Coach’s Corner-“Am I On Track for Financial Success?”

“Am I on track?” This is one of the most common questions I get from my clients. It usually comes up when we are reviewing an individual’s financial plan.

A lot of investors worry they are behind when it comes to their retirement savings goals and feel like they need to be further along. This can certainly be a source of anxiety for a lot of people. You might find out that your neighbor purchased a second real estate property, or you catch wind of a friend talking about funding a 529 college savings plan before their child has even been born! You might start to ask yourself if you should be doing these things too?

I wanted to create a visual tool that was simple to understand when it came to milestones in your life. The timeline below is a guide…but please understand there is no “right time” for any of these events to occur! Children will be brought into the world, loved ones will pass, jobs will change, and retirement is inevitable. It is important to be prepared for these changes. This is where a financial plan will help. A good financial plan will anticipate these life changing events and help provide guidance during the good and not-so-good times.

The Financial Success timeline below includes special birthdates that are significant to your financial plan and retirement goals. Check it out here:

If you haven’t gotten around to putting together your roadmap (AKA: the financial plan) just yet, there are some ways to be reactive when it comes to life’s biggest moments!  I’ve listed some tips for life events that are not shown in the timeline:

Marriage:

  • Update budget
  • Updating estate planning documents and beneficiary designations
  • Possibly purchasing more life insurance
  • Tax filing strategy will change

Children:

  • Update budget
  • Starting a college savings plan, UTMA/UGMA, brokerage account, etc.
  • Purchasing additional life insurance
  • Updating estate planning documents

First or Second Home Purchase:

  • Evaluate and update budget
  • Getting proper insurance on home and contents of home
  • Possibly purchasing more life insurance
  • Updating estate planning documents

One thing you will notice that remains consistent from your 20’s through your 70’s is to stick to your budget. I likely sound like a broken record, because I say this regularly, but it’s true! You are more likely to hit your financial goals if you follow a budget.

It really is a simple concept:

  • Don’t spend more money than you make.
  • Constantly find ways to lower your expenses, increase your savings, and funnel more money into retirement accounts.

Working with a wealth management firm that implements financial planning is a step in the right direction!  A solid plan will help you reach your financial goals and get you to retirement!

Till next time…

Heather

Categories: Educational Articles, Heather Atkins, Market Commentary

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