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All We Can Do Is Prepare

Lately, it seems things are just never settled.

While we are still navigating the pandemic on a daily basis, events have also recently caused disruptions in our personal lives and our businesses, including shipping issues (remember the ship stuck in the Suez-Canal – one of my client’s new kitchen cabinets were on that ship), computer chips (one of the many reasons auto dealers have fewer AND pricier cars), railroad strikes and even Oreo cookies are not being made because of union strikers!!

In the Philadelphia area, we have been subject to very extreme weather the past few years. Last year, there was a derecho (side-ways winds) that toppled many of the aged trees and took out electricity for almost a week in some areas.

This year, Philadelphia was affected by multiple tornados and flooding due to Hurricane Ida. I heard a lot of stories of people that went through very tough situations, including my son and his girlfriend, who lost both of their cars in the flood. See the photo.

People shared with me about their storage units getting flooded, their streets and homes getting flooded. I know someone who had to actually be rescued from her roof and is now living with friends, as her home was destroyed.

One of my clients has office space on the second floor and lost about 10K in materials housed on the first floor. Luckily, all of that is replaceable, but still a major setback.

There are so many questions on people’s minds. Is this covered by my insurance? Is this covered by the building I have my things in, etc.

While we can’t plan for things like this, we can only protect ourselves financially the best way possible. Having a great understanding of your finances, whether it be personal or business, can enable you to make that unexpected purchase.

We can also update or add insurance policies – for both business and personal. Although my business is virtual, I used my car primarily for networking and to see some (older) clients in-person. Last year, since almost everything was virtual, I changed the status of my car to personal and saved a lot of money that I put into a savings account (every dollar does count.)

Check your credit score. Everyone is able to get their own credit score once a year for free from the three large companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion), which means every four months, one can check on it.

One way to be ready for emergencies is to have cash and credit cards available to use as emergency funds, not only for personal situations, but business, as well.

Chase and TD Bank are good credit cards for business, as many offer cash back or gift cards back. Make sure you check for fees. You don’t want to get a card thinking you are protecting yourself and then ending up paying more than expected.

Travel is coming back, so finding a card that has points that can enable you to travel for less is very helpful.

We can help one another. If you need support or a resource, ask a family member, friend or colleague and if you can be that support, be there for others. Share your knowledge and your connections.

A new update regarding taxes. If where you live/work is a federally declared disaster area, the IRS just changed the deadline to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. Now they are due January 3, 2022.

The January date applies to quarterly estimated income tax payments and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns. If you’re a business that already filed for an extension, you too go by the January date. You can visit the IRS website for details by state and to keep up to date with any changing information.

As we approach the final quarter of another challenging year, look at your plan and prepare yourself in all the ways you can.

And in the words of both the Boy Scouts and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, “Be Prepared” and “know where your towel is.”