Four Steps to a Simpler Financial Life
For many Americans, financial life seems to be getting more and more complicated. Perhaps that's because more workers bear responsibility for their own retirement savings thanks to the proliferation of 401(k) and other plans. Or maybe it's because there's so much information and so many investment choices to sort through. Whatever the case, here are some suggestions that may help to simplify your financial life.
1. Start with a Plan
A little time spent planning now can benefit you later. First, determine short-term financial goals. Do you want to purchase a home in five years? Are your kids heading off to college soon? Is buying a car a top priority next year? Next, think about long-term goals, such as saving for retirement and, if your children are young, college expenses. Estimate how much money you'll need to meet each of these goals.
2. Build a Better Budget
Next, look at your current monthly net income and then set up a budget. Creating a budget allows you to see exactly where all your money goes and to determine where you can scale back. After making cuts, invest that money to help pursue your financial goals.
3. Invest Systematically
You can take time and guesswork out of investing with a systematic investing program. With mutual funds, for example, you can make arrangements to automatically invest a specific amount of money on a regular (e.g., monthly) basis, a strategy also known as dollar cost averaging.* In addition to making investing easier, dollar cost averaging could potentially save you money. You'll buy more shares when prices are low and fewer shares when they're high. Over time, the average cost you pay for the shares may be less than the average price.
4. Rely on an Investment Professional
While the financial world is far more complex than it was just a few years ago, you don't have to go it alone. Think about tapping into your investment professional's expertise before making any major change in your investments. He or she can help you to evaluate how new tax rules and changing market conditions may affect your portfolio and, in turn, your financial goals.
*Dollar cost averaging involves regular, periodic investments in securities regardless of price levels. You should consider your financial ability to continue purchasing shares through periods of high and low prices. This plan does not assure a profit and does not protect against loss in declining markets.
Dwight Lee and Zelalem Girma are LPL Financial Consultants located at NuVision Federal Credit Union. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please call Dwight Lee at 714.375.8227 or Zelalem Girma at 714.375.8222. Click here to schedule an appointment.
Representatives are not tax advisors or legal experts. For information regarding specific tax situations, please contact a tax professional. For legal advice, consult an attorney. Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance products offered through Kinecta Financial & Insurance Services, a subsidiary of Kinecta Federal Credit Union. CA Insurance License #0E24631. Insurance and investment products: 1) are not NCUSIF insured; 2) are not obligations of or guaranteed by the credit union or any affiliated entities; 3) involve investment risk, including possible loss of value. Kinecta Financial & Insurance Services and Kinecta Federal Credit Union are not affiliated with LPL Financial. Some insurance products available to California residents only.
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