Yearly Archives: 2018

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Financial Education Missing Piece in Social Work

Social workers assist people with a myriad of complex topics like housing, public benefits and health care. Would adding financial education be too much to ask of an already strained profession? Or might it be an essential piece that has been underestimated all along?

The Spring 2018 edition of NEFE Digest explores the concept of including financial education training for social workers. It draws from a research report produced at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis: Faculty Perspectives on Financial Capability and Asset Building in Social Work Education.

On any given day, a social worker could be helping someone find treatment for opioid addiction, placing a child in foster care, or leading crisis management after a natural disaster. While these might not seem to have much in common at first glance, there is a financial component underlying just about every situation a social worker might face.

At its core, financial education is about more than spending guidelines and credit scores. It’s about making informed decisions that will benefit one’s life now and in the future. Regardless of whether the challenge is getting affordable housing, finding employment or caring for the elderly — basic financial skills and understanding are critical to making the best choices. Training social workers to educate their communities about debt management, spending guidelines, opportunity cost and other personal finance concepts could improve decision making and outcomes in just about every area.

By |July 16th, 2018|Current Affairs|

Understanding Liability Insurance

Liability insurance can protect you in the event of serious injury, property damage or other economic liability. Thus, understanding liability insurance is an important piece of your personal financial plan.

One of the most common types of liability insurance is bodily injury and property damage for your auto coverage. It provides payment to others when you are the driver at fault in an accident. Arizona has minimum levels of coverage of $15,000 bodily-injury liability per person, $30,000 per incident (two or more people) and $10,000 for property damage ($15k/$30k/$10k). If someone has a $50,000 medical claim and you only have the minimum $15,000 in bodily injury coverage, they may pursue you for the remaining costs. More typical levels of coverage are $100k/$300k/$100k.

Another common type of liability protection is a vital component of homeowner’s insurance. Coverage typically starts at $100,000; however, to protect your family’s assets, $300,000 or more is advisable. If a guest or contractor slips and falls on your property, medical bills and lost wages can quickly add up to more than $100,000. Do you have a dog, pool or trampoline? Claims from these risks are common for pain and suffering, as well as for medical bills.

An umbrella liability policy is less common, though strongly recommended. Also known as a personal liability policy, it complements your auto and homeowner’s insurance by extending liability coverage where the underlying policies end. A car accident resulting in severe injuries can quickly exceed $500,000 in medical bills, property damage and lost wages, not to mention claims for pain and suffering. Any amount not covered by your auto policy could cause an action to be brought against you and your family for your personal assets (bank accounts, cars, home equity, wages). With a $1 million umbrella liability policy, you would have more sufficient coverage. In addition, the insurance company would pay for an attorney to represent you and negotiate with the other party.

More generous umbrella policies may also cover claims such as false arrest, libel or slander (such as a negative online review). Premiums for umbrella policies typically range from $250 to $500 per year for an additional $500,000 in liability protection.

By |July 1st, 2018|Financial Planning, Insurance|

Six Elements of Financial Planning

six elements of financial planningAt Perspective Financial Services, our client service centers on six key elements. In this 2-minute video, we summarize our six elements of financial planning and explain how our process benefits you. Click here to learn more about our financial planning and investment management services.

 

 

Photo credits for Six Elements of Financial Planning video: Mike Paulson, Rawpixel, BrainAJackson, CHUYN, Xstockimages
By |June 18th, 2018|Financial Planning, Video Blog|

Money Habits for Living the Life You Want

Rachel Cruze has been speaking to people about the dangers of debt and the importance of budgeting since the age of fifteen. Growing up as Dave Ramsey’s daughter, she uses that experience and knowledge to educate others. Her book Love Your Life, Not Theirs: 7 Money Habits for Living the Life You Want is a worthy read. It starts out strong with its main point and first habit to establish – quit the comparisons – and specifically addresses the envy of others that social media creates.

The other six money habits are laid out clearly: steer clear of debt, make a plan for your money, talk about money (even when it’s hard), save like you mean it, think before you spend, and give a little… until you can give a lot. Cruze’s views on budgets are adaptable for people of all incomes. She breaks down the basics of budgeting simply, making it easy to follow. If you’re new to money management, or if your money management isn’t working, it is a great introduction to help you figure out where you need to adjust.

The first section has a somewhat philosophical tone, covering an emotional habit rather than a financial one. The pace quickens in the following sections, and Cruze does a great job covering sensitive subjects like debt and loans in a direct but inoffensive way. This line, in particular, resonated with me: “There is no such thing as good debt and bad debt. It’s just debt. At the end of the day, you still owe someone something.”

There were a few critical omissions in the budget section that are worth noting. Medical expenses had only a vague reference under “miscellaneous,” and insurance (not including car) was considered a luxury along with cable and eating out. Despite these oversights, I recommend this book to everyone.

I felt I was in a good place with my money management, yet I still found the book highly motivating and helpful. It’s a quick read, and Cruze makes recommendations to websites and other books for those who want to delve deeper into subjects she briefly covers.

Written by Tobi McCann
By |June 4th, 2018|Books|