Taking Care of You First: Financial Security

Taking Care of You First: Financial Security

According to the Gallup poll, nurses are the most trusted profession. They are in demand, well-paid, and have various opportunities to move into areas that provide financial security, personal satisfaction, and career success. Most nurses stress over work challenges and family issues, but don’t really take the time to care for themselves as they do others. Lume is here to help with their platform to not only be a bank for nurses, but to help nurses with financial literacy.  In this article, I’ll be talking about making your financial health as much of a priority as your physical health.

Financial Health

Many nurses don’t pay enough attention to their financial health. As I mentioned, nurses are typically compensated well.  In fact, you may even be earning more money than you ever have in your life with the potential to make a higher amount as your career progresses. 

Yet, nurses are generally not good at financial management. This is often because we do not understand our finances. As a result, we don’t take full advantage of our income or recognize problems that arise and allow them to get worse. 

 Understanding the basics of money management is critical to: 

  1. Handle your day-to-day expenses
  2. Have money on-hand to meet your family’s needs
  3. Maintain a reserve for unexpected issues that come up
  4. Plan for retirement

The keys to success are income management, financial protection, and long-term planning. Let’s take a look at each. 

Income Management

Looking at your income and expenses is crucial. If you are spending more than you make, you are on a dangerous course. The same can be said for having credit card debt and only paying the minimum amount. If you find yourself in this position, start looking for ways to decrease expenses and increase income. Once you determine how much debt you are in, create a plan to boost your earnings. Here are some tips:

 Consider picking up some overtime

  • Cut off unnecessary expenses
  • Set up a budget to pay off credit cards and limit extra spending

If you find yourself under water, there are organizations that can help you get things under control. You can do it with the right plan, so be sure to stay positive.

Income Protection

Your earning power is your most important asset. How are you protecting your income? If you had a car accident and sustained a broken leg or arm, could you afford to be off work for six to eight weeks? Experts say that many people are one paycheck away from bankruptcy. To prevent this, aim to have at least three to six months' worth of expenses in reserve. With good financial management, you can successfully protect your income and meet your needs.

Another important tip is to have a disability insurance plan. Ask your employer if they offer a disability insurance policy. This allows you to continue earning money if you cannot work. If your employer does not offer a policy, you can purchase one on your own. Policy rules can vary, so get advice from a trusted advisor to ensure that you choose the right fit. 

Another important type of insurance is life insurance. This is a policy that pays out a sum of money upon your death to those you designate as beneficiaries. The death benefit can cover final expenses, outstanding debt, and bills, but it can also go toward future needs. Again, there are many types of policies to choose from and receiving trustworthy advice is key to making the best decision. 

Long Term Plans: Retirement

Retirement can seem like a far-off dream when we start our career, but saving for retirement and long-term care needs cannot start early enough. With people now living into the triple digits, having a solid retirement plan to supplement your social security is critical. The earlier you start saving, the longer your money will grow and work for you when you need it. 

Working with a financial planner can help you create a plan to meet your goals. The key is controlling your expenses and sticking to the plan you set up. A financial planner will help you adapt your plan as needed to meet your lifestyle. In addition, finding out if your employer offers a 401 (k) plan is another way you can save for retirement. As the population ages and the government looks for ways to help the elderly, new initiatives may arise. Always stay alert and open to opportunities.

I hope you will take the time to create your own financial checklist to see where you are and whether you are on target for your own financial health. The earlier you determine this and make corrections where needed, the healthier you will be. 

Resources:

1. 8 Ways to get out of Debt: https://www.credit.com/debt/get-out-of-debt

2. How Debt Affects Your Credit Score: https://www.thebalance.com/how-your-debt-affects-your-credit-score-960489

3. How to find a Financial Planner if Your Not Rich: https://money.usnews.com/financial-advisors/articles/how-to-find-a-financial-advisor-if-youre-not-rich

4. The Effect of Compounding

Anne Llewellyn MS, BHSA, RN, CCM, CRRN, CMGT-BC, CM Fellow

Anne Llewellyn MS, BHSA, RN, CCM, CRRN, CMGT-BC, CM Fellow is a registered nurse with over 43 years of experience in critical care, risk management, case management, patient advocacy, and healthcare.

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Answering questions related to all things nursing and money.