Ideas for the new year

Ideas for the new year

Most of the people who make new year’s resolutions don’t wind up keeping them.  I usually don’t. Ending one year and facing a new one seems to get people in the frame of mind to look in the rear-view mirror and take inventory of sorts.  Here are a few ideas that are a little different from resolutions, but still qualify as changes or improvements that may help the new year and beyond go better and or smoother.   

Save (or save more) money - Most of us could benefit from putting a set amount away each pay period.  But it has to come from somewhere.  Start with the expenses you have each month.  Like trying store-brand items at the grocery.  Or joining a Sam’s Club to get your everyday items and fuel cheaper.  And…

Compare auto and home insurance rates - It’s easy to put off but it pays to compare insurance rates.  Look for an agency that is independent and has multiple carriers.  Like Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors ice cream shops, an independent can find the lowest rates for your perfect driving record and also get your daughter’s new cake and pie making business covered.  The savings could be substantial.

Check (or get) smoke and carbon monoxide detectors - This seems obvious.  Every home and apartment needs smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  They should be checked regularly and replaced every 8 -10 years.  There are programs to get them for free for those who can’t afford them.

Make out a will - If you have kids (young or old) and things like a house, cars, and savings or stocks, you should talk with an attorney about a last will.  If you don’t have one when you go, the state will put your family though a long, drawn out court procedure to figure out who gets what.  No one will be happy except the state because they get to keep some of your money as payment for deciding who gets the motorhome.

Get some life insurance - If any of the above about having a will strikes a chord with you, you should probably already have some life insurance.  Again, human nature is to procrastinate.  But the people who wait pay more or are sometimes uninsurable since they got their diagnosis last month.  The younger and healthier you are, the less you pay.  You might sleep better knowing your family is protected.

Help a friend or neighbor - “Do unto others…“  It’s solid gold.  You might be the one who needs help in the future. 

Volunteer some time to help those in need - You don’t have to go far or spend a lot.  Folks in your area need a hand.  If you don’t know how, ask at your Red Cross, community center or larger church in your town.

Make time to make memories – Take the kids or grandkids camping.  Invite some friends or family over for some board games or cards and take pictures.  Have a cook-out.  Visit a shut-in.  Hug the ones you love.  Smile at the others.    

Happy 2018 to you.

Written by Ken Kitchen, CLTC, for HRC Insurance Services

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