The modern age is full of anxiety. In fact, millennials are often called the “anxious generation,” as they experience stress and anxiety at higher rates than any generation before them. However, we think it’s safe to say that people of all generations deal with anxieties about money. We all have fears—rational and irrational alike—when it comes to our bank account.
If you want to be successful in managing your money and building up a financial future, you have to drive out the financial fears that are holding you back. While some fear is healthy in that it pushes you to be proactive in risk management, fear often drives us to unnecessary stress and worry.
If you’re wrestling with financial fears and the anxieties of money management, look no further: we’re here to help you overcome.
Defeat 4 Financial Fears We All Face
1) Fear: What if I don’t have enough for retirement?
Studies show that, by and large, most Americans are not prepared for retirement. While the numbers have been improving, two in five are not saving enough and will run out of money in their retirement. This can be a major source of fear and anxiety, but it doesn’t have to be—especially because it is easily solved. Many Americans rely on 401Ks, traditional retirement plans, or savings alone to secure their retirement.
The problem with this is that these accounts, by and large, do not cover the financial ground they need to secure one’s retirement. Investments do.
Investing in real estate—something that builds equity and generates passive income simultaneously—is key for a modern retirement. While retirement accounts drain, a smart investment sustains. As you build your portfolio, cash flow and equity compound.
If you’re worried about retirement, you must be proactive now about building your idea of “enough.” Don’t rely on what is given to you. Go out and get what you need. So many fears are dispelled simply by making a plan and taking charge of your circumstances.
2) Fear: I’m going to be in debt until I die.
Debt can be crushing. Americans are in debt at record levels, even above those records post-Great Recession. Between student loans, mortgages, out-of-control credit cards, and auto loans, debt can be suffocating.
However, debt doesn’t have to steal your life. You can get a foothold against it with the right strategy. Winning against debt demands sacrifice. If you are serious about digging out of debt, it means extreme and serious budgeting. Refuse to take on more debt. Cut non-necessities and superfluous expenses, redirecting these funds to paying off your debts, beginning with the highest interest rates.
There are also options like loan consolidation and balance-transfer credit cards that may help organize your debt and manage the interest rates. Debt can seem crushing and it will spin out of control if you let it. But taking a proactive and aggressive approach to handling your debt will see it defeated in the end.
3) Fear: An emergency will drain my finances.
We don’t know what the next day in our lives will bring. It’s a very real thing to worry about medical emergencies, whether it’s a need for emergency surgery or long-term care and treatment. This can be extremely costly, not just financially, but emotionally. For some, this can cost us not only in medical bills but in insurance and legal fees.
You might not even be worried about yourself, but about the need to provide long-term care for a family member, be it hospice or a live-in caregiver.
Regardless of the emergencies, the financial burden can be tough for any family to handle. So how do you deal with it? The first thing to remember is to be proactive. If this is a worry, begin preparing now. Begin setting aside savings each month if you believe a family member may need care in the future and insure yourself well.
When you do receive a bill, ask to see an itemized version so that you can comb through it and look for mistakes. Coordinate with your insurance provider to make sure you are getting your coverage as paid for. And lastly, work with your medical care provider—there are long-term payment plans available.
4) Fear: If I lose my job, I lose everything.
Nearly all of us have a fear of losing our jobs—and subsequently, our income. One of the key things you can do for yourself, just as you would do with an investment, is to mitigate your risk in the job market. Make yourself an indispensable employee and a no-brainer hire. You do this by constantly acquiring new skills and education that make you a top contender in a competitive job market.
Because nothing is certain, you need to do what you can to assure that in the case of a layoff, you can find work quickly. If you have a diverse skill set and a great education, you shouldn’t have trouble doing so. Be too valuable to lose.
In addition, make sure that your job isn’t your only source of income. First and foremost, have savings in the wings. But invest in something—like real estate—that lends you both equity and cash flow. This will ease the burden of a job loss.