The Big Little Things: 5 Easy Ways to Protect Your Money

It’s morning and you’re out the door. Immediately your home’s smart devices take over, dialing down the heat, turning off the coffeemaker, and arming surveillance inside and out. In the car, rain-sensing wipers activate at the first drops; adaptive cruise control maintains a steady pace; and upon arrival, parking assist gets you into a tight space, no problem.

Protective technologies are transforming everyday life, adding safety, convenience, and peace of mind. But how about in our financial lives? Are there similar measures that can help protect our income from interruptions due to illness, injury, disability, layoff and emergencies.

Just as smart homes and cars give us fewer “what ifs” to stress over, here are some strategies you can activate to help worry-proof your financial future.

Shock Absorbers

Would you buy a new car without airbags? (Trick question. You can’t.) The point is, one-quarter of Americans travel through life without a financial cushion to reduce the impact of unexpected emergencies.1 Creating a rainy-day fund that totals six to 12 months of your income can help lessen your risk.

To activate: Set up an automatic withdrawal from your checking account or paycheck — the maximum you can comfortably afford — to build up emergency cash reserves and you’ll be on your way to becoming a world-class saver

Roadside Assistance

Disability can occur in an instant. In fact, one in four of today’s 20-year-olds will become disabled during their working years.2 Disability income insurance can help protect a portion of your income while you recover.

To activate: If your employer offers Group Long-Term disability insurance, make sure you are participating in the plan. But since most employer policies replace only about 40 to 60 percent of your income, look into individual disability income insurance, too. It can be a surprisingly affordable way to add financial confidence.

Preventive Maintenance

Wellness wearables are the hottest technology around, allowing you to monitor your footsteps, measure your UV exposure, and even take a blood sample, all to support smarter health decisions. To make smarter decisions around your healthcare dollars, consider a health savings account. It’s a tax-advantaged way to stretch your income to pay for preventive care that may not be covered by medical insurance, such as dental check-ups.3

To activate: Talk with your HR rep to learn about your existing medical coverage and understand your options.

Hybrid Power

Having two sources of propulsion in a vehicle, such as a gas-powered engine and an electric motor, helps ensure you reach your destination. Similarly, if you get laid off from your job, you may need more than federal/state unemployment benefits to sustain your lifestyle. Private unemployment coverage may be the answer.

To activate: Look into the options to purchase an individual unemployment insurance policy in your state. It may be a low-cost way to replace more of your lost income.

Security Systems

Perhaps you’ve investigated security technology to safeguard your home and loved ones. But have you given equal thought to protecting an even more valuable asset — your life?

To activate: Consider a whole life insurance plan to provide financial confidence for your family and protect their future. Some whole life plans even let you build cash value to supplement your income. 4

With just a few simple steps, you can put any of these income-safeguards in place — minimal effort that can yield powerful protection for your financial future.

Brought to you by The Guardian Network © 2019. The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America®, New York, NY

2019-74853 Exp. 2/21

SOURCES:

1“The first thing you should know about saving money.” CNBC. July 6, 2018

2 U.S. Social Security Administration Fact Sheet, June 2017

3 Neither Guardian nor its subsidiaries issue health insurance

4 All whole life insurance policy guarantees are subject to the timely payment of all required premiums and the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Policy loans and withdrawals affect the guarantees by reducing the policy’s death benefit and cash values.

Policy benefits are reduced by any outstanding loan or loan interest and/or withdrawals. Dividends, if any, are affected by policy loans and loan interest. Withdrawals above the cost basis may result in taxable ordinary income. If the policy lapses, or is surrendered, any outstanding loans considered gain in the policy may be subject to ordinary income taxes. If the policy is a Modified Endowment Contract (MEC), loans are treated like withdrawals, but as gain first, subject to ordinary income taxes. If the policy owner is under 59 ½, any taxable withdrawal may also be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty.

Dividends are not guaranteed. They are declared annually by Guardian’s Board of Directors. The total dividend calculation includes mortality experience and expense management as well as investment results.

Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents, and employees do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Consult your tax, legal, or accounting professional regarding your individual situation.

Riders may incur an additional cost or premium. Rider benefits may not be available in all states.

State creditor protection for life insurance policies varies by state. Contact your state’s insurance department or consult your legal advisor regarding your individual situation.

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