The first few months of the year are the perfect opportunity for introspection, strategic planning, and establishing goals. This period is especially crucial for managing your personal finances. By evaluating your present financial situation, setting goals, and laying the foundation for the future, you can significantly influence your financial objectives. In this blog, we will delve into four practical measures you can implement to ensure a secure financial future.
1. Develop Goals and Priorities
Each person and each financial situation is unique. As a result, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating your financial plan. Each individual has their own goals and unique objectives for the future. As you identify your needs, wants, and wishes, it’s also important to think about your long and short-term financial goals. For example, are you interested in retiring in the next 10-15 years? Is buying a second home in the next 2 years feasible? Taking the time to review your goals from the past, as well as outlining goals for the future, will help you lay the foundation for success.
Talk to your financial advisor to develop a financial game plan for your particular objectives. Be sure to consistently re-visit and re-evaluate your plan and priorities to ensure you’re on track to reach your goals.
2. Identify All Assets and Liabilities
Next, conduct a thorough review of your assets and liabilities. Start by compiling a comprehensive list of your liquid assets and tangible properties. This detailed inventory provides a clear view of your financial standing and is an opportune time to re-evaluate your beneficiary designations. Next, identify any liabilities you may have, such as mortgages, auto loans, student loans, and so forth. With a clear picture of your assets and liabilities, it’s time to consider your income. Are there any bonuses or salary increases expected this year? If so, how will they impact your financial planning? Utilize all this information to refine and update your yearly financial plan accordingly.
3. Identify Any Barriers to Achieving Your Goals
With your liabilities and assets clearly outlined, it’s now important to recognize any obstacles that might prevent you from reaching your financial goals. These barriers may include existing debts, like student loans, that limit your capacity to save. Acknowledging your personal financial constraints is an essential piece to planning. When you acknowledge potential barriers, you and your financial advisor are able to create a more realistic set of financial goals based on your individual situation.
4. Think About What Keeps You Up at Night
As you’re planning for the year, think about what’s keeping you up at night. For many, one question often looms large: how will I plan for long-term care without burdening my children? Long-term care insurance emerges as a practical solution, offering a versatile approach to funding care needs, whether for a nursing home or at-home care. This type of insurance not only provides peace of mind but also features options like receiving a cash benefit or allocating funds to your estate. If benefits are directed to your estate upon passing, they are typically exempt from income tax and can bypass the probate process. Consult with a financial advisor about long-term care insurance, as it can be a vital part of your estate planning strategy to ensure you’re prepared for any future care requirements.
Remember, preparing for a prosperous financial future is not only about financial planning but about setting the stage for a secure and fulfilling life ahead. The steps you take today can shape your financial tomorrow. Are you ready to plan the remainder of your year? Contact the Blakely Financial team today.