Managing Your Path
When it comes to personal finances, make a plan and stick to it. It is easy to get side tracked in the game called life so it is important to develop a plan in writing and refer back to it frequently. Below are a few tips to help you on your journey.
1. Choose a financial advisor you trust.
This is the most important step in the process. It is important to seek an expert in the financial industry that can monitor your finances and offer advice for areas of improvement. Most people do not have the time or the energy to continuously manage their personal finances so it is important to seek a professional who can guide you each step of the ever-changing process.
2. Define your objectives and goals.
Do you want to save for your first home purchase? Maybe you want to buy a second vacation home. Perhaps you would also like to fund your child's higher education expenses. These are all common personal financial goals that require diligent planning before jumping into them. You must first determine if your goals are attainable or just a dream. In order to determine if your goals are reasonable, you need to establish your current financial status.
3. Analyze your current financial status.
Common factors in determining your financial status include current savings, both cash and retirement, amount of debt, and current income. Use your financial status to develop a plan and recommendation unique to the individual's financial goals.
4. Develop a plan.
Once you determine your financial status, create a budget to control your spending and savings on a daily, monthly, and annual basis. You also want to make sure to have estate planning documents such as wills in place as part of your plan.
5. Implement and stick to your plan.
Regularly review your budget, your investments, and your estate documents with your trusted financial advisor to be sure you are still on the right path.
6. Revise your plan.
As things come up in life such as marriage, children, death of a loved one, divorce, etc, you will likely need to make adjustments with your financial advisor that align with your new goals and objectives.
Along with the protection offered through insurance and the goal setting provided by investment choices, money management strategies can help manage savings on a daily basis.
Staying on the Path
From mortgage payments to tax savings, a strategy for managing money effectively involves a consideration of individual contexts.
Depending on your stage of life, chances are you have a distinct approach to saving. New graduates or young couples have different needs than retirees or mid-career families. But no matter the situation, PathKeeper Financial can help develop financial habits that will lay a strong foundation for savings.
Younger individuals and couples have a number of benefits in terms of financial management. A long investment horizon, combined with few responsibilities, can make for an excellent financial base. We can develop a strong financial plan that builds on these advantages, while at the same time considers the impacts of a debt load that might include student loans, car payments or perhaps a mortgage.
Couples planning for a first child enter into a new level of commitment—both personally and financially. Learn how to save for a child through specialized insurance and investment products, such as a 529 Qualified Tuition Plan.
Mid-career professionals typically have higher incomes than younger investors—but they also carry more responsibilities. From mortgage payments to a child’s education, consider a financial plan that balances needs with obligations.
Retirees have worked hard at their careers, and now is the time for relaxation and celebration. Chances are children have moved from home, the mortgage is mostly paid off and a few investments are coming to fruition. However, your income levels may have dropped after retirement. Find out how to manage finances in a way that allows full enjoyment of the fruits of a career of hard work.
In short, no matter an individual’s life stage, it is important to balance savings and investing with other commitments.
No one likes taxes. But the advice of a financial planner can help with the selection of products and services that help ease the burden. Charitable contributions, life insurance policies and investment products purchased through products like 401(k) Retirement plans or 592 Qualified Tuition Plans can all be useful tools in an effective tax strategy. It is important to design a tax plan that fits your personal needs.
Choose from a variety of products and services, such as:
- Charitable donations, which benefits important not-for-profit work and allows donors to maximize tax credits.
- Life insurance products that build tax-advantaged capital for retirement.
- Investment products that provide for tax benefits, such as those purchased through 401(k) Retirement Plans or 529 Qualified Tuition Plans.
Preparing for succession after death is a difficult issue to discuss, but it is also an important part of any comprehensive financial plan.
PathKeeper Financial can help individuals and their loved ones approach succession planning in a constructive manner that ensures you avoid problems and are well cared for in the event of death. The process involves two main considerations: life insurance and preparing a will.
Life insurance can ease the financial burden and provide resources for loved ones in the event of death. A lump-sum payment can be used for mortgage costs or to supplement lost income, helping successors during a difficult period. Financial resources and stability can make it easier to cope with the loss of a loved one.
A written will provides a means to guide loved ones through the succession process. By naming executors and providing instructions on the distribution of an estate, surviving loved ones avoid having to guess the wishes of the deceased. Rather than state law determining how assets are to be divided—a situation that can result in lengthy court proceedings—a clear, carefully considered written will provides clear instructions to successors. Save loved ones the stress of dealing with financial issues by planning for succession as soon as possible.
Buying a home can be an exciting purchase—but it is also a big decision that will have a major impact on financial planning. Whether a one-bedroom condominium or a five-bedroom house, a well-planned mortgage strategy must fit its owner’s unique needs and other financial responsibilities.
From choosing the right time to buy a house to deciding whether it is even a good idea, PathKeeper Financial can help with this important decision. Assessing all the costs involved—from taxes to renovations—can help determine whether taking out a mortgage makes sense.