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Bulletproofing yourself financially

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Are you prepared for the worst? Do you know exactly what your insurance policy covers? Can your stock and bond portfolio withstand another financial crisis? Do you have a will in place? In collaboration with The New York Times, Marketplace Money presents a series of stories about the importance of bulletproofing your finances.

Cast your mind back to just two weeks ago. If you didn’t live through Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath, it’s hard to fathom the extent of the destruction. Photos and videos go only so far. You simply cannot understand it if you haven’t been through it. Unfortunately, plenty of Americans have been through it, in one form or another — from natural disasters to man-made catastrophes like the financial crisis of 2008. How can you prepare yourself and prepare your finances as fully as possible? Ron Lieber, Your Money columnist from the New York Times, says the planning of this special collaboration was purely coincidental with the damage wrought by superstorm Sandy.

“It’s not like we planned it this way… but it turns out that many months ago when we all sat down together and decided that we wanted to do a special section and a broadcast on bulletproofing your finances that we would be in a situation where thousands of people in the Tri-state area here where I am — New York, New Jersey, Connecticut — are without power, with homes that have been significantly damaged, cars that have been underwater.”

Aside from protecting yourself from natural disasters, Lieber and his colleagues at the New York Times also cover bulletproofing your bond and stock portfolio, the importance of living wills, and staying healthy — mentally.

A guide to bulletproofing your finances Looking for tips and resources to protect yourself from crises — both natural and made-made? Check out our guide. Resize your browser to make it dance.

Still,with so many different crises potentially arising at any time, is it really possible to truly bulletproof yourself against all disasters?

“Some stuff is fairly predictable. We do know that weather disasters seem to be happening with increasing frequency and in some parts of the country, they are a regular occurrence. So you want to insure against the things that would be impossible to cover out of pocket,” says Lieber.

“It can be a little overwhelming to contemplate all of the potential perils that can befall one or one’s family, but you’ve got start somewhere,” he adds. “Tackle it.”

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