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Overcoming Financial Challenges and Setbacks




by John Savage, Author, CFHC



Financial Challenges and Setbacks


Considering America’s current economic affairs, a lot can be said about this topic. There are various reasons we go through financial challenges and experience ebbs and flows in our finances over time. One thing is for sure, nearly everyone I talk to is feeling short on retirement and dreading increased expenses such as food, gas, cost for building or repairing homes, natural disasters, you name it. Many American's purchasing power for each dollar they earn is aggressively headed downward with what seems to be no end insight.


If you make too much money, you can not get help from many charitable organizations but if you make too little, in most cases, there are all kinds of resources and benefits available. Neither place is where you want to be but if you are in the middle-income bracket, which has become a very challenging place to be for the majority of Americans. Many people I coach are told they are just outside of the threshold to get financial and other resource assistance at a time when they really need it.


Though there are programs and resources available, it makes things that much harder and time consuming for workers who have limited time and multiple concerns they are juggling. This is where Unwind Financial Consulting Services can help you in navigating the complexity of life challenges of getting back up again after what feel's like an insurmountable major financial knock down.


Some situations that have caused setbacks and overwhelming financial obstacles are listed below.


Loss of a Loved One – these are some of the tougher calls I have delt with when it comes to financial challenges. Some people have delt with unexpected losses, from children being gone to soon from grade school age to being on a college campus when they passed away. Often times people need resources to get them connected either because they have no financial support, no life insurance or savings to help with funerals and burial expenses, or life insurance is going to take some time to pay out before the check can be dispersed.


Unfortunately, life is not without its ups and downs. Unwind Financial Consulting Services recognizes these are times where even more empathy and compassion are needed to hear a person’s heart. Sometimes a call may be need to be reschedule because it is more important to listen than it is to do a lot of talk and telling. The loss of a loved one or friend can be difficult to get over and it is a journey to walk through. Listening, asking questions, and offering words of encouragement to let someone know you are there to talk to can mean more than any financial strategy anyone could ever offer.


Without the right, motivation, support, and encouragement, calculating numbers and working on strategies means nothing.


Job Loss – during the Covid 19 Pandemic, many people were directly affected by job losses, pay cuts, and even lose of business or having their business shut down because the government wanted small businesses to suddenly comply with new laws or mandates with short notice and in some cases were very conflicting or a complete overreach of power. In these cases, we watched thriving business who were already set up in a fashion where operating should not have been an issue, get such down.


People who lost jobs due to not fault of their own or due to title and classifications if they were not an engineer in some cases, was just downright wrong and devastating such as the case with one lady who was working for a very large defense company, found herself locked out of the building after coming back to work as normal. She found out at that moment when she called, they deactivated her security pass and took her job away. She now found herself without a job and no new source income. She was completely blindsided as was the case for so many other people I have spoken with during and after the pandemic.


Career Changes – there are times when the place where you’re at is a dead end and will no longer bear fruit. You have reached the milestones, it may be hard to move up, or you don’t have the support of management. This is when it may be time to shift careers, specially once you have mastered your skills, honed your experience, and feel like there is no place to go.


Changing careers or making a career shift within your field of expertise can often be difficult and challenging to say the least. There are a lot of unknown variables, and you want to make sure you are headed in the right direction. When you find yourself stuck and not growing, a career shift can be one of the best things that has ever happened to you. It can open a whole new world of opportunity, helping you gain new skills, and you have the potential to earn a whole lot more money than you may have previously felt capable.


Pay cuts – just as with a job loss, a pay cut can be financially devastating, and many times comes with little or no notice. Over the last few years, people have continued to experience cuts not just directly but indirectly. Because the power of the American government has gotten so big, it has been coming up with new ways to erode the value of the American dollar and one way is through increased interest rates, new regulations of small business, which are the “life blood” of the American economy, and increased taxes and fees. This is not a quick fix and causes more damage on a system in the long-term.


Increased Mortgage and Rent – nearly everyone in America right now is feeling the pinch of the quantitative easing with the printing of money and increased taxes. Home owners are feeling it in the monthly mortgage payments as they in some cases go up by more than $500 a month due to increased property taxes in designated zip codes throughout America. Rent is also going up like crazy and in many cases, renters in certain areas throughout California, Florida, Texas, and more, are now paying more than the average home owner when it comes to rent. Utilities are required because if you miss too many payments, landlords have agreements with the water or utility company where they can kick you out of the apartment if you get too far behind on utilities such water bills.


We are no longer a society “for the people, by the people”, we have now become a society of “pay or quite.” The dollar is the new king and now rules over the hearts of men and women in positions of authority who can do something to change the narrative but either they won’t, or they are given much resistance from their counterparts. This affects everyone directly and indirectly. As a result, everything has become lopsided, and the constituents are the ones who end up paying the price.


People are starting to be priced out of their homes and apartments. I talk to people every week who are working and are considered “the working poor.” This should not be and can be changed. That’s where Unwind Financial Consulting Services steps in. We will walk with you to help you strategize and create a game plan to identify the best ways to retain more of your income, cut or reduce expenses, and in some cases ways to pay on your mortgage without it being a strain. Let us help you unwind the complexity of your current situation.


Pandemics and Economic Downturns – before the pandemic, the American economy was headed in the wrong direction and in financial turmoil. In fact, as of January 2023, according to usfacts.org, the American government is now indebted to other countries by more than $8 trillion dollars, this list includes:


a.      Japan - $1.1 trillion

b.      China – $859 billion

c.      United Kingdom - $668 billion

d.      Belgium - $331.1 billion

e.      Luxembourg - $318.2 billion

f.       Switzerland - $290.5 billion

g.      The Cayman Islands - $285.3 billion

h.      Canada - $254.1 billion

i.       Ireland - $253.4 billion

j.       Taiwan - $234.6 billion


This is money America has been owing for some time and the list and dependencies in which we find ourselves is much greater than this, putting this entire country in a very vulnerable state on multiple levels from our borders to our farms, America has been in trouble for some time and now during the pandemic, things came to a head and all the financial floating banks and companies were doing are now being felt in nearly ever American home across the country.


Poor decisions – sometimes we make decisions because we think it is what’s best for us, or because we are under a lot of stress and the situation is time sensitive, or we allow our emotions to take over and are quick to react instead of being slow to respond. First identifying where you are on the financial map and where you want to be is vitally important to assess because in that, you can more clearly decide what steps you need to take to reach your goals and address any pressing matters that need your attention.


Sometimes things take longer than we like because we are focus on the outcome versus the reality of where we are in the moment and that can be hard when you must get out of where you have found yourself. With a game plan and one-on-one monthly support, we can help you walk through this journey and keep you accountable until you can see the light on the other side of things. Let time be your friend, not your enemy.


Relationship Challenges – this is another big area that is critical to how we manage and track our finances on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Relationships themselves can be complicated but when you add finances to the mix, depending on how you view money, how you interact with your spouse or significant other, finances can be a source of goal setting and pleasure or a source of contention, volatility, and stress.


Over the years, some of the conversations I have had around money and relationships have to do with distrust, not taking responsibility, avoidance, infidelity, and not sticking to goals or a plan that was agreed upon because one or the other has a problem with saying no to someone or they have gotten caught in the parasitic loop of “impulse buying.”


Other conversations and circumstances have and often do include abuse and using money as a means to control the other person by not allowing them to work, having them put all the credit in their name while they still control the money, and promising to pay a bill or paying off debt and then telling your spouse you are not going to pay their bills off and that they will have to find a way to manage the debt themselves all while rebuilding their own credit. All these actions are fear base and deficit minded.


We Unwind Financial Consulting Services will help you go from fear base to hope base. We believe you are not a victim but a victor. Dealing with root issues within relationships will help you identify potential pitfalls, areas for healing, and how to overcome the money drain so you can take back control over every area of your life and ultimately gain victory over your finances.


ID Theft – according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, approximately 26 million people in 2021 and who were at least 16 years of age reported experiencing some type of ID Theft, with approximately 76 percent of these cases limited to a single credit card or bank account which is often associated with ones debit card usage and in some cases a result of their credit or debit card being scanned.


According to Aura.com, scammers have come up with 14 common ways to skim or recording your information, some of these include, theft which is a more common one, having too many websites open at once when you are doing a financial transaction online, and a skimmer is fishing for information they can read in a shopping cart, those close to you such as a friend or family member who gains your trust in order to get access to your credit cards so they can then rack up purchases without being tied or traced back to the account, resulting in the primary holder being the sole responsible party since they may have given permission for the use of the card in the first place.


I have helped many people find a way to be more preventative in protecting against ID Theft and have assisted in how to get their funds back sooner rather than later in case of a bank error. I have also helped people in taking immediate steps once they believe that they have been a victim of ID That in order to prevent any further or future damage to their finances and their bank account.

 

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