Generational Wealth and Nav.it’s Legacy Health Check
by Kaitlyn Ranze
How One Money Tracking App can Help You Transfer the Wealth You’ve Grown with Estate Planning
Legacy planning is a financial strategy that prepares people to pass their assets to a loved one. If you can leave behind an inheritance to your descendants, that constitutes generational wealth. Your strategy for creating generational wealth? Totally derived from your ability to implement a strategy where your loved ones lose as little as possible in the transfer of wealth.
Even if you’re on the path to building wealth – paying down debt, buying your first home, joining the company’s retirement plan – there are some basics for you to consider for the long term. It’s why we built an interactive checklist in the nav.it money app. So let’s review the basics of the legacy health checklist and talk why it matters.
Do you have health insurance?
No matter what age you are and how healthy you’ve been, accidents and illnesses happen. Good health insurance policies can prevent catastrophic financial outcomes, so take a moment to understand the basics of a policy to empower your healthcare coverage decisions.
The basics: Your health insurance is actually a contract of benefits. This contract requires your insurance company to pay some or all of your healthcare costs in exchange for a premium. In employer-based health plans, this premium is often paid in-part by your employer with the remaining portion deducted from your paycheck.
You’ve seen the GoFundMe’s to help someone’s loved one pay for the cost of healthcare. This could be because they didn’t have insurance at all OR their plan doesn’t cover all of the cost of care. Know the terms of your coverage to maximize those benefits.
Do you have life insurance?
Having life insurance gives your family options by providing financial benefits to pay off debt, pay for housing, and ongoing living expenses in the event someone passes away. Many families have little to no assets to offset the loss of an income. In fact, our friend Angelica wrote about it.
Real talk: can you afford to pay all of the household bills if income is lost permanently by one or more of the contributors? As CFP Nikki Dunn of She Talks Finance points out, “You don’t want your loved ones or their guardians to not have the resources to take care of themselves.”
Why else is life insurance valuable?
The National Funeral Directors Association puts the median cost of a funeral at $8,755. Cremation costs a median of $6,260. Loss sucks and grieving hurts, but grieving while scrambling to cover the costs of burying a loved one is even worse. Many are resorting to crowdfunding such as GoFundMe accounts to cover the costs of laying their loved ones to rests.
Where to get life insurance?
Bestow breaks down basic coverage questions and the process is 100% online.
Do you have disability insurance?
Disability income insurance is the most overlooked area of personal finance. If you are sick/injured and unable to work, how will you pay your bills? Your medical insurance will pay for your medical care, but how will you buy groceries or pay the mortgage? Disability income insurance replaces your income in that event.
How to get coverage?
If you are employed at a large company with great benefits, chances are you have some amount of long-term disability income insurance. Talk with your human resources department.
Companies like Aflac offer plans to individuals if your company doesn’t cover you.
Do you have home insurance?
Homeownership has long been viewed as a foundation for wealth building. Often dwarfing saving and investments, the equity in the American home is the single largest asset on the majority of Americans’ balance sheet.
Understanding Homeowners Insurance:
The basic goal behind paying a premium for home insurance is to help you recover financially in case of damage or a loss.It doesn’t matter how big your nest egg is, wiping it out to repair the damage from a fallen tree, earthquake, or total loss from a fire could significantly impact your financial outlook.
Sure, it probably required by the mortgage company but it’s also not a bad idea for risk mitigation.
The verdict on homeowners insurance?
Worth it, but there are ways to save. Compare rates for homeowners insurance with Young Alfred.
Do you have a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney (or POA) document allows another person to manage your money and/or care for your children in the event you’re unable to. Anyone who wants to permit another person to perform certain legal acts on his or her behalf needs a POA.
While you recover from Covid, you need a POA to both access the funds and pay on account. Legally you can’t access an account without one.
Do you have a will?
When you die, a will is the legal document that dictates what happens with what you own, i.e. it dictates the distribution of your assets. If you die without a will, state law governs what happens to all the wealth you’ve been building. (Having this document is especially important if you have kids, because courts may determine who gains custody of your kids.)
True story here: my dad inherited a watch from his dad. My senior year of high school, he died. While the major assets like the house were decided by the state, the heirloom sat in a safety deposit box for years. None of my siblings were able to wear the watch because we fought over it.
Do your loved ones a favor and help them avoid a conflict. From your investments to your heirlooms, spell it all out with an online service like Trust and Will.
Do you have an advanced healthcare directive?
Often called a living will, an advance directive advises everyone what you want done in case you’re unable to decide for yourself.
Why is this important to your legacy?
Advanced directives guide loved ones to make medical decisions on your behalf. The controversy from Terri Schiavo is a perfect example of why these matter. In 1990, Terri Schiavo suffered a massive heart attack and fell into a persistent vegetative state. Eight years later, Terri Schiavo’s husband and legal guardian argued that Terri would not have wanted prolonged artificial life support without the prospect of recovery. He elected to remove her feeding tube in 1998. The tube wasn’t removed until 2005 because Schiavo’s parents disputed what their daughter’s desires were and her diagnosis. Avoid a dispute and make your wishes known in advance.
Not convinced? Take it from someone who knows the importance of a plan.
Olympian Maggie Steffens understands the importance of preparation. “Nav.it has helped me understand that I can prepare for my future just as I do in my sport,” she explains.
“Confidence comes from preparation and with the Legacy Health Check, I can be more confident in my habits, routines, and what I have set up for myself in the different ‘buckets’ of my life. Especially as a homeowner now, it is important to utilize the Me Inc. section as a way to check on the business of ‘me’ and how I can best navigate my financial legacy. “
While you’re growing wealth, ensure your ability to transfer it from one generation to the next without unnecessary complications. If you can leave behind an inheritance, that constitutes a need to plan ahead. Head over to your money page inside the nav.it money app, and take your own legacy health check to get started.