Life is hopefully a long and healthy one. It also never hurts to be prepared for dire times. A crisis is defined as “a time of intense difficulty or danger”. It is usually sudden and out of the ordinary. More often than not, it requires a large chunk of money to get resolved. The ruler of Thailand, King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away a few days ago after a long illness. He was a much beloved king who had ruled for over seventy years. His death has devastated the Thai people. The whole country is in a state of mourning for the next year. Civil and state officials have been ordered to wear only black clothing for the next year as homage to the king. No doubt his heir will be well taken care of. What does this all have to do with you? is what you’re asking yourself. The answer is… plenty, when applied to your life.
Are you prepared for dire times and crisis financially?
As part of the mourning process, most places of business have shut down for thirty days. This means shops, clubs, and even the red light district have shut down and will remain shut for some days, if not all of the month. While this is an extreme case and something that probably wouldn’t happen in the first world countries, a crisis can impact your finances by disrupting your business and your life. For instance, it means a lot of lost revenue for Thai merchants who run businesses. Having to buy black clothing is also sure to be a drain of finances. If something dire happened to you, would your loved ones be okay? I don’t mean to be morbid, but it’s something l started thinking about recently when l read about the two sisters who died under mysterious circumstances while on vacation in the Seychelles. When l heard about the king’s passing, it also brought it to the forefront as we are soon leaving for a little trip which will find us in Bangkok still within the 30 day mourning period. The impact for us is little of course as tourists. I just have to make a slight adjustment in the clothing l was planning on wearing and opt for more muted colors as advised for all tourists.
All businesses depend on customers. It might be a big business, it might be a single operator like a blogger making money from a particularly big sponsor. Just recently, the Mode Media company shut down out of the blue. A company valued at 1 Billion dollars! A lot of bloggers were left owed thousands. Some were owed in excess of $30,000! for work that had been done but invoices not paid. A lot of people don’t remember the dire times after Enron went into bankruptcy, essentially ruining the lives of its hundreds and hundreds of employees. Gone were their pension plans, their 401k plans and life as they knew it. If a business you depend on fails due to no fault of yours, are you prepared? Do you have enough money to ride out the bad times? Are you sure you’ll be able to put food on the table for you and your family? Do you have an emergency fund? What is your Plan B?
As a result of everyone in Thailand wanting to wear black for mourning, the retailers are running out of all black clothing. They truly can’t keep any black materials in stock. Most had been reluctant to order black because they didn’t want to bring bad luck to the king. Some forward thinking and realistic ones had stockpiled black clothing and are now sitting pretty. They had a Plan B. While one should not go around wishing bad things, it is certainly good to be prepared. For you, it might mean making provisions for your children or spouse in case anything happened to you. Have you assigned a guardian? Do you have a living will?
It’s always a good thing to put your financial house in order. Do you have insurance for your loved ones if anything happens to you? The king’s death got me thinking as well. It’s an unpleasant thought, but it’s something that needs to be done for your peace of mind. It is your responsibility to make sure your family is provided for in case anything happens to you. I am not perfect, and l certainly don’t have all the answers. I used to have life insurance when l was still in the regular working world. It was provided by my company and l could raise the amount of coverage for just a little amount, which l did. It might do you good to check and see if your company offers such a perk. If not, it might be a good time to start thinking ahead like l am now and trying to find the best plan.
There are a lot of tourists in Thailand right now who are complaining because the royal death has put a cramp on their holiday plans. They had come to party, drink and muck up the place. Now, they are forced to be respectful and wear somber colors as a sign of respect. Travel insurance is also another good thing to make sure you have when you go away. There are tons of horror stories out there. If something happens to you while traveling, you want to make sure that you will be returned home. If there is any sort of political upheaval that prevents you traveling, it’s also nice that you won’t be out of money. That is something l find worth paying the extra $ for.
This goes by many different names. The whole point is to have enough money to ride out the bad times. The amount is different for all. If you have an easy to find job or specialty, you may not need as much as the next person with a hard to find job. Some people depend of credit cards as a source of emergency money. That is a whole different post itself. Most experts suggest three months worth of living expenses. Your first step of course should be to get your current financial picture. This will point you towards your strengths and weaknesses. Making a budget and figuring ways to lower your spending so you can shore up your finances if always a good thing. One of the things we did was to eliminate our credit card debt. It involved me picking up extra shifts and my husband getting another job as a waiter, but we did it. I don’t care how low the interest rate is, or how it helps your credit score to by actually having a balance. It is so easy to fall into that trap, but extremely hard to get out of. Trust me, l had 25 years experience with that.
Do you have your Plan B ready? Are you prepared for dire times and crisis financially? If so, what did you do? If not, are you planning to?