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Financial Lessons to Learn In The Post 9/11 Era

By Erik Folgate

Before I begin the topic of this post, I just want to recognize all of the men and women that lost their lives six years ago today, whether they were in one of the airplanes, in the twin towers, or trying to rescue survivors. Your lives were taken by a bunch of cowards, and for that reason, we’ll always remember you.

Some of you might be saying, “At some point, we need to let go of this 9/11 thing, and stop remembering it every anniversary”. I don’t believe that’s the right attitude. This was one of the worst attacks on American soil in the modern era. Every year we remember Pearl Harbor for a good reason. It shook our nation and cause a turning point in history. The September 11th attacks are no different. We’ll always remember what happened, but we must take those memories and use them to make this world a better place. The political games that now surround this anniversary are sickening. It used to be a day where we came together as one nation, now it’s a time for politicians to bolster their agendas whether it is pro-war or anti-war. The fact is that average Americans will go on living their daily lives, but there are some financial lessons to be learned from the post 9/11 era. Here are three lessons to be learned that will help you become wealthy and protect yourself in changing times.

Invest for the long-term no matter who tries to attack us. Bin Laden and company attacked our financial epicenter for a reason. They wanted our economy to suffer and possibly even crumble or go into a recession. How pompous can you be? Did they really think that destroying a couple of buildings was going to shut down our economy? It actually did the opposite. The Dow Jones dropped immediately after the attacks, but since then, it has seen record highs and the economy has been very strong from an overall perspective. Again, if you take a snapshot of one month or three months, you’ll find economic lows, but no one can argue that the economy has not suffered because of the the 9/11 attacks, the war in Iraq, or any other geo-political conditions.

Protect yourself from Identity Theft. The fact is that identity theft was MUCH less on our radar in the 1990′s than it is in the new millenium. One of the reasons for this is the internet technology boom and the rise of social websites, web auctions, and internet shopping. But who do you think these identity thieves are? Some of them might be just plain crooks looking to steal from the innocent, but I can guarantee you that many of them are people working for terrorist groups. Terrorists are poor. They don’t have the kind of money that civilized nations have, so they have to either steal it or be given it from politicians that support it. Look into buying an identity theft insurance policy. It does not cover you for the money that you lose (largely because you are NEVER liable for money being stolen from your bank account or credit card), but it covers all of the expenses associated with literally taking back your identity!

Protect your Family with Term Life Insurance. For the families that lost their loved ones, no amount of money in the world could make things better for them. However, as a responsible adult, you don’t want that to be something on their mind once they are done grieving over your loss. I’m not trying to be morbid here, but we have no clue when our time will come. It could be tomorrow, it could be 60 years from now. If you have people that depend on you such as a spouse and children, go buy a term life insurance policy TODAY. The rule of thumb is to buy 8 to 10 times your income. So, if you make $50,000 a year, go and buy a policy worth $400k to $500k. The idea here is that if they invest that $500k at 10%, then they could live off of the interest and never have to touch the principle amount.

Don’t let your political views about the war get in the way of recongizing this day in history!

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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