It occurred to me the other day when making a weekly quick run to the grocery just how much cost of all the produce had gone up. The organic foods we probably should be eating are so expensive are mostly out of grasp for people even before the Covid pandemic. Now the loss of jobs and so many people having a difficult time meeting even the basic expenses. Also, very troubling is the new tumultuous, surreal political environment we find ourselves in. It can become overwhelming.
My mother used to tell me to work hard on the things I had some control over and prepare for the unexpected so that could reduce surprises. The trouble is, right now it is sometimes a challenge to block out all of the chatter and just not throw your hands up. It can be hard to know what to work at when so much is happening and can and will be affected by the next new or same administration. So, what do we focus on right now that should put a few more dollars in our hands when we most need it and set us up for a little more security into the future?
Interest rates are at an all-time low. If you haven't taken advantage of this you owe it to yourself to review the interest rate on your home. It may be possible to reduce the term of the loan and still have the same payment or very close to the same. And while you’re at it, review your homeowner’s insurance. Unfortunately, many companies have additional automatic step ups that have your replacement cost super inflated. In addition, they may have another addition that boost your value even more which will not increase the payout or replacement to you in the event of loss. It is simply a way for them to make more money. You could possibly save thousands a year. Also, the multiplier that you have when you purchased your insurance has probably changed and your new multiplier is possibly lower.
There are great zero interest credit cards. See if you are eligible to transfer a high interest balance into one. This is fairly easy to do.
There are some very reputable banks online that will pay a higher interest rate than your traditional banks. This could be a great place to put some of your cash reserves as a second or third layer.
Look for interest or dividend paying investments.
Take advantage of the money you’re saving by not going out to eat or not going on vacation and pay off some of your debt. You will be thankful later.
Consider purchasing investment grade bonds or municipal bonds to reduce your tax burden.
Speak to a financial advisor to help you navigate the financial waters of uncertainty so that you can be best positioned to continue to meet your financial obligations and financial goals.
If you haven’t taken your required minimum distribution’s from your qualified accounts for this year and you don’t need the money, then leave it. The required minimum distribution’s have been waived for this year without penalty. This will reduce your tax burden.
Most importantly, review your medical insurance plan based on what you expect to pay out of pocket next year for prescriptions and treatment. Make adjustments to your plan as needed.
If you have additional financial questions or concerns about paying for your myeloma treatment consider working with a Myeloma Coach. All Coaches are myeloma patients or caregivers willing to share their experience and what they have learned with others.
Diahanna is a financial advisor and Financial Coach with the Myeloma Coach program. You can find and connect with her at: www.myelomacoach.org.
about the author
Diahanna is the Financial Program Manager for the HealthTree Foundation, specializing in financial help for multiple myeloma and AML patients. As a professional financial consultant and former caregiver of her husband who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, Diahanna perfectly understands the financial issues facing myeloma patients.