Strategies for Success
Nowadays, many individuals are finding themselves concerned about saving for their retirement or child’s education. If you are among this group, you may also have realized that now is the best time to pull together your financial affairs.
Here is a seven-step plan that can assist you in reaching your financial goals and objectives:
- Get organized—Compile all important papers including wills, trusts, and insurance policies. Meet with your attorney, accountant, and insurance agent to update all pertinent documents.
- Pay off credit card debt—Reduce your debt as quickly as possible. Get the lowest finance charge available. Pay more than the minimum due on your balance.
- Review insurance coverage—Make certain that you have the appropriate amount of benefits and the proper beneficiary arrangements. Consider repaying any loans against your insurance policies to establish an emergency fund for the future.
- Review your savings and investments—Review your current financial outlook for short-term, as well as retirement and other long-term goals, and set aside a minimal monthly amount to help you achieve your objectives.
- Make regular contributions to your employer-sponsored retirement plan or Individual Retirement Account (IRA) —Most employer-sponsored plans allow you to make automatic contributions from your weekly paycheck. If you don’t have a retirement plan through your employer, consider starting your own IRA.
- Take steps to safeguard your finances—Possible steps include:
- having your payroll or Social Security check directly deposited to your bank account.
- using good judgment before making spontaneous purchases.
- determining if purchasing extended warranties on products is really necessary.
- getting written estimates for any pending renovations or repairs.
- Prepare a tax strategy—If you feel that, in the past, you may not have utilized your deductions to the fullest, it may be time to meet with an accountant to plan a better tax strategy. The end of the year is an excellent time to examine your tax picture.
By following these seven steps, you will be stepping on the road to smart money management with improved control over your financial affairs.