How I avoided financial disaster during disability

Personal Finance

A year ago, my life changed dramatically. It took a traumatic event — a brain aneurysm to be exact — for me to truly understand how important it is to be financially prepared for the unexpected.

A brain aneurysm is a bulge in an artery in the brain, and can appear with no symptoms. When it bursts, like mine did, it’s often fatal. Without warning, I was suddenly disabled, uncertain of whether or when I could ever be able to return to my career (I resumed my position at CNBC at the end of September.)

In my reporting on personal finance, I often tell readers and viewers that it is vital to have a financial plan. Now I know first-hand that advice can be life-saving, especially when an unexpected disaster changes your life.

The most important lesson I learned: Bring your loved ones up to speed on your financial life while you are well, in case you are unable to do so if you’re hit with a medical emergency or become disabled.

Thankfully, my husband and I had planned ahead, and you can, too. Here are five steps we took to avoid a financial disaster if one of us was ever hit with a medical emergency.

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