Where will your retirement money come from? If you’re like most people, qualified-retirement plans, Social Security, and personal savings and investments are expected to play a role. Once you have estimated the amount of money you may need for retirement, a sound approach involves taking a close look at your potential retirement-income sources.
Investing should be easy – just buy low and sell high – but most of us have trouble following that simple advice. There are principles and strategies that may enable you to put together an investment portfolio that reflects your risk tolerance, time horizon, and goals. Understanding these principles and strategies can help you avoid some of the pitfalls that snare some investors.
Effective estate management enables you to manage your affairs during your lifetime and control the distribution of your wealth after death. An effective estate strategy can spell out your healthcare wishes and ensure that they're carried out – even if you are unable to communicate. It can even designate someone to manage your financial affairs should you be unable to do so.
Insurance transfers the financial risk of life's events to an insurance company. A sound insurance strategy can help protect your family from the financial consequences of those events. A strategy can include personal insurance, liability insurance, and life insurance.
Understanding tax strategies and managing your tax bill should be part of any sound financial approach. Some taxes can be deferred, and others can be managed through tax-efficient investing. With careful and consistent preparation, you may be able to manage the impact of taxes on your financial efforts.
One of the keys to a sound financial strategy is spending less than you take in, and then finding a way to put your excess to work. A money management approach involves creating budgets to understand and make decisions about where your money is going. It also involves knowing where you may be able to put your excess cash to work.
Creating a life map involves a close review of personal finances and an assessment of other building blocks. Lifestyle matters look at how to balance work and leisure, how to make smart choices for the future, and many other items in an effort to help an individual “enjoy the journey.”