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Helping good people through bad times

The unhealthy effect of debt and other financial challenges

Debt itself does not kill, but the stress it causes can. When faced with seemingly insurmountable debt, some Tennesseans feel their situations hopeless and become overwhelmed. Financial troubles can easily lead to both emotional and health problems, if they are not addressed. Fortunately, financial planners know exactly how to do this.

One financial planner recently related his father's financial challenges and how they contributed to his untimely death. His father was never able to manage his spending. Credit cards debts piled up, he took cash advances and a second mortgage and he paid ridiculous amounts of interest just trying to keep up. The stress took a toll on this health.

In hindsight, the financial planner saw signs that he now sees with others who struggle with debt. One sign is constant worry about paying bills. Another is using credit to pay for more credit. When a person pays credit card bills using another card or a cash advance, the interest quickly mounts and can be daunting. It also becomes a hard-to-break cycle. Frequent money borrowing is another sign of trouble.

To address such situations, the financial planner recommends that loved ones gently confront the person with the problem. Without being judgmental, family members can express their concern that financial troubles are putting the person's health and relationships at risk. Be honest but firm. Above all, do not further enable the behavior by lending more money, no matter how heartfelt the promises to repay seem.

Finally, loves ones should offer the person with the problem real help. Help him or her organize bills and finances as a debt-relief plan. If the situation is more severe than expected, open up the possibility of filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can help a loved one eliminate debt and put his or her life back in order.

Source: The Daily Finance, "Debt Killed My Dad. Learn from His Mistakes - and Mine," Jeff Rose, Aug. 27, 2014

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Kenneth C. Rannick, P.C.
4416 Brainerd Road
Chattanooga, TN 37411

Phone: 423-624-4002
Toll Free: 800-257-7594
Fax: 423-624-0509
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