Why You Always Need a Plan B
By David Futrelle

(MONEY Magazine) – One day you're instructing a grateful nation how to assemble a delicious warm pear salad; the next you're contemplating a diet of bologna sandwiches in an underdecorated minimum-security prison. One day you're buying your bountifully posteriored sweetie a million-dollar engagement ring; the next you're ruing the day you ever heard the name Gigli. One day you're dismissing war critics with casual arrogance; the next you're trying to explain how a mop-topped Army reservist from West Virginia became the pixie of doom.

What to do if life serves you a sudden, er, change of plans? When it comes to money, your best Plan B may be a Plan A resilient enough to handle almost any outcome. For that you need to figure out what could go wrong in a big way and why.