October is National Financial Planning Month, and with just a few months left in the year, now can be a good time to plan for your financial future. What can you do better in 2019? Do you have a plan in place?
You may have a savings account, but are you on track to reach your financial goals? To retire, pay off debts? Financial professional Dale McCarty, of Retirement Designers Financial provides some advice to start building your future.
1. What are some things people at home can do to start getting a financial plan together?
- First, it is never too late to start planning and saving for your future. Financial planning needs to be taken with a long term, wholistic view. This is not just about saving for retirement, but also making sure you can weather the unexpected.
- It is also a good idea to write down your goals, solidifying both short and long-term plans. By starting a plan, you can set milestones or goals that you can use to track your progress. Maybe it's saving your college tuition, travel, or allowing for charity donations in your budget.
- Reassess your finances, setting a yearly budget and monthly budget to manage your overall expenses. By doing this, you can help keep expenses under control and set yourself up for long term success.
- Figure out what your debts are, and extra expenses.
2. What are some things people might tend to over-look when it comes to financial planning?
- I encourage everyone to get with a financial professional to help get a plan started. They can help figure out what's best for your situation, because everyone is different.
- The closer you are to retirement, the more your focus changes from making money to preserving your money. This is a good time to be thinking about changing the financial tools you use to manage your money.
- Another area that tends to be overlooked is in tax planning – are you being efficient with your money? Changing your approach early on can result in benefits down the road.
- Consider estate planning as part of your overall plan as well.
3. How do I know if I have enough money saved for retirement?
- If you are not currently on track for retirement, one consideration would be to delay your retirement. Recent research from the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that delaying retirement by 3-6 months can have as much impact on your retirement standard of living as saving an additional one percent of all labor earnings for 30 years.
- Try and make sure you're at least contributing to any available employer retirement plan, and a possible company match.
- A good financial plan is one that can help you reach your financial goals.