How many short-term financial decisions do you make each week? You probably make more than a few, and they may feel routine. Yet, in managing these day-to-day issues, you may be drawn away from making the long-term money decisions that could prove vital to your financial well-being.
How many long-term financial decisions have you made for yourself? How steadily have you saved and planned for retirement? Have you looked into ideas that may help to lower your taxes, or preserve more of the money you have accumulated?
Start by taking inventory. Look at your investments and savings accounts: their balances, their purposes. Then, look at income sources: yours, and those of your spouse or family, if applicable. Consider your probable or possible income sources after you retire: Social Security and others.
By taking inventory, you can see where your finances are, both in terms of your progress toward a financially stable retirement, as well as your retirement income. It may also illuminate potential new directions for you:
- The need to save or invest more (especially since parenting or caregiving has the potential to, at some point, interrupt your career and/or affect your earnings).
- The need for greater income (or additional income sources) down the road.
- Risks to income and savings (and the need to plan greater degrees of insulation from them).
Devoting just an hour of attention to these matters may give you a clearer vision of your financial potential as well as your needs for tomorrow. Proceed from this step to the next: follow with another hour devoted to a meeting with an experienced financial professional.
Wealth Management Services at Aventa Credit Union
Rebecca Bayless, MS