Financial PlanningStart planning and stop worrying!
In a recent Gallup poll, 60% of those surveyed said they worried about their financial future.
There are a few simple steps you can take to help reduce your worries:
- Put aside some amount regularly in savings or other investments. The compounding of earnings can be substantial. The longer your investment period, the greater the beneficial effect of compounding.
- Invest in what you know. The better informed you are, the better your investment decisions will be. If you don't want to learn about investments, consider hiring a money manager and paying him or her to do your investing for you. Do your homework first!
- Diversify your investments. Have some of your money in an investment that is easily converted to cash in case of emergencies. The old adage "don't put all your eggs in one basket" is good advice when it comes to your investments.
- Prepare an annual balance sheet (a list of all your assets minus all your debts) to determine your net worth. A comparison of your annual balance sheets will reveal your success at growing your financial net worth.
- Plan where you want to be financially by retirement age. The calculators listed below will help you determine your savings requirements. Once you know how much you need to save, put your plan into action. Over 90% of Americans must rely on the government or others for assistance during retirement. With proper planning and diligence, you can be among those who can retire in comfort.
- Don't use credit to purchase consumption items. Wait until you can pay cash for things which decrease in value. Borrowing money to purchase a home is usually a sound idea. Using credit to purchase household furnishings is not.
- Pay off your credit card balance every month. Your credit card should be for the convenience of purchasing, not a source of permanent financing. The interest rates are much too high.
- Monitor your investments to maximize your after-tax return. Use the calculator below to compare the long-term results of different interest rates. The difference that a 2% greater return can make in the growth of your investments is dramatic.
- Have your insurance agent do at least an annual review of your insurance needs to determine that you are neither under- nor over-insured. Be sure to contact your agent when you buy or sell any property.
The Magic of Compounding!
If you could have one of the following as your pay for thirty days' work, which would you choose? (A) $10,000, or (B) a penny the first day, two cents the second day, four cents the third day, eight cents the fourth day, and so on, with each day doubling on out to thirty days.
The $10,000 sounds very attractive, but the fact is that the penny doubled each day for thirty days adds up to over five million dollars. Of course, that is 100% interest compounded daily, a rate not available to most of us working folk. Nevertheless, this example shows you the power of compounding on your investment earnings.