10 Things You Need to Attain Lifelong Financial Stability

These products are the cornerstones of a solid financial foundation that can weather the unexpected.

6. Auto insurance

A man makes a phone call after a car crashTom Wang / Shutterstock.com

Aside from your home, your car may be your most valuable asset.

While many states require you to carry a minimal level of coverage, you may want to consider getting additional car insurance coverage, depending on your assets and income.

To learn more, check out “The Complete Guide to Getting the Best Possible Deal on Car Insurance.”

7. Disability insurance

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Not having disability insurance can trip up some otherwise money-savvy individuals.

Disability insurance provides money in the event you are unable to work for an extended period of time. The details may vary by insurer and policy.

If you’re on the fence about whether to buy disability insurance, consider whether you have a big enough emergency fund to pay the bills if you are unable to work.

Social Security disability benefits provide payments if you are unable to work due to a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death, and if you meet other requirements. But even if you’re approved, there is a five-month waiting period before benefits begin.

8. Life insurance

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If you were to die tomorrow, could your family pay the bills? Do they even have the cash to bury you?

Unless you have plenty of cash in your coffers, you need life insurance. Even if you’re wealthy, you might want a policy to help your family pay off estate taxes.

Beyond that, life insurance can come with added bonuses that make it a smart buy. For example, some policies offer living benefits that let you tap into your death benefits if you’re terminally ill.

9. Retirement fund

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Someday you’ll want to retire, and God help you if you plan to live off Social Security alone. It was never meant to be the sole source of retirement funds.

As of February, the average Social Security retirement benefit was $1,362.10 per month, according to the Social Security Administration. That’s less than $17,000 per year. So, make sure you have another source of income for your golden years.

Your first stop for retirement savings should be a 401(k) plan if your employer provides a match of any kind. After that, look for a tax-sheltered plan such as an individual retirement account.

For more information, see “Confused by Retirement Accounts? Roth, Regular IRAs and 401(k)s Made Simple.”

10. College savings account

A father and son pose for a photo at the son's graduationpixelheadphoto digitalskillet / Shutterstock.com

If you’re childless and plan to keep it that way, you get a pass on this final must-have financial product. Most everyone else should start planning for college now.

Even if you intend to have your children pay their own way, you never know what the future may hold, or how your views may evolve over time. It is best to put some money aside in savings now just in case.

The 529 college savings plans and Coverdell educational savings accounts are common ways to get tax benefits for your kid’s college fund. However, you must use the money for educational purposes or you’ll get hit with a tax penalty.

If you aren’t confident you’ll actually be paying college expenses for your children, you may want to put money aside in an investment fund. Then, if they get a full-ride scholarship or burn out in the first semester, you’ll have a nice chunk of money for retirement.

Would you add any products to this list or remove any products from it? Sound off in a comment below or on our Facebook page.

Maryalene LaPonsie
Maryalene LaPonsie
After 13 years as a staffer for a Michigan legislator, I decided it was time to quit the commute and work from home instead. For the past three years, I’ve been penning ... More

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