In this digital age, creating an online plan for an emergency may seem like a no-brainer. Let’s dig a little deeper to assess the differences.
What are the options?
Contingency planning means different things to people. There are two major players when it comes to full-fledged contingency planning.
Niche Partnership Consulting offers analog – or paper, hard copy plans. NPC’s target clients are individuals and entrepreneurs. NPC offers varying levels of coaching, consultation, and customization based on price and service level.
Everplans offers digital cloud-based contingency plan services. It’s target clients are individuals, as well as businesses that wish to provide the cloud service to their clients (think financial planners). Individuals can use Everplans for $75 per year, or it may be completely free through your financial advisor.
No plan is 100% secure
If only we could be guaranteed that our digital or analog plan is completely safe and secure. But, the unfortunate truth is that both types of plans have risks.
If I don’t store my analog plan and password book in a safe place like a fire-proof safe, then there is a risk that they will be stolen, lost, or damaged.
If the cloud security is breached where my digital contingency plan and passwords are stored, then all of my personally identifiable information could be disseminated quickly.
Determining the risk we are most comfortable accepting is a personal choice.
Speaking of risk, having essential documents in a shoebox, filing cabinet, or a place you can’t remember is riskier than your safe or Everplans’ cloud.
Let’s compare and contrast the options
This chart illustrates high-level categories to consider when navigating contingency plan and password manager decisions.
Contingency planning is easier with a coach.
- Everplans provides an online guided process.
- NPC’s process guide is Mary Beth Simon.
- The bottom line is that you want to complete the plan in a reasonable amount of time. I suggest 30 days. If the project extends beyond 30 days, you may lose interest and abandon the effort.
- It’s easy to get distracted and challenging to stay focused when dealing with paperwork. Although Everplans is digital, you still need to gather the paperwork – then scan it – then upload it.
- Focus on the result. Which type of plan is easier for you and your second-in-command long term?
I trust Everplans’ security protocol.
- Although I will not put all of my personally identifiable information (PII) in the cloud, the fact that some financial planning companies have vetted Everplans’ security says a lot.
- There are other cloud storage services, such as Forever.com. You can store photos as well as documents. I do not recommend storing your PII (e.g., will, bank accounts, investments) in this type of cloud.
Online password managers are great for the principle. Does it work for your back-up?
- I can’t live without my online password manager. It doesn’t work for my second-in-command.
- The longer we deal with COVID-19, the more convinced I am that we need a back-up to our second-in-command.
- Not knowing who will need access to our passwords makes me more confident that a password book, stored in our fire-proof safe is part of a solid contingency plan.
A word about annual payment plans.
- I think a cloud contingency plan service or a password manager should offer a lifetime service plan.
- If you become ill or incapacitated and don’t make the annual payment, then what happens to your account?
- A contingency plan that stops working when I stop making payments is worrisome.
The most important outcome is to create your Personal Contingency Plan and identify your second-in-command. Your planning process is not complete until you have trained your trusted person to keep business and life running smoothly for you in an emergency.
Schedule a consultation to discuss your planning needs.