From creating a budget to properly managing risk, there are some key financial moves you should be making today.
By Teresa Milner
Life is treating you well. Success shows in your promotions at work. The kids graduated from college, and they are out on their own. The nest is empty and you realize it’s high time you focused on your financial health – finally!
Now managing your wealth becomes the question. What are you supposed to do with your money? You participate in your company’s retirement plan. The fund you saved for college expenses is spent. You have an old 401(k) out there from a previous employer. There’s a little credit card debt, a little traveling you’d like to do, a fresh coat of paint for the house…the list goes on.
Too Many Choices!
Let’s take a minute to think about all the choices we face on a daily basis. How many different types of bread did you pick from at the grocery store? What kind of milk is best? Choice of coffee? What type of car should you drive? You can spend hours researching all the choices we make every day.
The same is true when it comes to managing your wealth. With all the information available for us to read at our fingertips, it’s difficult to know what’s best for you. CD’s, Treasuries, qualified vs. non-qualified, dividend-paying stocks, real estate investments, become a small business owner, alternative investments, 401K, Roth, IRA, SEP, Individual TOD, municipal or government bond funds, money market…that list goes on, too!
My experience has shown me there is no cookie cutter answer when it comes to the best financial goals for you. Everyone’s life has taken them on a journey of highs and lows. These experiences shape who you are, and that determines your short-term and long-term financial goals. From your immediate cash flow to estate planning, the best results come with careful strategizing with the space and time to do so.
Is what you’re doing today enough to make you comfortable about your family’s future? Let’s look at a few small changes for today to make your future more secure.
7 Smart Money Moves
- Create a spending plan and budget. If you’re living beyond your means, you’ll never get ahead, and you’re on a quick path to trouble.
- Determine what debt you have, if any, and get rid of it. Eliminate the debt with the highest interest rate first, and then the next one, etc. Once you’re out of debt – stay out of debt.
- Pay yourself first. The earlier you start saving, the better off you’ll be. It takes less money when you start early because you get the power of compounding on your side.
- Prepare for the “What ifs” life can hand you. I have yet to work with any divorcees that planned to get a divorce. When managing your wealth, you plan for the unplanned.
- Educate yourself on what’s best for you. Knowledge is power on many issues, including your money. Be prepared to ask your financial professional questions about what you’ve read.
- Work with a financial advisor you trust and one who chooses to be a fiduciary. What’s in your best interests will always be at the forefront of your financial plan.
- Discuss risk management with a financial advisor or other professional that can educate you on what’s best for your situation. When planned for properly, I’ve seen insurance be a lifesaver for the family members left to make it on their own. I’ve also seen the other end of that spectrum, and it’s not pretty.
Yes, there are many choices in this world. We spend hour upon hour researching something that may have an immediate impact on us – like what type of milk I should drink. But do you spend hours planning for your future? Make your financial health a priority.
It’s Your Move
There are two types of people in this world – those who say, “I’m glad I did” (planners), and those who say, “I wish I had!” (non-planners). Do smart things today that put you in the group most people want to belong to! A financial advisor can help you find the investment strategy and healthy habits that will help you manage your wealth now and in the future.