax deferral which can save you lots of money.

o Start a Roth IRA. It's best to have multiple investments, instead of just your 401(k) which might not be sufficient for your retirement needs. A Roth IRA will let you receive your money tax free.

o Get Some Life Insurance. If you have a spouse or children consider some life insurance and disability insurance. Experts advise getting insurance covering 60 percent of your current income.

o Build an Emergency Fund. You want at least 3-6 months of expenses for an emergency fund.

o Get Real with Retirement Planning. Learn about estate planning. For example, creating a revocable living trust allows individual choice and control over legal and financial decisions today, tomorrow and in the future.

o Properly Create and Execute a Will. Identify what you want done with your property, identify a guardian for your children, and sign and date Powers of Attorney and Assisted Living Directives to avoid probate, reduce medical expenses and make things easier for your loved ones if something happens to you.

More helpful financial tips can be found online at www.readyforpretirement.com.

"The number one cause of problems in retirement is procrastination," says Miller, a Certified Senior Advisor and Chartered Federal Employee Benefits Consultant with over 20 years of experience. "Don't be like an ostrich. Face the world and take action so you can leave everything you have worked for to your loved ones."

Will you be able to create a nest egg that gives you 70 percent of your pre-retirement yearly salary? Start saving now.

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