Do the current economy, saving for retirement, not saving for retirement and the never-ending litany of financial ‘to-dos’ have you turned upside down? Are you part of the 52% of Americans who have not saved or are not currently saving for their retirement?
If you answered ‘yes’ to either or both questions, you are in luck. Now is always a good time to pick yourself up and begin putting your financial world in order. Currently, many Americans are going through an economic rebuilding of their personal economies. They are in the same situation (or a more challenging one) than the one that you’re in. So, you are definitely not alone.
The good news is that financial planning is a process. I liken it to a turtle’s race. You know that no matter what your financial challenges are -slow and steady wins the race. Many of us get knocked down or knocked back several times during our financial lives. No matter. Figure out where you are and begin or begin again. Remember to always keep going forward. Run the entire race with your eye on the goal. That is what’s important.
Some of the financial basics are:
- Live within your means –If you can’t pay for it, don’t buy it
- Have a written household budget
- Stick to your written household budget
- Pay off your credit cards ‘in full’ every month (See bullet #1)
Begin saving and keep saving
- Set aside 3 to 6 months of savings for your rainy day(s)
- Invest money using a 401(k), 403(b), IRA, Roth IRA, SEP etc.
- If available, invest enough to get your full employer match
- Raise your savings rate every year by at least 1%
It’s okay not to know
- Know what you don’t know
- No matter where you are with your financial life, when needed seek the advice of professionals
It is never too late to add some (more) gold to your golden years. And, with ‘all things financial’, now is always the best time to start.
Jane Nowak is a Financial Planner with Kring Financial Management located in Atlanta, Ga. Jane’s practice focuses on Women’s Retirement Planning and Financial Planning for Women. Her articles have been published on line at NASDAQ, Financial Planning Association and Womenetics.com. Follow Jane on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/moneygal2020