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By Michael Kay

Life has a way of going on as normal—until it doesn’t. It might be a job loss, an unexpected medical expense, an accident or sudden death. These events cause emotional turmoil and come with a financial price tag. The chaos that naturally ensues from an unexpected disruption can destroy even the most well-conceived plan.

Think about a time an unexpected event occurred. What did you do? Did you play ostrich and hide until the worst was over? Did you seek help from someone with the knowledge and/or resources to help lessen the problem? How did you get back to normal after your life was turned upside down?

You want to explore these types of questions to better understand how you deal with crisis emotionally and financially. If you’ve never had an experience like this, you might want to talk with others who have and ask them what they did and how they reacted.

For some additional insight, you can employ the old SWOT analysis—Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats—to your current financial life.  Determine what is working, where you have holes in your plan, what you can focus on to improve your position and what potential threats exist that could waylay your success.

Increasing your awareness of potential financial threats to your goals needs to be a normal and regular part of your financial planning.  The impact of prolonged illnesses, divorce, death, legal liabilities, job loss, business downturns and other unanticipated events can shake your ability to move your life’s mission forward in a strong and positive manner. But your active participation in the quantitative and qualitative (feelings) side of preparation can assist in making the best of a bad situation.

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