Retirement, children’s education, legacy planning, and personal life goals.
Emergency fund and insurance (health, property, casualty, disability, life).
Credit cards, consumer debt, student loans, and mortgages.
Review your employer benefits.
Review tools, current income, and expenses.
While an obvious goal, budget planning escapes many of us. We spend without keeping track of our money. If you don’t visit your doctor for an annual check-up, you can miss a serious condition in its infancy when it’s treatable. So, it is with your money. Keep track. Pay attention. Watch for early signs of excess spending and nip it in the bud to make money work smarter for you.
Money set aside to pay for unexpected expenses defines an emergency fund. Will quick access to $5,000 help you out of a jam? What if, your employment status changes or you lose your position altogether? How long can you take care of immediate expenses?
Calculate this number, multiply it by six or more months, then increase it monthly to cope with larger, unexpected financial difficulties. Your emergency fund creates the safety net needed to achieve your other goals.
Should you pay off credit card debt or create an emergency fund first? Without an emergency fund, any unexpected expense can push you deeper into debt. If you pay off credit card debt first, you’ll knock out expensive interest rates, putting yourself into a faster saving mode.
If you decide to rid yourself of credit card debt, pay off your highest interest rate cards first. Continue to make minimum payments on low-interest cards until you’re free of high-interest rate debt.
If you have a partner or children dependent on your income, you need life insurance to provide for them in the event of your premature death. Most likely, you need both life and disability insurance, with the latter to protect your income in the event of illness or injury while working. You can count on objective insurance advice from you coach-educator.
In a recent article, Forbes cited 44 million Americans shoulder $1.5 trillion in student loan debt, averaging more than $37,000 per person. Imagine eliminating this debt to free up cash for retirement savings. Our coach-educators will help you decide how with a careful analysis of the pros and cons of various options.
Ready to buy your first home, renovate an existing home, or fund a vacation home? Need to put your children through college? These types of horizon goals demand thorough planning and the earlier, the better. What’s the right plan for you?
Carefully estimate your annual living expenses during retirement, less income you or your spouse will receive. Add in social security, retirement plans, and pensions to arrive at the amount you will need to fund through your investment portfolio.
Now, calculate the value of your retirement assets at your desired retirement date, by using our online retirement calculator. A safe withdrawal rate of four percent has survived all historical periods in U.S. market history, assuming a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds.
If you participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, a percentage of your income may be matched by your employer, as much as seven percent or more. Always contribute enough to earn your full employer match, perhaps the most important step to fund retirement.
Contribute earlier than later so your investments grow more with the added time.
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