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Too often we look at our current circumstances and wonder if we will ever move another level.  It may be that our physical health has experienced some challenges, our mental and emotional capacity has encountered intense strain, or even our finances not panning out to what we desire them to be or do.  There are an abundant a number or reasons we have come into those place of wanting or needing a few more dollars here and there.  It could be due to job loss, illness, a new educational requirements, transportation or anything else. 

The challenge is ensuring that our current funds are used with great stewardship, and any future income is appropriately estimated out.  Truth be told is that sometimes, we need to PLAN out our money, no different that we plan out our day, or our meals. 

Through planning our financial capacity, we are granted an opportunity to brainstorm our future. 

In this day and time, we can identify with the reality that medical care is perhaps the most expensive household expense that doesn’t have a great deal of negotiation power.  As Americans, our nation has declared that access to health care is a non-negotiable, and has made provision for most of the citizenry to access such, yet often at the expense of choosing between being able to afford care through private or employer paid means, and utilization of government sponsored opportunities such as Medicaid or other legislatively authorized funds (such Ryan White) to ensure that we are adequately covered.

Yet the latter come frequently with established income requirements, often when plotted in accordance with poverty guidelines demonstrate a significant chasm in our transition to “medical insurance” independence.

If we make too much money, which really doesn’t have to be a lot, we are no longer eligible for assistance.  Yet the thresholds are a few points above poverty level. 

So, for some, if we take a job, that will help us pay for a better life, a better home in a nicer neighborhood, better food choice, better quality of life, the required offset for out of pocket medical care premiums and co-pays, may conceivably, kick us in the rump, and place us in a game of CHANCE, wondering if better pay will support continued our better life AND adequate health coverage.

Unfortunately, in many circumstances, the answer to moving from assistance to independence is limited in its capacity, without a structured plan (and even a timeline) for transition. 

Now, mind you, financial planning is NOT just for people who have significant money, or lack significant money. 

Financial planning is for anyone who USES money. 

Similar to planning for a trip, whether for vacation, work or mandated family travel, a plan must be established. 

You can’t just show up to the airport and get on a plane to your destination.  You have to make a reservation, see what is available, establish your timeline, make necessary payments, and then you have the ability to show up and hop on.  Yet without those things committed in a specific order, you are likely to be politely escorted by a TSA agent to a secure area of which you were not prepared to enter.   

Financial planning, is the ability to look at the big picture.  To make statement and categorize the things impacting your finances that are important to you and the future which you desire to have.  It is also a mechanism for identifying your current situation, and determining where your current funds are traditionally filtered.  How you presently use your money, is a sound gauge of where your prioritized interests are at.  Is there a better use of your dollars, that will help you get you to your goals?

As part of this Planning Your Financial Future Series, we believe that all people need to have a sense of vision toward their long term financial future.  It really doesn’t matter if you are 60+ years old, or just scooting out of your teen years, your financial future lies solely in your own hands.  We need to know where we stand.  We need to identify our options, that don’t compromise our health, and to take an active role in mitigating the risk. 

The attached link will direct you to a preliminary planning worksheet.  This PDF document is a fill in form, that will allow you to list out your current position.  It is also available in an excel document format. 

This is for your own PERSONAL use. It is one of many tools we will use over the next several weeks to help you to begin looking at your expenses and planning for your future. 

Let’s face it, we all have dreams of “BETTER” in our lives.  It’s not that we are not grateful, for where we are at, but most of us, have a vision of something else that we could do, or be, or see opportunities where we could help, if we simply were able to live on a different plane.

The beauty of “BETTER” is that it doesn’t respect our current position of millionaire or less than $25 in total net worth.  It only responds to the position of vision of better impact and influence.