Get Ready to prepare for financial emergencies by creating and maintaining a financial first aid kit.  Having a financial first aid is having risk protection for your financial life.

Step 1: Become Financially Literate.

Financial literacy is about understanding your financial choices, the terminology and how the various parts of your financial life work.  It’s about becoming educated and making smart money choices.

Financial literacy is defined by the Government Accounting Office (GAO) as:  The ability to make informed judgments and to take effective actions regarding the current and future use and management of money. It includes the ability to understand financial choices, plan for the future, spend wisely, and manage the challenges associated with life events such as a job loss, saving for retirement, or paying for a child’s education.

On, you will have the tools and resources to deepen your financial literacy and be financially prepared.

Step 2: Organize Your Financial First Aid Kit.

A financial first aid kit is risk protection for your financial life. It is how you prepare your financial life for a financial event such as applying for a loan, filing your taxes, saving for retirement as well as for an emergency such as an evacuation, loss of property or death.  Having a well-structured financial first aid kit will allow you to be prepared.

You may feel overwhelmed by the different types of insurance, investments and loans on the marketplace. You are not sure if you have the right financial tools to meet your goals.  The GET READY! system and the resources on this site can help you take control of your financial life. 

Step 3: Understand the Get Ready System.

It’s our duty to become educated about our finances. And the financial services industry has a duty to provide easier to understand, lower cost and appropriate products. The industry has a duty to adhere to a principle of ethical finances.

Today’s financial products are complex and over-priced. Thankfully, the industry recognizes the need for change. There are many best practice initiatives and fiduciary standards either in review or in action.

The GET READY! system provides an outline of how we can each be responsible for own financial lives and have full risk protection.  The GET READY! Financial Standards (formerly Insurance Bill of Rights) provides a baseline for those in the financial services industry (including insurance) to act in the consumer's best interest. Another part of this is the Health Insurance Roadmap which advocates for Fair Health Insurance for All.

The GET READY! System provide risk protection for your financial life:

  • Goals: It’s important to have financial goals so that you can be in charge of your financial future.  Taking time to make a plan now will allow you to be prepared, rather than having to scramble to gather information when it’s needed.
  • Educate yourself: Become financially literate. Take the time to understand your financial life. Money is an important part of life, so it is worth your time to understand all the different components of your financial life.  Most people spend more time researching a new television than making financial decisions, so do your research on all aspects of your financial life. Never make a financial decision that you don’t understand. Instead, keep it simple.
  • Track: It’s important to keep an eye on all areas of your financial life to stay on the path to achieving your goals. 
  • Review for accuracy and fit: After determining that a financial product will fit your goals, determine which product configuration is right for you.  Make sure to evaluate all of your options. If you need help, seek a qualified advisor. 
  • Expenses: Do you know what you’re paying for? Watch your expenses/costs: It’s common to only think about the primary cost of an asset or an investment along with the expected return. However, there are often hidden costs and/or high expenses that increase the amount of money you pay for something and/or the return on your investment. You may not be able to make significant adjustments to your income; however, you can make adjustments to your costs. 
  • Assemble information: Most of us have our financial life scattered in many places.  Take the time to bring it all together by documenting by creating a financial first aid kit.
  • Details: Take the time to review the details of financial products and services.  As John Wooden said, “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” Make smart and realistic financial decisions. A good rule of thumb is, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. And remember that the details include protecting your financial life by having appropriate insurance (risk protection for your financial life).
  • Yearly Review: Life is full of changes.  It’s important to monitor all aspects of your financial life to see if changes should be made and if you are maximizing value. value.  Having a Financial Calendar will help you stay on track. Part of this includes doing a financial background check (credit reports and so on) to make sure your financial history is correct.

Step 4: The GET READY! Financial Standards

I believe that we are all responsible for our actions and have a responsibility to be educated.  I also believe that advisors and financial services companies have a duty to act with integrity.  

The following are The GET READY! Financial Standards that all advisors and other members of the financial services industry should be willing to commit to:

If you are a consumer, learn more about how The GET READY! Financial Standards helps you (here).

If you are an advisor, click here to learn more and download your GET READY! Financial Standards Seal. 

Step 5: Get Started!

Here are some steps for you to GET READY! & Be Financially Prepared:

  • Listen to the GET READY! Podcast (here)
  • Download the GET READY! Toolkit (here) and receive the GET READY! Newsletter
  • Become a GET READY Insider (here)
  • Follow my Facebook page (here)
  • Pick up your copy of The GET READY! Planner (here)