Are You Protecting Your Financial Future?
Making the right choices today gives you a better chance in protecting you and your family’s financial future. These choices can range from saving, to investing, or to setting the right goals and plans. As we have learned over the past two years, nothing is certain or even sacred. One wrong move and your hard-earned dollars have lost value or you can do absolutely nothing and your hard-earned dollars can still lose value (inflation). So, let’s talk about some ways to at least prepare and protect yourself from feeling or being financial insecure today or tomorrow.
When people have not done anything with their personal finances and do not know where to start, trying to figure where and how to save can be daunting. I always tell people to just start because that is a decision you will never regret. The norm that has been passed around for decades is to save 10 percent. For many, that percentage is too high because their salary is low and they have other obligations and children. So, my answer again is to just start at whatever percentage is comfortable for you. You will often find that just starting will allow you, in time, to grow that percentage number. Once getting started with that saving bug, you will want to do more and ask yourself, “why hadn’t I done this sooner?” The key is to not start too low so that you really are not saving at all.
Investing does not have to be complicated. You have to know your risk tolerance before you invest anywhere. If you do not what your tolerance is and invest in the market, you will probably be very frustrated and lose money. If you invest in mutual funds that are not FDIC (Federally Insured), you could still lose money. If you invest in CDs and savings, you can still lose money as these options do not have the highest earnings and will be eaten away through inflation. The key here is to really know you and what you can tolerate, then investigate the options to see what works for you mentally and financially and then go with that option. If you invest in the market that rewards high earnings and every time there is a dip in the market you panic and remove your funds, you are basically starting from scratch when you reinvest and then those high earnings have done nothing for you. Seeking help from a professional is always a good option in this case, but you still need to know you.
Goals and Plans
Know your true goals and plans; when you know yourself, you will find all the answers you need within. Evaluate what is really important to you today and long-term. I know it is hard to think about retirement when you are raising kids or are single and 30; but one thing I know for sure is that if you keep living, the day will come. So, make sure you are prepared by at least having an idea of what you want that time to be like for you. You will not be earning a regular income, so what will be your solution? You may experience joblessness along the way, what will be your solution? You may experience a major illness before or after retirement, what will be your solution?
Michelle Alexander, LLC.