If you’ve built up some assets and are able to save and invest consistently, you need to become more sophisticated in your approach. That means continuing to save while addressing more complex situations. For example, you may be saving for multiple goals, or have maxed out your retirement account and are wondering where to put extra funds.
This needs to be a consistent priority in all phases of your financial life. Why? Retirement is the only objective that you can’t borrow money for, unlike a home purchase, college tuition for your kids, and physical care for your parents or home renovation projects. Retirement is a separate category. You need to put as much money aside for your retirement as you can, during your entire working life.
Along with saving for the future, it’s important to protect what you already have, beyond having an emergency fund. Is there anyone who depends on your income? If you were to get hurt and couldn’t work for six months, would you be able to pay your bills? Do you have any debt that would need to be paid off if you died unexpectedly? These are difficult questions, but there are ways to ensure that you don’t leave yourself—or your loved ones—vulnerable. The right combination of disability insurance (which provides you with income if you can’t work) and life insurance can help.
As your income and responsibilities rise, you may be too busy to keep up with your finances. You may also be juggling competing goals, such as saving for your own retirement as well as your children’s college tuition, while trying to ensure you are allocating all your funds in the best way possible.
Also, you may find that you’re saving as much as possible in your retirement plans and individual retirement accounts (IRA), and are wondering where to invest your excess savings. Now may be the time to consider saving through a managed account, which provides professional management for your personal accounts, or after-tax annuities to boost your retirement savings.
You might also seek help in discussing financial issues with your adult children or aging parents. An advisor can help you draft a financial plan that will help you determine your various savings goals and how best to reach them.
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