Last night my wife and I watched the season finale of Survivor. I know we are a bit late to the party on this one but we tend to load up our PVR and binge watch things over a few days rather than invest an hour or two a week for several months. We miss the boat on some of the water cooler talk that way but in the long run it saves us lots of time so it works for us.
Usually when I watch Survivor I can’t help but wonder what the real survivalists think of this show. Forget the school yard games and the psychological game play, that’s clearly just for TV. What I want to know is how realistic are their attempts to build shelter and hunt for food? I’m guessing not very.
I am clearly not a survivalist. I don’t even have the recommended 72 hour emergency kit in my house. I know where my flash light is (I think) and the last time I used it the batteries seemed okay. I usually have at least a few bottles of water in the house but if there were to be a serious interruption of services, like a long term power outage brought about by a massive winter storm or the Zombie Apocalypse I’m pretty sure I would be one of the first to die.
All kidding aside though, all this talk of survival though got me wondering about how many of my readers would survive another type of emergency, a financial one.
Last fall Manulife Bank completed a homeowner debt survey. They found that half of the households polled have less than $1,000 in emergency savings. But considering the impact of a job loss or the cost of making a major repair like replacing a roof or a furnace, $1,000 clearly won’t go very far.
In addition to the more common unexpected expenses, consider a couple of others as well, like pet care and aging parents. Unexpected health care expenses for Fluffy the Cat can run into the thousands, $1200 for dental care alone. Provincial health plans rarely provide the level of care aging parents might need following surgery or any other kind of health crisis. Not to mention the cost of travel if you live a distance away and if you need to make a last minute trip to attend to their needs.
The survey found that while 73% of homeowners believe they are at least somewhat prepared to deal with the unexpected, 38% admitted that they were caught short when something did happen, 24% didn’t even know if they had any emergency funds at all and 13% admitted to having no money set aside for emergencies.
Click this link to my financial readiness quiz and see what areas could use some improvement in your life then call me to talk about your results and figure out what next steps you should take to boost your score.
0-38 points – Some serious improvement needed
39-60 points – Moderately ready
61-75 points – Financial readiness all-star
Mr. Lauren C. Sheil is a serial entrepreneur who has been in business for over 20 years. He is currently a Financial Security Advisor with one of Canada’s premier financial planning organizations. He holds dual licenses from the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) for Life, Disability and Critical Illnesses Insurance and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) for personal investments. He is passionate about helping people to live life to the fullest while Eliminating Debt, Building Wealth and Leaving a Legacy.
He can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 613-295-4141.