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5 steps to improve your financial situation

Become fiscally empowered as a civilian or military member.

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — We all know life is unpredictable, but approximately 43% of Americans don't have life insurance. Being proactive and taking control of your finances is the key to minimizing life's surprises. Here are tips from USAA on how to plan for the unknown.

Spend less than you make. It may seem obvious, but many people fall into credit card debt by ignoring this golden rule. By April of 2019, consumer credit card debt in the US reached $1 trillion. Although building your credit score is necessary to make large purchases, credit card use should be managed appropriately.

Embrace new technology. It's increasingly important to guard against cyber fraud. Use multi-factor authentication to protect your financial accounts. USAA offers biometric options such as fingerprint, face, and voice authentication. USAA has also been working with Google Cloud to transform the insurance claim process. They're creating machine learning models that predict vehicle damage based on digital images. Both these developments protect the consumer in potentially costly situations.

Have an emergency fund. It's always important to have money set aside for a rainy day. That rainy day can last a long time, so having 3 to 6 months' worth of salary saved is a good rule of thumb to survive a hardship.

Get adequate insurance. Even if you have life insurance through your job, you may need more than what's provided. Make sure you understand your plan. If you leave the company without a separate policy in place, you'll need to buy a new plan. Luckily many policies are more affordable than most people expect. You won't have to spend your life savings on a new life insurance plan.

Know what's available as a member of the military. Transitioning out of the service to civilian life is a challenging time. Learning about the ins and outs of insurance plans can be overwhelming. In order to streamline things, members can replace what life insurance they have through the military with USAA without having to undergo another physical. Any health changes won't have a negative impact on getting a new plan. Life insurance should give peace of mind, not added stress.

RELATED: How to protect yourself from cyber fraud.

RELATED: USAA shares how meaningful life insurance is to your family.

This article is sponsored by USAA

Additional information provided by National Debt Relief.

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