financial-planningOctober is Financial Planning Month

Saving is a key component of financial planning, but it’s only one part of the puzzle. Recent studies show that over 30 percent of Americans have saved little to nothing toward retirement. And a Gallup poll from earlier this year shows only 20 percent of non-retired investors have calculated their retirement expenses and revenue.

If you are one of the many people without a financial plan, take some time this month, Financial Planning Month, to get on track. While you can’t predict the future, you can anticipate the biggest threats to your financial well-being—health care costs, outliving your savings, death of a spouse—and take steps now to address them.

Don’t know an IRA from a 401k?

Many people don’t know an IRA from a 401k, so financial planning seems like an incredibly daunting task. That’s where expert advice pays off. You don’t have to go it alone, and probably shouldn’t.

Work with a licensed financial planner. Prepare for the meeting by gathering some information:

  • Take stock of what you already have now in savings and retirement accounts
  • Make a list of retirement “needs” and “wants”
  • Look at your major debts and your plans to eliminate them
  • Determine what major future expenses you anticipate, like college bills or a new house

Lifelong financial planning

Keep in mind, a financial plan is not a set-it-and-forget-it project. You must revisit it periodically to manage risk, make adjustments, reallocate assets, account for changes to your situation or to the market and make sure you’re still on target to achieve your goals. Taking small steps over time will help you reap big benefits later.

If your employer offers a retirement plan, you likely have access to experts who can help you plan. If not, contact us. We’ll help you determine your retirement goals and design a plan to help you reach them.