40 minutes | Sep 18, 2018

Didn’t See That Coming

Latesha and Tiana are back after a short podcast hiatus to talk about how to deal with the unexpected. Life can throw so many things your way like losing your job, car problems, health issues, and surprise pregnancies that you should prepare as best as you can. Join them for this episode of the podcast where they talk about how they dealt with some of these common surprises that can happen in life, and the best ways to deal with the unexpected. During this episode we talked about five (5) unexpected situations we’ve experienced, how we dealt with them, and our tips to best navigate these situations. So before you have random car trouble, lose your phone when you’re out and about, accidentally get pregnant, your parents need medical attention, or someone dumps you on vacation, check out our tips on how to survive those instances. Car Trouble (As an adult)  Latesha’s car went into a pothole while she was in college. Parents drove to UGA to get me a new tire the next morning. Latesha didn’t even know that she had a donut tire in her trunk, or a jack to lift the car. Always have a flashlight and learn to change a tire. Tiana is a magnet for flat tires so she is a prime example of why you need to know how to change a tire, and honestly, how to not run over nails on the road. Tiana has even had a flat tire in her rental that she had because her actual car had a flat tire and needed to be fixed. Gone are the days of asking Mom and Dad to come to help you fix the problem. Also, invest in AAA or a like-service. Tiana’s story is one of the scarier versions of car trouble–when you have no idea what’s wrong with it, but it’s making sad sounds and won’t start. Tiana naturally called her Dad in tears thinking this was the end of her Camry, but it turned out to just be a dead battery. She hadn’t had a new car battery in over 5 years. She suggests you have your car battery tested every couple of years. If your car does stop working for a car battery or a flat tire and you don’t have AAA, your first call should be to your car insurance. Depending on your coverage, roadside assistance is typically included. They also do things like help you if you lock your keys in the car, change your tire, and give your car battery a jump. Latesha personally has Progressive and they’ve helped her 3 times when she’s locked her keys in the trunk…yes, you’ve read that right, she needed help 3 separate times for locking her keys in the trunk! As an important tip, invest in having excellent car insurance.  Not Having Technology  When’s the last time you memorized a phone number? If you didn’t have access to navigation on your phone, could you still read a road map or subway map? Knowing how to survive without technology is a good life tip. We rely on our phones to do things like help guide us to where we need to go, contact our closest relatives and friends, call us a ride, and keep us on schedule. But when the battery inevitably dies, your screen cracks to the point of no return, you lose your phone, or (dare I say it) you accidentally leave your phone at home, how the hell do you survive out there? Tiana’s laughter at Latesha’s question about whether or not she can read a map makes it crystal clear that map reading is a lost tool. Tiana also only knows like 4 numbers by heart, and the main person who fixes her car is her Dad and she doesn’t even know his number by heart! She is certainly not alone. Our first tip for a common unexpected problem, like not having access to technology whilst on the go, is to memorize important phone numbers in case of an emergency. You should know your parent’s numbers, your mate’s number, and if you have a separate emergency contact, then memorize that number, too. The second tip is when traveling, make note of key landmarks like highways, tall buildings, bodies of water, intersections, etc. so in the event that you are lost, you have your North Star of sorts to guide you back to civilization when Google Maps is unavailable. And speaking of maps, familiarize yourself with one, because not so surprisingly enough, rural areas, deserts, and unfamiliar places that you may be driving around may not have distinct buildings or highways nearby to follow. Sometimes you’ll have to pull up to a gas station and get a map. Or even better, some train lines are underground and lack internet access, if you need to get to an unfamiliar stop, you’ll need to read the train maps. If that map looks like hieroglyphics to you, then you need to brush up on that basic skill.  Unplanned pregnancy  Latesha is a prime example of how to survive an unplanned pregnancy. She welcomed her sweet boy Liam into this world in 2016. As a sexually active woman, there’s one thing Latesha always considered when selecting health insurance benefits…pregnancy. Whether planned or unplanned, it is a known fact that pregnancy and birth are expensive ordeals in the United States. If you are not poor, you have to pay for health premiums and meet deductibles and coinsurance minimums during your pregnancy which can really add up depending on your insurance plan. Once you have the baby, there’s an entirely additional expense of paying for not only the birth but also figuring out how you can afford the time off to stay home with your brand new bundle joy. That’s where your benefits come in handy at work. Our first tip for any woman selecting benefits through her employer in the United States is to make sure you have a low deductible health plan. We’ll explain what these mean below. The main difference between a high deductible health plan and a low deductible health plan is that with a high deductible plan, you pay less money up front in the form of your distribution per paycheck, but you pay more money out of pocket up front for medical needs. With the low deductible plan, you’re going to pay more money out of each paycheck up front, but you will have less out of pocket expenses up front. We recommend (not as professional benefits experts, but as humans who have lived for the past decade on our own insurance) a low deductible plan for women who plan to have a baby in the next year or are not practicing abstinence or safe sex if they are sexually active. Our 2nd tip while picking benefits is to have short term and long term disability. This tip comes two-fold because there are various factors that determine if you need these benefits after giving birth. For companies with 100 or more employees, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a benefit for employees. The gist of it in this context is that if you’ve been with your employer for at least a year, you are entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave. The keyword you should see in all of that is UNPAID. That means that you not only have to pay that awesome deductible and coinsurance premium for your appointments and birth, but then if you want to be home to recover from pushing a 10 lb human out of your body or, God forbid, recover from major abdominal surgery, then you have to do that with ZERO income. You ARE guaranteed to still have a job with your employer though because you have FMLA. This is where short term disability comes into play. Short term disability (STD) will pay you between 40-60% of your salary if you have a medical situation like giving birth and will cover you for 6 weeks for a regular birth and 8 weeks for a c-section (typically these are the numbers, granted some places may have different terms for STD so be sure to check with your employer for the specifics). With most companies, this is an elected benefit that you have to pay for, but some companies pay for it so you get it automatically. If for some reason you had major complications that result in you being unable to work for more than 8 weeks, then you’ll need long term disability (LTD) to help you survive financially. For Latesha, she was pregnant when she started a new job which meant she did not qualify for FMLA, even though it was offered through her company because she did not meet one the minimum requirements of having been with the company for 12 months. She did, however, have short term disability so she was able to take 6 weeks of maternity leave and 2 weeks of vacation time to be home for the first 8 weeks of her baby’s life which honestly, is not enough. Dammit, get it together United States! We need guaranteed maternity leave for all mothers WITH PAY! Our last tip for this unplanned occurrence is to have good savings in place. In the event that you use FMLA, then that savings will be just the thing to keep your family afloat while you focus on taking care of your new baby. Parental Medical Emergency or Unexpected Death We are in our 30’s and it seems that only now are we starting to see Grandparents and in some cases even parents starting to pass away in our friend groups. It’s naive to think you have all the time in the world because the reality is that things can and do happen, and most of the time, it is unexpected. Tiana was surprised to find out that her Grandmother’s Alzheimer’s had advanced to the point where she didn’t recognize Tiana anymore. Latesha’s father has randomly been incapacitated for 2 months. Friends have lost Grandparents and parents to cancer. Shit happens, and while you should focus on grieving and dealing with the situation emotionally, you also should do a few things to prepare. Our first tip is to pay attention to your parent’s affairs. There’s either been the moment or there will come a random moment when your parents will start telling you about their will or what they want you to do with the house when they die, or where they want to be buried, and you’ll want to tune them out. Not becau
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