Financial Planning for a Life with Multiple Sclerosis
A presentation by the
Society of FSP and the National MS Society
Who is the Society of
Financial Service Professionals?
n National organization established in 1928
n Our Delaware Chapter began in 19??
n 14,000 Board certified/credentialed professionals
n Hold one or more professional designations
n Financial planning, insurance, accounting & law
n Ethical code, continuing education & networking
Society of FSP
Financial Education Partners
n FEP is a Community Outreach Program
n Has collaborative agreements with NMSS
n Specialized programs & assistance
n Goal is to enhance financial literacy
n Provide guidance; act as a resource
n At no cost; we are all volunteers
How we can help you…
n Provide one on one counseling – free!
n On specific issues within our expertise
n Typically: financial & estate planning,
insurance, legal guidance & COBRA
n No duplication of other available services
n Coordinated with state NMSS chapter
The #1 Goal: Getting organized
“A journey of a thousand miles
must begin with a single step”
Using the “Adapting” Manual
Much of the information in these slides is
covered in your Adapting manual.
The corresponding page number in the
manual is shown at the bottom of the slide.
Please refer to the manual for further
information on the subject matter.
Keep an up to date file for these
n Birth certificate
n Social Security card
n Marriage certificates, marital documents
n Military papers
n Durable power of attorney
n Health-care directives
n Will, Trust documents
Adapting: Page 9
Maintain a file for these also…
n Policies: Life, health, disability and LTC
n Investment/retirement account information
n Savings/checking statements
n Mortgage documents
n Loans and credit card statements
n Employee benefits statements
n Tax returns; federal and state
Adapting: Page 9
Professional advisor information
Keep a list of their names and numbers
n Case worker
n Medical, pharmacy information
n Accountant/tax preparer
n Financial planner
n Insurance professional
n Others, emergency contacts
Adapting: Page 10
Managing my finances correctly!
Taking control of your finances means:
n Knowing what you have and what you owe
n Making positive changes as needed
n Spending wisely…with a plan
n Saving for the future
n Staying focused
Adapting: Page 42
Managing your expenses….
A saving and spending plan
n Fill out your “Income” spread sheet
n Next list all your “Expenses”
n Then subtract expenses from income
n Rejoice if it is a positive number!
n If it isn’t…you have some homework to do
n Then set your short term goals
n Work up to longer term goals
n Stay focused!
Adapting: Pages 43, 44 & 45
Where do I stand now?
If I am saving a little “extra money”
every month then…
n Planning for the future is very important
n Have a “Rainy day” fund…this is a must!
n Unexpected things can happen…quite often!
n Inflation makes things and services cost more
Adapting: Page 49
Suppose I am over spending?
Prioritize and make needed changes:
n Manage your credit card debt wisely
n Review your budget for improvements
n Track spending; eliminate non essentials
n Consider a life style change
n Prioritize your spending & needs
n Measure progress towards your goal
n Be patient, change takes time
Adapting: Pages 46 & 47
Have a Spending Plan…
a financial wish list!
n List your budget goals…all of them
n Estimate time to reach each goal
n Figure out the cost
n Determine how much to save regularly
n Prioritize your goals; #1, #2, #3, etc
n Create a time table to reach them
n Stay focused!
Adapting: Pages 42, 43, 44, 45 & 46
Sage advice about credit card debt
Some wise suggestions:
n Pay it down…not just the minimum payment
n Call the card issuer, ask for better terms
n Credit counseling may bring lower payments
n Bankruptcy is an option, but not a good one
n There is no “easy answer”
Adapting: Page 47
Be Smart, use Credit Cards Wisely!
Let’s look at Mr and Mrs Frivolous:
n Received a new credit card
n Charged a $5,000 home theater system
n Cut up card; never used it again
n Paid minimum each month: $10 or 2%
n 18% annual interest rate
n What did it cost to pay it off?
n How long did it take to pay it off?
Wow! I can’t believe it…
I only charged $5,000 on it!
Over 43 years
To pay off the debt by
paying the minimum
amount each month
Identity Theft…the silent thief!
It can happen to you at any time
n Caution is the best deterrent; be alert!
n Guard your personal information carefully
n Do NOT give it out on the phone or internet
n Beware of internet scams; they look real
n Minimize number of credit cards
n Review credit card statements for “errors”
n Check your credit record annually; it is free
Simple things you can do
to minimize identity theft
n Buy a shredder and use it
n Don’t leave mail sitting in your mail box
n Closely monitor all your financial accounts
n Use a “hard wired” computer;
“wireless” can be intercepted and tapped into
n Protect your pass words; change often
n Safe guard your computer from “spyware”
What about my investments?
n Have reasonable needs and financial goals
n A long term investment plan and outlook is best
n Proper asset allocation is important
n Fund plan with appropriate investments
n Periodically monitor and rebalance if needed
n Don’t invest in things you don’t understand or need
n Work with an advisor who:
n Understands your financial needs
n Will assist you in working towards your goals
Adapting: Page 47 & 48
Estate Planning is important!
A logical process with several documents
n Will: Valid, accurate, complete and up to date
n Durable Power of Attorney
n Health-Care Proxy and Living Will
n Special Needs Trust – possibly
n Life insurance polices/correct beneficiaries
n Other legal documents as needed
Adapting: Pages 62, 63, 64 & 65
Bringing it all together…
A time tested approach that works!
n Maintain up to date files of all documents &
financial information in a safe place
n Keep an eye on your spending:
n Appropriate cash management is a priority
n Stay within reasonable goals
n Manage credit card debt wisely
n Save for the future
n Stick with suitable investments; avoid risk
n Early estate planning is always smart
n Evaluate where you stand at least annually
Staying focused will help
you achieve your goals!
“We all have ability…
the difference is how we use it.”
Thanks for joining us today!
This community outreach program
has been presented by:
The Society of FSP Foundation
Financial Education Partners
In cooperation with the
National MS Society
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