TOP Ten Financial Lessons Learned


1. If your home or office was destroyed and your bills are late, call your creditors before they call you. Check your credit report to ensure that late payments due to catastrophe are not reflected.

2. Avoid the temptation to run up huge credit card bills, assuming that insurance will cover everything.

3. Stash some cash at home and at work in case ATMs and credit cards go out with the lights.

4. Make contributions to qualified charitable organizations rather then directly to individuals, so you get the tax deduction.

5. Review your own and your clients' disaster preparedness. Update wills. Consider flood, buy-sell and business-continuation insurance. Review emergency procedures as home and work. Refresh the manuals, water and batteries you put together 10 years ago.

6. Backup your records and photos regularly and send them to your sister in Kansas.

7. Keep a prepaid phone card and a telephone with a land line at home and at work.

8. Plan an escape route. Keep a pair of comfortable shoes in the office and fill your car's gas tank at the first hint of trouble.

9. Film your possessions to back up insurance claims.

10. Your Blackberry may be dead and your records destroyed, so keep a list of important numbers, contacts and documents and where they are located.