The power of meaningful conversation

Most people don’t talk about finances or insurance with anyone, even those they’re closest to. But who do we trust – and who knows us better – than our closest friends and family?

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Having just one meaningful conversation with someone within your circle could mean the difference being financially set up to achieve those life goals you’ve been planning and struggling to cover your unexpected emergency hospital deductible.

We all know someone who has faced an obstacle or two in their lifetime. Family and friends may have even tapped into workplace resources like voluntary benefits, retirement savings planning, or financial wellness programs that you are not familiar with. Talking to them about their experiences can be eye-opening, and you may learn how benefits can make the difference between achieving your goals and pushing them off.

Know what’s available during annual enrollment

It’s important to take the time to thoroughly review and understand your benefits. MetLife’s 16th Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study research found that while people are stressed and confused by the enrollment process, only half admit that they thoroughly reviewed their benefits during the last enrollment period.

To save yourself stress and worry in the year ahead, block out a period of time – even if it’s just an hour – to give your benefits undivided attention during your company’s annual enrollment period (most companies offer enrollment between October – November).

Most companies offer a range of enrollment resources, from websites and mobile apps to one-on-one consultations with benefits enrollment representatives. You should also talk to your manager or Human Resources team about what your company offers. Once you know what’s available to you, take what you’ve learned and set up time to chat with a friend about what specific benefits work for you.

Believe it or not, this is actually the fun part. You can brainstorm together, listing out what you want to achieve over the next year (is it that bucket list holiday), next five years (building your dream home or starting a college fund) and even longer term (retiring in comfortably on a beach somewhere warm all year).

Go live

There’s no doubt in my mind that something magical happens when you strike up a meaningful conversation with another person face-to-face. You have probably heard of the 7-38-55 rule of communication: 55% of our total communication is delivered by body language, 38% by vocal signals and just 7% is delivered by words. And herein lies precisely why going live, having an in-person conversation, is incredibly valuable.

If you aren’t able to speak with whoever is your trusted source, be it your best friend, Mom, or brother, pick up your phone and call them. You have FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp and a plethora of other digital tools at your fingertips; use whatever you’re most comfortable with to start that all important discussion.

In less than an hour, just one meaningful conversation could make a big difference in choosing the benefits that meet you and your family’s personal and financial needs.

So, what are you waiting for? Get chatting.

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