Getting Help with Financial Planning is Easy. Here’s How

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Financial Planning
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A financial plan can help you reach your goals and protect you from the unexpected. If you’re looking to create a comprehensive financial plan that works for your unique circumstances, there are many different ways to get started. This guide helps you by providing an idea of what is necessary and how to get help with financial planning to build a solid foundation for success.

Decide What’s Most Important to You

One of the first steps to financial planning is deciding what’s important to you and your family. For example, how much do you want to save for retirement? What are your short-term goals, and how much money do they require? Are there other things in life that are equally important, such as having children or retiring early?

Knowing what is necessary will help guide your financial planning decisions regarding investment choices. But, of course, you don’t need to have all these answers; it will take some time and consideration before creating a solid plan for yourself.

Financial planning is not just about saving money and investing in the stock market. It’s about creating a plan for your life and ensuring that everything fits together so that you can achieve your goals.

You Should Create an Investment Policy Statement (IPS)

Create an IPS and follow it. An IPS is a document that outlines how you plan to invest your money for the future. It includes specific goals and the type of investments or funds you’ll use to reach them.

You can use this information as a guide when deciding where your money goes. It will help ensure that you’re putting your resources in places where they’ll generate the best possible return.

It’s important to remember that an IPS is not set in stone; it’s just there as a starting point. Nevertheless, it is something you can refer back to when making decisions about changing up your portfolio or adding new types of investments into it. If something doesn’t work out according to plan, don’t be afraid to make changes.

The goal is to start developing sound financial habits sooner rather than later.

Determine How Much You Need to Save for the Future

Once you have a clearer picture of where your money is going, it’s time to determine how much you will need for each of these purposes. This step can be hard since there are so many variables involved, but here are some tips for getting started:

  • Retirement planning: If you haven’t already calculated how much money you will need in retirement, start by looking at your current income. It is also necessary to project how much that may change in retirement. Then consider health care costs, inflation, and Social Security benefits when making projections.
  • College planning: Calculate your children’s lifestyle expenses as they grow up and attend college. Make sure they understand them too. In addition to tuition fees, students often incur additional costs, like books and housing fees. Be sure not to leave them when considering saving for college for your family today.
  • Emergency savings account(s): Almost everyone should have a backup plan in case something unexpected happens. It can be losing their job unexpectedly or needing major repairs on their home due to damage.

A survey by Bankrate considers that around 51% of US citizens have only three months of emergency funds. Emergency savings accounts allow people who do not have access.

Establish a Budget and Try Not to Exceed It

Your budget is a tool to help you save money. If you ever have a question about where your next dollar should go, look at the already-established budget.

A good budget will show how much money is left over after paying all your bills and liabilities. This extra amount is what remains for discretionary spending. If there’s no room left for fun, then it’s time to cut back on some things to free up cash flow for other things that matter more.

Maintain High Credit Scores

It’s necessary to maintain high credit scores, so you can get the best interest rates when borrowing money. The higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate you will pay. You should check your credit report every year to ensure that it accurately reflects all of your accounts.

A credit score between 300 and 578 is considered bad, whereas a score above 800 is good. However, data shows only 21% of Americans have a good credit score.

If you see something that shows up on your report but shouldn’t be there (such as an old debt), contact the credit bureau and have them remove it from their records. Likewise, if there are errors on your report, contact each creditor individually and request a copy of their records related to your account(s).

If no negative information appears in your credit file after six months, it’s recommended to pull another copy of this same report again just for peace of mind.

Get Renters or Homeowners Insurance Before Something Happens

Renters insurance covers your belongings, but not the apartment you live in. That’s the job of your landlord’s insurance policy. If your belongings get damaged due to fire or flood, renters insurance will help cover the cost of replacing items covered under the policy.

Homeowners insurance is for people who own their homes and want to protect them from damage or theft. For example, homeowners insurance will pay for your loss if someone breaks into your house and steals all of your belongings. It also covers any damage from fires or storms to your home.

Even after knowing the benefits of renters’ insurance, only 53% of renters have renters insurance in the US, compared to 93% of homeowners insurance. The figure clearly shows that homeowners are more interested in insuring their households than renters in the US.

Create a Rainy Day Fund

It’s necessary to create a rainy day fund so that you have money to fall back on when something unexpected comes up. If you’re wondering how much money should be in your rainy day fund, the answer depends on how big your expenses are and how likely they will happen.

Having enough money saved will allow you to take care of emergency expenses without having any issues with accessing them when needed. This way, nothing will prevent you from having fun in the future.

An average American spends $92 per month on coffee alone. It’s easy for these small purchases to add up quickly and strain your budget if they aren’t accounted for properly.

Start Saving for Retirement as Soon as Possible

It is never too early to start saving for retirement. The sooner you start, the more time your money has to grow and compound over time. If you’re starting your career and don’t have much saved up yet, no problem. Start saving now while you still earn a paycheck. You can always increase your contributions later as your income increases.

An average American adult between the ages of 32 to 61 saves an average of $131,631 for his/her retirement. However, the best way to save is through an employer-sponsored plan because no fees are associated with these plans.

Getting Help is Simple

There are many ways to get help with your financial planning. You can talk to a financial planner, who will typically charge a fee but offer guidance on saving more money and making better investment decisions. You can also talk to an investment advisor at a bank or credit union; these people have the same goal of helping you save money.

If you don’t want to pay for professional advice, plenty of free resources are available online to teach you about personal finance concepts.

You want to get your finances in order; it’s always good to work with a certified financial planner who can assist you in making dreams come true.

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