Are you confident about your financial future? A recent Gallup poll found that just over half of Americans are. Only 15% say they are “very confident” about their financial future. (1) If you are part of the 85% that aren’t very confident, now is the time for you to get on the path to financial confidence.
Achieving financial independence isn’t a one-time event. It is a path that you follow one step at a time, one decision at a time. The beginning of the year is a common time for people to reassess their lives and make any needed changes. Now is the time to evaluate your financial life and make sure you are heading in the right direction. Here are five steps you can take that will put you on the right path to a confident and secure financial future.
1. Ensure Your Retirement Savings Are On Track
Why is it that 77% of people 11-15 years from retirement feel stressed when thinking about their retirement savings and investments? (2) They don’t know if they will have enough money. Don’t be one of them. Put a plan in place so you can prepare appropriately for the future. To do so, combine your expected expenses, length of retirement, and investment risk tolerance to calculate a retirement savings goal.
Once you have your plan, you should revisit it every year to make sure you are on track. With a written plan, you will know when you need to make adjustments in your savings rate or investments in order to achieve your goals. Having a written plan that you revisit regularly will give you peace and confidence in your ability to retire comfortably.
2. Rebalance Your Accounts
Part of your financial plan is your asset allocation, or how much of your portfolio is invested in different types of assets. You need to revisit your portfolio each year to make sure it still reflects your ideal asset allocation. Throughout the year, certain holdings may perform better than others, so your portfolio will need to be adjusted, or rebalanced to keep it properly aligned.
Sometimes you will need to rebalance your accounts because your ideal asset allocation has changed. If a health event has caused you to retire sooner than planned or a pension benefit has been decreased, you may need to adopt a more conservative asset allocation to better protect your capital.
3. Review Your Insurance Coverage and Estate Plan
Securing your financial future isn’t just about saving and investing, but also about managing your risks. Insurance helps you protect against risks that could ruin you financially. Your insurance needs will change based on your age, employment status, marital status, number of dependent children, etc. It is important to review your coverage each year to make sure you are fully covered, and also to make sure you are not spending money on insurance that you don’t need. Double check your named beneficiaries as well to make sure they still reflect your preferences.
Changes in your family and financial situation could also necessitate changes to your estate plan. You should review it annually and make any needed changes.
4. Protect Your Identity and Credit
Last year, 13.1 million Americans were victims of identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network saw an increase of 47% in identity theft complaints between 2014 and 2016 alone. (3) No matter how careful you are with your wallet or how clever your online passwords are, no one is safe from identity theft.
You need to purchase identity theft insurance and utilize credit monitoring services. Identity thieves stole $15 billion last year. (4) Insuring against it can transform having your identity stolen from a financially devastating event to an annoying inconvenience.
5. Work With a Professional
Here in the US, it seems that our financial lives continue to get more and more complicated with each passing year. How are you supposed to have the knowledge to make the best decisions when it comes to insurance, investments, estate planning, etc.? The truth is, you’re not. That’s where I come in.
Studies have found that people who work with a financial advisor have 22.8% more income in retirement and women who work with advisors are twice as confident about their retirement outlook. (5) Working with an experienced financial professional can give you peace about the decisions you’re making right now, and peace about what your future holds as well. Unsurprisingly, statistics even show that people with a plan for retirement are much less likely to worry about running out of money. (6)
Don’t carry the weight of your financial future on your shoulders alone. Let me partner with you to create a plan for your future and help you get on the right path today. Call us at (323) 254-3072 to set up a free consultation. Together we can make sure you are taking the right steps today so that you can be confident about tomorrow.
About Mason & Associates, Inc.
Mason & Associates, Inc. was founded in 1989, specializing in Life Planning for individuals, families and small businesses. Life Planning places a person’s core life values at the heart of the advice process and focuses on the human aspects of financial planning.
As a client, your personal story is key to our planning process. That is why we strive to build a close relationship that will encompass every aspect of your life. Together with our team of professionals, we guide you through the process of identifying what is important to you, your goals, your dreams. We then put into place a financial road map to set you on your way towards achieving your objectives.
Our responsibility does not end there. As you encounter bumps in the road, changes in goals or any other roadblocks, we are there to offer advice and guidance. We are there to celebrate your successes and cope with your challenges. We work alongside your other professionals such as your attorney and your CPA to be sure all of your legal and financial needs are aligned.