5 Tips for Running a Successful Business

As you start your business, you will definitely get a lot of advice about what you should and should not do. Most of the advice will come from people with no idea what it takes to run a successful company in today’s business environment. When you go the Internet, you’ll be flooded with, literally, thousands of articles and long lists focusing on the subject.

However, do not make the mistake of over-analyzing and over-thinking about how to take your company from one success level to the next. All you need is follow a few simple steps, and you are sure going to be headed down the path towards success. Here are five basic tips that have worked for many other successful companies.

Have a Detailed Plan

This is one of the first things you should definitely do. Devise a detailed business plan that fully explains how you will tackle the upcoming challenges. The plan should consist of possible opportunities, a clear mission, a description of your target, measurable goals and a set of deadlines for every milestone. Remember, while having a plan is great, you should also have one that is flexible enough to adapt to certain changes that may occur along the way.

Create Networks

Most successful businesses would not be where they are without having professional networks established when they started out. Of course, the process of creating networks is an ongoing process that never stops. Until you have established your business, you will need to depend on word-of-mouth; become your own brand ambassador and sell the benefits of working with your company whenever given a chance.

Start at your own momentum by attending trade shows, events and networking groups associated with professionals in your niche market. Such initial contacts may lead to future business prospects, strategic partners and mentors that can help grow your company.

Work with the Right People

The right strategic partners and mentors are not the only people you need to align yourself with. Surround yourself with a team that is great to work with. Building your staff with driven, talented and smart employees who share your vision will help steer you in the right direction.

Not only will such a great team transform how you do business, but they will also accelerate its growth. Hiring can-do, positive employees will help nurture a teamwork culture. A participatory environment occurs when everyone plays a critical role and collectively celebrates the company’s successes.

Always Stay Ahead

In today’s times, it is risky to stay rooted and only focus on what is happening on a day-to-day basis. It is critical that you keep focused on the future, predicting the possible changes in your industry and related service providers like insurance coverage through online resources like insurance.me can help. Without anticipating huge changes in the future, you are destined to lag behind.

Successful entrepreneurs are always looking at the trends and anticipating what is coming around the corner. This gives them an opportunity to put in place strategies to evolve and adapt to the changes.

Maintain a Healthy Balance Between Work and Life

Running a business requires a lot of time and energy. It is critical that you find a healthy work-life balance, but it can be challenging to do so. However, do not let work dominate your life.

The result of work overwhelming you is that you eventually lose touch with the people you consider the most important in life. It is also important that you take good care of your well-being and health. Your business cannot run without you. While you may believe that running a successful business requires perpetual hustle, that pace will eventually burn you out if you don’t take care of yourself.

Betting on Your Future: 5 Differences Between Whole and Term Life Insurance

In many ways comparing whole and term life insurance is like comparing apples and oranges. Although they both offer death benefits, everything else is different.

Term life insurance costs less initially and runs for a specific term, hence the name. The policy guarantees premiums only for the initial term and if you renew it, the premiums may change. The policy itself has no collateral value and you cannot use it as an asset to borrow money.

Whole life insurance tends to cost more initially, but the premiums are guaranteed to stay at that level for the life of the policy. The policy can be used as collateral to borrow money against.

The advantages of term life

Term life insurance is a great option when you cannot afford the protection offered by whole life or when you need coverage for a specific time period. Your initial premiums are less than whole life, but will increase at the end of the term whether it is 1-year, 5-years or whatever length the term runs for.

Term life insurance is perfect for families that are growing or to supplement existing insurance when cash resources are scarce. There is no cash value on term life insurance so it cannot be borrowed against, keeping its value full during the entirety of its course.

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Advantages of whole life insurance

As opposed to term life, whole life insurance provides death benefits. It also accumulates value while it is active. You are eligible for dividends on the value and you can borrow money against it.

The biggest advantage, however, is that once you have been approved for whole life insurance, it can never be cancelled as long as you pay your premiums. No matter what happens, you will have life insurance and your death benefits will be paid.

Comparing apples and oranges

It’s easier to look at the benefits in comparison to each other:

Term Whole

  • Death benefits Death benefits
  • Premiums guaranteed for initial term Premiums guaranteed for life of policy
  • Inexpensive initially, premiums may rise Higher initial price, premiums never increase
  • No value other than death benefits In addition to death benefits, offers loans against accrued value or surrenders
  • Conversion to whole life may be available No conversion necessary

When it comes to insurance, some is better than none, but having the wrong kind of insurance can make it difficult to use it the way you need it, not just the way it is set up.

The entire debate between whole life vs term life insurance can be summed up with this example:

  • If you had a term policy that you had maintained for 30 years, through multiple premium increases, it would still only be worth its face value if you died.
  • If you had a comparable whole life insurance policy, through the same number of years, your premiums would not have changed from day one and you would be able to borrow against the value of the policy or surrender some of the value to put cash in your pocket.

The increase in premiums through the term policy would have brought the total spending to a roughly equal state but the whole life policy would be worth far more because you can do more with it than just pay off the beneficiaries when you die.

With term life, you are betting against an insurance company that you will die before the policy expires, while with whole life, you are betting that you will live long enough for the policy to be worth more than its paper value.

Gordon Hayward’s Net Worth

Gordon Hayward is a professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association.  On July 4th of this year, Gordon agreed to sign a deal that would make him a Boston Celtic.  Prior to signing a contract with Boston, Gordon spent his first seven seasons of his NBA career with the Utah Jazz.  At 27 years of age, Gordon Hayward’s net worth sits at $20 million.

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Gordon Hayward

Born and raised in Indiana, Gordon played his high school basketball at Brownsburg High School and went on to play his college ball at Butler University in Indianapolis.  While in college, Hayward excelled in his freshman season.  He started all 32 games for the Bulldogs that year and averaged over 13 points per game and earned the award for the conference’s newcomer of the year.  He followed it up with a magical sophomore season where he averaged nearly 16 points per game and led his team to the championship game before losing to the Duke Blue Devils.  After his second season at Butler, Hayward decided to enter the NBA draft.  He was selected ninth overall by the Utah Jazz.  He just finished up his seventh season with the Jazz, and his most recent season was his most productive.  He averaged a career high for points per game at nearly 22 a contest.  His stellar performance during the 2016-2017 campaign earned him his first All-Star appearance.  His eight points and four steals in the all-star game helped the West division seal a victory over the East.

A very large percentage of Gordon Hayward’s net worth comes from his on the court earnings.  Back in 2014, Hayward and the Jazz agreed on a contract extension that was worth $63 million over four years.  This contract helped validate Hayward’s accomplishments.  However, the deal would be cut a year short as Hayward agreed to a contract with the Boston Celtics.  His contract with Boston will significantly increase Gordon Hayward’s net worth in the coming years.  He signed a four year, $128 million contract with Boston.  As it currently sits, Hayward will be the highest paid Celtic for the upcoming season and the third highest paid NBA player behind only Steph Curry and Lebron James.

Off the court, Hayward claims to be a huge fan of video games, and he has even played in the IGN Pro League.  In 2016, Hayward signed a deal with the video game company, HyperX.  Additionally, he has done a few local commercials for companies in the Utah area.

On a personal note, Hayward is married to his wife Robyn.  The couple has two kids together.  Hayward is a good tennis player and even won a club-level charity tennis tournament.  Hayward has also appeared in a commercial for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and is a participant in the organization’s “Fan for Life” campaign.

 

How a Business Broker Can Help You Find the Right Buyer

Whether you built your business from the ground up or purchased it from someone else, it’s easy to become heavily emotionally invested in it. This can color your perceptions of its value, and even lead to hurt feelings when a potential buyer isn’t as interested or willing to pay a premium as you think they should be. This undermines your ability to successfully negotiate a deal.

If you’ve asked yourself, “How can I sell my business in Spokane?” or in anywhere else in the U.S., the answer is to find a business broker who specializes in your niche, and your geographic region. Here’s what a business broker offers you.

Preparing for the Sale

Much of the work of a successful sale occurs well before you sign sale documents. Preparing your business to navigate due diligence, streamlining your operations, and other simple strategies can increase the value of your business, while making it more attractive to a potential buyer. A business broker can help you determine strategies that will make your business more attractive in advance of a sale.

Unbiased Assessments and Feedback

Don’t let emotions color your judgment. A business broker offers objective feedback that establishes realistic expectations. This objective feedback offers actionable insights that can help you choose the right buyer, competently negotiate price, and take steps to optimize the value and operations of your business.

Accessing Buyers

Business brokers know buyers. They know who is in the market, and who might be if the price and business are right. Most business owners don’t know how to find buyers, or they worry that searching for a buyer will scare off employees and lower the value of their business. Don’t rely on word of mouth or cold calling former partners. Work with a broker who can connect you not only to a group of buyers, but to the right buyer for your business. 

Protecting Your Business

If people get wind of your plans to sell, there can be far-reaching reverberations. Management and staff may jump ship. Lenders may be scared off. Key employees may attempt to leverage the news into a share of the sales proceeds.

A skilled business broker can widen the search for the right buyer while doggedly protecting your business’s confidentiality. This is something business owners are rarely able to accomplish on their own. It’s also a strategy that saves time and money, while shortening the path to a successful sale. 

Negotiating the Transaction

You need to run your business, not waste your time haggling over price or stressing about the impact of the sale on your operations. A business broker helps you seamlessly navigate the transaction, including negotiating key details. This lends a professional sheen to the transaction process, and can make your business more attractive to experienced buyers, who may not want to deal with a harried business owner. 

Saving Time and Money

Your time is the most valuable asset you have. It’s the only thing you can’t get back. Consider how much time you might spend negotiating a sale. Now think about how you bill your time. That gives you insight into how much your wasted time is worth. Consider also that when you spend time on the transaction, you take time away from vital operations. This can send your business into disarray, and potentially even lower the value of your business. A broker saves you time, money, and stress by taking care of the day-to-day management of the sale for you. That frees you to run your business—or maybe even take a day or two off.

The Lottery Won’t Save You, But Smart Money Management Can

create your monthly budgetWorrying about money is a major stressor. Financial problems can wreak havoc on your physical and emotional health, your relationships, and virtually every aspect of your life. It is little wonder, then, that many folks who are struggling with their finances nurture dreams of a miraculous save, a deus ex machina such as a huge lottery or sweepstakes win. Accordingly many people spend more money than they should on lottery tickets and scratch-off games, with low-income people being among the most vulnerable to the (mostly) false hope that money will fall into their hands if they spend half of their paycheck on the next Mega-Millions game.

Don’t let your big dreams blind you to reality

Don’t misunderstand us. There’s nothing wrong with buying an occasional lottery ticket, or even daydreaming about what you would do if you won, but don’t pin all of your hopes and dreams on a big win. If you are truly struggling financially you’re far better off looking for more realistic solutions to your problems.

Setting and living within a budget that covers your expenses and allows you to have a decent quality of life, while still managing to contribute to your savings on a regular basis, is essential. While this can be a lot more difficult to do than to say, it is doable for most people.

One area where too many people get off that track is in accumulating more debt than they can handle on a regular basis. It is essential that you avoid debt unless it is necessary or will actually improve your financial condition. If you decide that you do need to take on a debt, you need to really know what that debt is going to cost you, and to shop around for the best source of credit.

Comparison sites for example provide you with a side-by-side comparison of the terms and costs of different lenders’ offerings on many types of loans The site also has tools such as financial calculators, and advice on how to best manage your household finances, so you don’t find yourself struggling and wishing for a windfall.

Most people know at some level that they could be smarter about managing their money. Nevertheless the siren song of the lotto calls to millions of people.

A tax on the poor?

Unfortunately, some of the most financially vulnerable, who can least afford to spend money for things that have virtually no chance of benefitting them, are the most likely to heed that call, to their detriment. It is not too difficult to understand the appeal, especially when someone who can barely afford the basic necessities has the promise of a $1 billion-plus jackpot dangled before them, such as has been the case with the American Powerball lottery. Visions of acquiring previously unimaginable wealth can be profoundly seductive when you barely have enough money to buy groceries for the week. And the tantalizing suggestion that somebody is going to win, so I have as good a chance as anyone, makes it exceedingly easy to part with a couple of dollars for a ticket, or even to cut back a bit on the groceries to buy more tickets, thus improving your chances.

What is not emphasized in the commercials is the fact that the jackpot is bigger because more people are buying tickets, diminishing your virtually nonexistent likelihood of winning even further. Add to that the fact that late in 2015, the table of available Powerball numbers from which to choose the winning five grew from 59 to 69, further reducing dramatically the chances that anyone will win. The pot gets bigger, and people’s fantasies are whetted to the point where they end up spending more of the money they really need for other things. It’s no wonder that some financial experts consider the Powerball lottery a state-sanctioned swindle. Other countries, including the UK, have similar games in place for one reason – they are a tremendous source of fast and easy revenue.

In 2009, the UK newspaper the Telegraph reported about a study by a think tank that showed people on low incomes spent disproportionate amounts on money on the National Lottery, adding credence to widespread claims that it is a tax on the poor. And the same phenomena can be seen in other countries that sponsor lotteries and sweepstakes.

Your chances of winning are slim, and it won’t solve all of your problems anyway

Aside from the fact that you’re more likely to be hit by a comet or be killed in a wreck on the drive to the store to buy your tickets, actually winning the lottery has proved to be as much a curse as a blessing for too many people. A 2010 study conducted by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) found that even if you win the big prize, there is a 70% likelihood that you’ll be broke again within five years. Those money problems you had before you won? They will likely be there, only greatly multiplied, because most people adapt quickly to the dramatic change in scale, only to find themselves with a crushing burden of debt and tax payments after the cash runs out. And we won’t even get into the pressure from friends, acquaintances, and long-lost relatives who seem to magically appear, hands out, when they discover you’ve come into a pot of gold.

The bottom line is that the lottery won’t save you, but wise money management can save you from a world of stress, and money management is something that anyone can learn. Besides, if you learn to be smart about the money you have now, you’ll be far more likely to be smart if you ever do come into a fortune.

2018 Roth IRA Contribution Limits

2018 Roth IRA Contribution Limits

We all know that we should be saving for retirement.  Whether you have a 401k, a pension, or an IRA, retirement accounts give individuals great tax breaks to help them prepare for their golden years.  It is often reported that people misjudge how much they will need in retirement.  The rule of thumb for a long time has been you need your retirement income to supplement 80% of your income when you were working; however, this number is different for everyone based on a number of factors.  One thing is certain.  Maxing out your retirement accounts never hurts.  For 2017, the IRA contribution limits stayed the same as they were in 2016.  You could contribute up to $5,500 towards your IRA, and if you were 50 or older you can contribute an additional $1,000 bringing your total yearly contribution limit to $6,500.  The 2018 Roth IRA contribution limits won’t be released until October of this year, but we can speculate what they might be.

Each year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sets the income and contribution limits for IRA’s.  The last year that the IRS raise the contribution limit was for the tax year of 2013.  The contribution amounts for traditional and Roth IRA’s are the same each year.  They are evaluated and raised based on inflation.  The IRS will raise contribution limits in increments of $500.  This means that the next time they are raised, people under the age of 50 will be able to contribute a maximum of $6,000 a year to their IRA, while people over the age of 50 will be able to most likely contribute $7,000 a year.  In order for this raise in contribution limits to take place, inflation would need to be around 9% over a period of time for this to occur.

9% of $5,500 = $495

This would be near the $500 increment level the IRS would like to see to raise the contribution limits.

Since the last time the IRS raised contribution limits in 2013, inflation has risen by about 6.5% based on data tables.  This means that another 2.5% increase in inflation would be needed for the IRS to raise the contribution limits for traditional and Roth IRA’s.  With all of this being said, the most likely scenario is that 2018 Roth IRA contribution limits will remain unchanged.  A more likely scenario would be a raise in the contribution limits for 2019.

Despite the fact that the 2018 Roth IRA contribution limits won’t change, the IRS will still probably change some limits.  The limit they will change, and almost always do, is the income limits associated with eligibility for participation in IRA’s.  For 2017, the IRS raised the income phase-out limit to $118,000 for single earners and $186,000 for married, joint filling earners, raises of $1,000 and $2,000 respectively.

There are still many months to wait until the IRS reveals their 2018 Roth IRA contribution limits.  An increase in the limit would allow individuals to save an additional $500 a year in a tax-advantaged account.  Although an increase is doubtful, we can still remain hopeful.

Budget Smart, Invest Wise

Allegiant Air Review

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The official start to summer begins on June 21st, but the warm weather and sunshine makes it feel like we are already in it.  Summer means kids out of school, pleasant weather and vacations.  Vacationing during the summer months has become a staple of many families across the U.S.  Whether you are travelling to visit family, going to the beach, or trekking through a national park, summer presents many individuals the opportunity to get out and about.  Nowadays, people are electing to fly more than ever.  Airlines have become more competitive with their fares in an effort to boost travel by air.  One of these airlines who is known for having great deals on flights is Allegiant Air.

Allegiant Air, or just Allegiant as it is more commonly known, is a budget airline based out of Las Vegas, NV.  Founded in the late 90’s as WestJet Express, Allegiant has rapidly gained popularity among passengers looking for cheap fares throughout the U.S.  With nearly 100 aircraft serving approximately 150 destinations, Allegiant has expanded its reach from coast to coast.  In this Allegiant Air review, I will discuss the positives and negatives of the airline along with some pertinent information you need to know before you book your summertime travel.

Allegiant Air Review: Positives

Probably the biggest positive in terms of Allegiant is the price of their fares.  I know of people who have booked round trip tickets for less than $100 on many occasions.  The earlier you plan and book your trip, the better the price.  Like most flights these days, Allegiant flights aren’t always booked to capacity.  This means that if there is an open seat you would feel more comfortable in you may go ahead and switch.  They also tend to fly into smaller airports.  The benefit of this is you have less crowds and TSA lines to deal with, and you can sometimes find flights into airports that the likes of Delta and American won’t touch.  Finally, their smartphone app and website make it easy to book and manage your flights just like the big airlines, so you don’t have to sacrifice convenience.

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Allegiant Air Route Map

Allegiant Air Review: Negatives

Of course there are also negatives to flying Allegiant Air.  First and foremost, when you book your flight, you need to stick with it.  Changing your flight or cancelling it results in lost money for you the customer.  Secondly, their customer service isn’t the greatest.  I’ve found myself calling before about a simple question only to find myself waiting for 45 minutes on the phone with no answer.  Lastly, as is the case with many budget airlines, they charge for the extras.  This means you have to pay extra for a carry-on or checked bag.  It also means that you don’t get any free refreshments.  Drinks, including soft drinks and snacks, are extra.

Conclusion:

If you are a planner and enjoy planning trips months in advance, Allegiant is definitely an airline to look at.  Even with paying for an extra bag or two, they are often times still cheaper than larger airlines.  The planes offer standard comfort, and  Allegiant oftentimes has direct flights that few other airlines can offer to varying destinations.

Financial Challenges in 2017

create your monthly budget2017 and beyond seems to be a difficult time for businesses. With the global financial situation affected by Brexit, by a divisive and embattled new presidency in the US and an upcoming General Election in the UK, it’s difficult to plan beyond the immediate weeks or months.

For reassurance and reflection, here are some of the bigger challenging issues facing businesses at the moment, and some tips to help.

Financial Management

With changes in government, both at home and more broadly, we can expect new financial regulations to come into force. Donald Trump has announced various high level reforms he intends to make to businesses, and at home in the UK, there are likely to be many new rules brought in to cushion or capitalise on our withdrawal from the EU and the Single Market.

At times like this, large firms need a good CFO, and smaller businesses would benefit from an experienced Financial Consultant. As Jon Burr puts it, “the convergence of ecosystems within financial services across banking, capital markets, asset management, insurance and professional services, all in an environment of increased technological innovation and regulation, is creating a new paradigm”.

This is a lot for a single individual to keep track of, and CFOs in this new ecosystem need to be exceptional individuals. It’s worth consulting a specialist recruiter like Savannah Search to make sure you have the best person for the job in your business.

Technology and Change

The pace of change in technology is only accelerating. Knowing when to jump aboard a new trend, and when to watch carefully is one of the best skills you can cultivate.

A good CIO can help you here, providing updates and expert opinion to aid your judgment. You can also bring a common sense balance check to suggested innovations from your tech experts. Remember, just because something is new doesn’t mean it will automatically be worth doing.

Always remember to check if you are filling a real gap in the market and remember the example of the feature rich, ruinously expensive juicer, which nearly wiped out the founder’s business when it was found the bespoke fruit packs could be squeezed by hand, without investing in the $400 machine. Don’t be a Juicero.

As long as you apply your practised business instincts to each new proposition, you can avoid sinking too much investment into an idea which may never return it.

Renasant Bank Review

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Many of us are familiar with the national banks that stretch across the U.S.  These include Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase and others.  While often times we assume banking with the big banks is the best, that is sometimes not the case.

During the recent financial recession, a lot of pressure came down on smaller, local and regional banks.  No matter what bank it was, they all saw their stock price take a nose dive.  Renasant Bank began over 100 years ago in Mississippi.  Throughout it’s century long existence, the bank has continued to expand over the years.  Today, they have more than 175 locations spanning across the Southeast.  States where they operate include: Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida.  Renasant Bank is a full-service bank that offers everything from checking and savings accounts to loans and wealth management services.  This Renasant Bank review illustrates many of the benefits one can receive from a smaller, regional bank versus a national bank.  Below are the three biggest benefits received from this regional bank.

Benefit 1: Free Mobile Deposit: Today the popularity of smartphones have made mobile banking a must.  Nearly every bank has an app where you can access your banking services.  The development of the smartphone led to the creation of mobile deposit.  When mobile deposits were first introduced, many banks charged their customers for this service and some still do.  However with Renasant Bank, mobile deposit is completely free and deposits made before 6:00 PM can usually be expected to post to your account the next day.  This has become the most popular banking service of the modern day and has led to branch closings which ultimately leads to lower costs for banks around the country.

Benefit 2: ATM Fees Covered: We are living in a country where cash becomes less of a necessity each and every day, but there are still many places that prefer the green money to the plastic.  The main reason for this would be that businesses don’t have to worry about paying the credit card processing fees.  With the existence of all-cash places, the need for it is still out there.  While you can often times withdraw money from a grocery store or your bank’s branch for free, it isn’t always the most convenient.  Because of a lack of regional and national presence, many smaller banks reimburse you for such fees and Renasant Bank is no different.  It is always reassuring to know that when are in a crunch and need cash ASAP that you won’t be subjected to the sometimes $10 fee.

Benefit 3: More Personal Service: Some individuals are inclined to support the communities they live in.  They feel a personal obligation to help out their local economy.  This goes for grocery stores, small business and also banks.  When you bank with a smaller, more regional bank, you are more likely to build a personal connection with the people in that branch.  Thus, often times they will work with you on various things such as loans that bigger banks sometimes won’t.

Banking is an essential part of every day life.  Maybe you are younger and looking to open a bank account.  Maybe you feel a lack of trust or professionalism with your current bank.  Looking into smaller banks like Renasant can be a great option for many.

 

 

Managing Your Finances When Disabled

Just about every stage of life requires an understanding of your financial situation; when you go to college, get married, decide to buy a home, choose to have children, when you choose to retire, et cetera. However, most of us don’t take into consideration the possibility of becoming disabled and how this will play a major role in our finances. Let’s learn more about managing our finances while dealing with a disability!

Social Security Disability Insurance

When people become disabled, it’s recommended they check and see what their SSDI eligibility is going forward. Once you understand what your benefits are, you will need to account for that in your budget. There is also a trick when it comes to SSDI benefits and working. Most people assume you cannot work if you are receiving benefits. This isn’t quite true! You can test your work abilities but there are very specific guidelines to how much you can make without losing benefits. This is crucial when many disabled persons don’t receive enough to care for themselves and still need some sort of income to help. Do not assume you can make any specific amount. Speak with your disability lawyer to find out what the rules are around making any extra income while disabled!

Look at Your Budget

If you already have a budget then you need to review it. If you don’t have a budget, you must create one. It doesn’t matter how much money you have coming in from Social Security, a budget will help make everything easier for you to manage. It’s more important to budget when you feel as if you have little to nothing. Disabilities often create extra expenses rather than lessen them. If you don’t take the time to budget, you can find yourself struggling quickly.

Of course, you will be tracking your spending over your standard expenses. Rent/mortgage, utilities, transportation, and food are the usual main expenses that should be considered. You will also need to look at clothing, healthcare (insurance, co-pays, meds, medical aids), home maintenance, and entertainment. Entertainment is important because although you may be disabled, spending a little time enjoying an outing is vital for your mental health. If you never try to do anything fun, it can wear you down mentally and contribute to further health issues.

Scale Back

Once you see what your expenses are and what you are bringing in, don’t panic! It’s not uncommon to see your expenses higher than your disability income. Take a deep breath and look to see where you can cut back. Don’t start with your heavy hitters, such as healthcare and food. You need those to take care of yourself. Instead, start with your rent and utilities. Can you move into a smaller home or apartment that can help you save money? Can you eliminate pay-television and stream movies and television through the internet? If you have a mobile phone, can you get rid of your landline (or can you rid the mobile and keep the landline?) If you own your home, don’t rush to sell it just yet. Check with your lawyer first to be sure it will not harm your benefits.

Dip into Retirement

Depending on where you are in life and whether you were denied benefits, you may have to dip into retirement savings to maintain your life while disabled. This should only be a last resort and if you have enough saved to take care of yourself! If you are under 62, this is probably not the way you want to go. However, if you are 62 you can “retire” and apply for Social Security Insurance Benefits (not disability benefits). However, it will be greatly reduced! You can then dip into your own IRA/SAP/401k to supplement your needs.

If you find yourself still struggling with managing your finances, look to family and friends who will help you make sure bills are paid timely and that you are well within your means for living. It can be a difficult discussion to have but well worth it in the long run!