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Financial Stability: How to Build a Safety Net & Secure Your Career

How to Achieve Financial Stability - Great Eastern Life Malaysia

In the ever-evolving landscape of today's job market, the pursuit of a fulfilling and successful career is a common aspiration. However, as we navigate this journey, it's crucial not to overlook a fundamental aspect of our professional lives — financial security. Building a career is not just about achieving milestones and climbing the corporate ladder; it's also about fortifying our financial foundation. Without a robust safety net in place, unexpected setbacks may send even the most promising careers off course.

What Is a Financial Safety Net and Why Is It Necessary?

A financial safety net, sometimes referred to as an emergency fund, is money that is put aside to cover financial shocks such as losing your job, unexpected car or house maintenance expenses, and even something as drastic as recovering after a natural disaster4. Not to be confused with your savings account, a financial safety net only comes into play during emergencies6,7. Whereas a savings account can be dipped into for specific goals such as buying a car or a house.

Financial experts often suggest having a safety net that covers about three to six months' worth of living expenses, but it's not a strict rule5. For singles who are renting and with little to no commitments, a three-month emergency fund might be sufficient. However, if you’re married with children, having a mortgage and car loans, a twelve-month emergency fund would be ideal5. Here's how having an emergency fund will help to tide you over during times of uncertainty1:

● Unpredictable Situations:

Life can throw unexpected curveballs. You might lose your job, face a sudden health issue, or experience a career change you didn't foresee. Having a financial safety net, like a robust savings account, can help you navigate these challenges. In the case of an industry downturn, your savings can cover living expenses while you seek a new opportunity.

● Freedom to Grow:

A financial safety net isn't just about security; it's also a tool that gives you the freedom to grow and pivot your career ambitions. By becoming financially stable, you're afforded the flexibility to explore new career opportunities when the timing is right — instead of having to make suboptimal career decisions that could limit your growth, due to needing the income.

● Peace of Mind:

Knowing you have a financial cushion can alleviate stress in the event of sudden and unexpected career changes. Whether it's a sudden redundancy or a necessary career break, your safety net ensures you have other ways to remain financially stable so you can maintain your lifestyle and cover essential expenses while you regroup1.

● Emergency Expenses:

Life's unpredictable nature extends to unforeseen costs, like medical bills or urgent home repairs. Your safety net becomes a buffer against these expenses so they won’t cause undue stress that may affect other aspects of your life — like your job. If your car breaks down and needs significant repairs, your safety net can cover the cost without causing financial strain1.

● Long-Term Vision:

While a financial safety net helps in the short term, it's also a crucial part of your long-term vision. Saving now contributes to your financial security and long-term goals3. Building an emergency fund today is one way to ensure you’ll be financially prepared for retirement, investments, or major life milestones down the road.

How Do You Set up a Financial Safety Net?

Whether you’re a fresh graduate who has just started your career path or have been working for several years now, achieving financial stability doesn’t have to be complicated. Here's how to get started:

● Financial Goal Setting and Budgeting

○ Start by defining your financial goals2, encompassing both short-term targets like debt reduction and long-term objectives such as retirement planning.
○ Create a budget that allocates income to essentials, savings, and investments, while allowing for discretionary spending.
○ Remember to routinely review and adjust your budget to adapt to evolving career circumstances and financial goals.

● Continuous Learning and Income Diversification

○ Invest in continuous learning and skill development to enhance your career prospects and income potential.
○ Consider diversifying income sources through side hustles, freelance work, or entrepreneurial ventures alongside your primary career as these will help you grow financially even during uncertain economic times2.

● Insurance and Emergency Funds

○ Prioritise insurance coverage, including health and life insurance, to safeguard against unforeseen financial challenges. These will help to cover essential expenses in case of unexpected events like job loss or medical emergencies.
○ Be sure to regularly reassess and update your insurance policies and emergency fund to ensure they align with your changing needs.

Building a career comes with its ups and downs, but with enough preparation such as by having a savings account as well as a savings plan that will help you grow your wealth, you’ll be able to afford more options while also enjoying peace of mind no matter where your career takes you.


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Great Eastern Holdings Ltd | The Great Eastern Life Assurance Company Limited | Great Eastern General Insurance Ltd
Great Eastern Holdings Ltd | The Great Eastern Life Assurance Company Limited | Great Eastern General Insurance Ltd