What is Financial Planning?

September 1, 2011

Personal Finance

Financial planning can be a scary word to some, but once you understand what it encompasses, you’ll be glad you took the time to delve into it. No one likes living pay check to paycheck, and with the proper financial planning, you can set your self and your family up for success. Let’s take a brief look at some of the basic aspects of proper financial planning. Keep in mind that it is always recommended that you find a trusted financial planner to help you through major financial decisions.

Solid financial planning starts with a proper and realistic budget. Budgets are often times not realistic. A budget basically allows you to see a clearer picture of what monies are available and what that money is used for. When you go to spend money on thing you realize that the same money is not available for something else. Secondly cutting down on your expenses helps to lay out a better foundation for you financial plan. You actually use your budget to see what expenses can be cut down. Do really want to pay for the mega channel list, when you only to watch the basics? A small cut back on a several things adds up to a large savings. Thirdly, start pulling out of debt. Let’s face it, we don’t want debt, but most of us do. Start by paying more than the minimum amount due each month. That will cut down on the time it takes to pay off the debt and also save you interest dollars as well.

Start planning for your retirement. Yes, unfortunately we will all get older and changes are, we aren’t going to want to work well into our sixties, seventies, and eighties. The time to plan for retirement isn’t then, it’s now.

Your biggest desire during retirement is probably the ability to lead a happy, comfortable life and enjoy retirement luxuries, such as vacations. A home loan may be the only way for you to increase your income to live comfortably during your retirement, but not the type of home loan you might expect. Rather than applying for a standard loan and having to pay it back constantly from almost the point you are approved, you should apply for a reverse mortgage. A reverse loan is a mortgage designed to assist during retirement by providing you with home equity in the form of cash. A reverse mortgage calculator can be used to see how much cash you can borrow based on the worth of your home. Repaying that money will not be an immediate concern for you because you cannot default on the loan and cause it to become due as long as you adhere to reverse loan rules. For example, you must be the homeowner. You must also use the home as your main residence. If you vacate the property for an established period of time, which is usually one year, the loan will become due.

The Internal Revenue Service has stepped up and provided tax advantages like the employer 401K plans, retirement accounts for individuals, and even retirement plans for individuals who are self-employed. You can actually earn credits, qualify for deductions, and tax free earnings in some cases.

The last thing you want after setting up your budget, cutting your expenses, working on eliminating debt, and preparing for retirement, is an unexpected disaster. Proper insurance for your home, income, car, and life aren’t simply a suggestion, they are a necessity. Better to invest small amount toward insurance and be protected in the case of an accident, or pay nothing until the accident takes place and watch all your hard work go down the drain?

Taking these simple steps and applying them to your financial life will certainly get you on the right track, no matter were you live, how big your family, or what you income. Keep a focused eye on your finances, it will be well worth it both today and in later years.

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