Head of household means covering all the bases

Women are living longer and younger women are taking the helm throughout corporate America. As successful adults, boomers discover that success changes your life, including your financial needs. As women get used to the trappings of success, it often becomes necessary to be in charge of one’s finances.

The first thing to do when you land a great job is to consider disability insurance. This isn’t just for what you might consider conventional physical jobs; dentists often get repetitive stress injuries due to that unnatural posture they use to fix us. Dentists, and everyone else, can benefit from long-term care (LTC) insurance. LTC works to cover expenses that are not covered by traditional health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.

Rather, LTC kicks in when the policyholder can no longer perform two or more items in a standard of personal care known as the Seven Activities of Daily Life, which are bathing and hygiene; dressing and undressing; food preparation and cleaning; functional transfers; safe use of the toilet and maintenance of continence; wandering; and cognitive problems.

It doesn’t matter how old you are to get LTC, but this is a product that depends on your health status at the time of signing up. It’s the kind of thing that needs to be done sooner rather than later.

While you’re doing all your policy shopping, it’s a good time to learn, albeit by osmosis, at a broker’s office. He will pay dividends. Not only is it easier to get help comparing policies, but professionals can teach you many other things, too.

Many people don’t know the difference between a broker and an agent. When visiting an agency, you’ll notice that only one company’s products are sold, while a broker sells policies from a wide variety of companies.

When you think about it, there’s no point in women blazing trails and building financial foundations if you don’t have a will. Dying without a will is called dying intestate, and it means that it will be many years before the estate is settled, and the beneficiaries may not be who you think they will be. For example, in New York, the priorities are: a) spouse, (b) children, and (c) siblings.

On a more serious note, advance directives can usually be made at the same time as the will. Health care powers of attorney and living wills are prewritten documents that tell your doctor if you want extraordinary measures to save your life (such as life support), and for how long. A living will can specify much more besides that, including religious practices such as not using blood transfusions.

The bottom line is that insurance prevents you from suffering, and taking care of your heritage prevents your family of suffering Young women who earn more than their particular partner should take this seriously. Assume the role of head of the family knowing all your bases are covered.

Judy Heft is CEO/Founder of Judith Heft & Associates, a lifestyle and financial concierge celebrating 26 years in business helping people stay financially organized. She is a certified money coach and the author of “How to Be Smart, Successful, and Organized With Your Money” and co-author of “Mastering Your Financial Lifecycles.” She is the host of the “Mastering your Financial Life” podcast. For more information visit www.judithheft.com .

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