Seven Steps To Financial Success
A Road Map To Financial Success
INSPECT WHAT YOU EXPECT
Track Earnings and Expenditures
Keeping a close eye on your financial portfolio means no surprises when it comes to how your money is doing.
Periodic “inspections” of your financial condition allow you to better manage your financial affairs. The power of the internet is now a valuable tool to monitor your personal finances online.
INCREASE CASH FLOW
Money that you don’t spend is money in your pocket that can be applied toward debt reduction and wealth accumulation.
Below are important strategies that will allow you to increase and better manage what you have available to spend:
- Following a budget will help reduce monthly expenses. An important part of this process is to determine the difference between “needs” and “wants”.
- Review low-interest savings accounts (bank CDs,etc.) for opportunities to earn more or pay down high-interest debts.
- Learn to live on 90% or less of your income after taxes.
- Raise insurance deductibles to appropriate levels for additional savings.
- Cancel Credit Life Insurance on all financed items and credit card debt.
- Eliminate Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) as soon as your equity reaches 20% of the value of your home.
- Earn tax benefits from a home-based business.
- Check into qualified plan options.
Earn Additional Income
If possible, explore a second career option, or look for part-time work that can bring in additional income. Also, consult with a qualified tax advisor about adjusting your W-2 allowances if you normally get a tax refund. This will allow you to more quickly apply funds against your debt and toward your wealth accumulation.
Nobody likes problem debt, but sometimes we need a bit more encouragement to get going and make debt freedom a reality.
Reasons to reduce debt:
- Increase your financial security.
- More money to spend on the things you enjoy (without feeling guilty).
- Reduce the stress in your life.
- Reduce the number of bills you pay.
- Improve your credit score.
DEVELOP AN EMERGENCY FUND
Have a Plan for Emergencies
An adequate emergency fund should:
- Be in a place that’s safe
- Return a better interest rate than a checking account
- Be completely liquid
- Be separate from your checking account and be funded systematically
Keep a “Stash of Cash”
As a general rule of thumb, you should keep a minimum of three months income or salary— preferably six months—where it can be readily accessed in case of emergency.
PROTECT WHAT YOU HAVE
Protect Against Loss of Income
During a person’s younger “income-earning” years, it is important to have adequate insurance to cover that income in case of unexpected death or disability.
Insure Family Assets
As a person nears retirement age and has built substantial assets for retirement, one’s financial plan should ideally transform from protecting income to protecting assets. This can be achieved by, among others, using insurance for tax and estate planning.
BUILD LONG-TERM FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE
Stay Ahead of Inflation
There is no real secret to staying ahead of inflation—your assets simply have to earn more interest than inflation takes away. There are numerous options available to help your assets outpace inflation. Your Afortus Associate will work with you to formulate a plan to help meet your individual needs and objectives.
Minimize Your Tax Burden
No one can escape death, and escaping taxes appears to be just as unlikely. Suggestions on ways to minimize the taxation of your assets are also available from your Afortus Associate. You should also consult qualified legal and tax advisors.
Prepare an Adequate Estate Plan
When it comes to providing for your family’s future—not having an estate plan in place can prove very costly. A lifetime of hard work and savings can be decimated following your death if you don’t have a proper estate plan in place. By setting up an estate plan now, you’ll protect what you have, and enjoy the peace of mind of knowing your loved ones will be well cared for after you’re gone.
Investment Risk Disclaimer
1 Information contained herein should not be construed as legal or tax advice and is intended for illustrative purposes only. All charts, graphs, estimates and projections are based upon hypothetical situations, are not representative of any particular financial condition and are not intended to represent a likely or guaranteed return or outcome for any prospective customer.
2 The Financial Needs Analysis is based upon source information believed to be accurate. It is an analysis to determine appropriate individual financial needs and does not constitute a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any specific financial product or service.