How worried are you about the possibility of becoming homeless at some point in your lifetime? You probably shouldn’t be too worried. After all, the vast majority of people who ever lived, who will ever live, and who are alive right now will never know homelessness on a personal level. The chances of it happening to you are astronomically small. That is exactly what the vast majority of homeless people used to think. Some were model citizens with good jobs. Many served honorably in the armed forces. Many were happily watching the local news in their suburban home one day and became the local news the next day.
Some statistics suggest 2% of the population is homeless. Statistics about homelessness are tricky because homeless people do not exactly fill out census data. They don’t have a mailbox to get mail and no door on which to knock. They also are not stationary. They move about nomadically and move in and out of housing when available. There is also the problem of keeping track of the newly unhoused. There is a lot we don’t know about homelessness in America and around the world. But if you want to keep from becoming one of them, do the following:
Get Accident Insurance
When a person loses their job unexpectedly, everything is upended. You might feel very secure in your work and under normal circumstances, you might be. But accidents can happen to anyone, even the most secure people. That’s where short term disability insurance can be so important.
When you have short term disability insurance, it can be the difference between you having time to fully recover and being forced to return to work long before you’re ready. Economic strain will put you in a position where you have to choose between going back to the office and doing another 6 weeks of physical therapy.
There is also the fact that your company cannot hold your position open indefinitely. You can find yourself at the end of typical coverage before you are healed. From there, you will have to apply for long-term disability. That is when you will discover a whole new level of hurt. Even if you have some type of insurance, is it enough to cover all your bills while out of work? Once the mortgage starts falling behind, eviction or foreclosure are never too far away. Without a solid plan B, you can easily find yourself on the street.
You might think that if the worst comes to pass, you can always find space for your family in a homeless shelter. That is not always an option. As plans go, that is a pretty bad one. What you need instead is a solid emergency plan that is backed by a solid emergency savings fund. Before you start a college fund or a retirement fund, you need to have an emergency savings fund.
Your kids will not be ruined if you cannot pay for their college tuition. There are other ways for them to continue their education. Most people don’t have a large college fund waiting for them when they pick a university. It is very important that you do some retirement planning while you are young. But your future self is endangering your present self if you fund your retirement before you fund your emergency savings. Six months of rent stored away could be the difference between your family and homelessness.
Sometimes, a landlord will give you a break if you have good credit with them. That is to say, you have paid your rent on time for years, and always have a kind word for everyone. Your credit score comes into play when you have to try to get an emergency loan to pay your rent. You are going to need more than the occasional kind word. You need the kind of credit score that will not only secure a big loan but do so with a low-interest rate. Good credit can make all the difference in the world.
Homelessness happens to people who never expected it. You might not see it coming for you right now. Keep it that way by securing accident insurance, building emergency savings, and protecting your good credit so it is there when you need it the most.