By Nelson J. Rodriguez, MBA
The old adage, “People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan,” can be especially true when it comes to finances. And, given the current economy, the best time to start taking control of your finances is today. Being financially responsible doesn’t just happen. It’s a conscious decision you make to live within your means.
Slowly, American consumers are catching on. A nationwide survey on the financial state of U.S. households, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, found only 13 percent of households are currently saving 7 percent or more of their disposable income, although fully 36 percent of households expect to save at this level in 5 to 10 years.(Viewpoint on U.S. Savings Rate, PwC Financial Services Research Institute, 5/13/2010)
While that trend may be encouraging, there remains ample room for improvement.
It’s Never Too Late to Plan
No matter what stage of life you’re in, you should have a strategy that helps meet your current financial needs, while creating a path to help you reach long-term financial goals. Whether you’re just starting out or are nearing retirement, a strategy is necessary, and the good news is no matter what your age, it’s never too late to start.
A proactive approach now can help avoid disappointments later on. Consider the following scenarios:
• Start a savings plan. By just saving a small amount today, you can make a huge difference later on. What financial goals can you set today to help make your dreams a reality?
• Are your loved ones adequately protected? Would your family or partner be able to maintain their standard of living in the event something happened to you? Buy a life insurance policy — or increase your coverage — and make sure your loved ones are protected.
• What about college expenses? If you’re a parent or guardian, it’s never too early to start saving for your children’s college expenses. Start a college education fund, so they won’t be burdened with student loans and can attend the college of their choice.
• If you’re nearing retirement … consider what amount of your current income you can allocate into retirement savings vehicles, such as 401(k) plans, IRAs and other investments. With retirement possiblylasting 20 or 30 years, the more resources you have, the more likely you’ll be able to enjoy it.
No matter where you are in life, a proper financial strategy will help you achieve your financial goals, maintain your current lifestyle and ease worries about the future. Take action today to help realize tomorrow’s goals and dreams.
This educational third-party article is being provided as a courtesy by Nelson J. Rodriguez, MBA. For additional information on the topic(s) discussed, please contact him at (860) 298-1053. Neither New York Life, nor its agents, provides tax, legal or accounting advice. Please consult your own tax, legal or accounting professional before making any decisions.