Damage Control
Statistically speaking, one day your financial life will get turned upside down. Unfortunately, it’s not a matter of if, but rather of when, you will experience an occasion that will humble you financially. There are three areas in which you are vulnerable at this very moment. I refer to these inevitable personal catastrophes as “The Three I’s”: insurance, investments, and identity theft. Every year, millions of people lose billions of dollars in these three areas.


I was in my office one Saturday morning, when Chuck and his wife came in to set up a cash-out refinance to pay off $77,000 in high-interest credit card balances they had built up in the process of furnishing their home. Chuck was a pilot for a major carrier and always on the road. When he was not traveling, Chuck collected old cars and rebuilt them. Even though he was elected the family chief financial officer (CFO), he never paid enough attention to their finances. As I was going through the paperwork, I asked to see a copy of their homeowner’s insurance policy in order to structure the Good Faith Estimate.
Chuck handed it to me, and my face must have reflected my dismay as I read it. His wife asked, “What’s wrong?” I said, “I’ve been doing this for a long time and at first glance it looks like you’re paying way too much for your homeowner’s insurance.” I explained that we needed to immediately shop around. Chuck became visibly upset when we picked up the phone and got some quotes. ...

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