By Bennett Whitlock, CRPC ® Private Wealth Advisor
You survived the surprise party and put away the gag gifts. Now, at age 40, an important milestone, it’s time to take a serious look at your finances. Although it may be challenging, saving a manage- able amount while time is on your side will allow you to achieve lasting financial security. Tips that can help:
- Examine the big picture. Consider what you’re trying to achieve. List all your financial obligations and goals— from daily expenses to long-term plans. Then prioritize them, being honest with yourself about the “need to haves” (retirement savings) and “nice to haves” (full tuition for your college-bound child).
- Re-evaluate your financial products and policies. Ensure you’re making the most of your options. This is a critical time to maximize your qualified retirement savings. If your employer offers a 401(k) match, take advantage of it, and save the allowed amount in an IRA as well.
- Set limits. Establish boundaries with family members if they request financial help. Lending and borrowing within your family can lead to both financial and emotional stress. Have realistic expectations before providing assistance.
- Educate your children. Guiding your children to financial independence is good for your financial future and theirs; instill fiscal responsibility early. Speak to them openly about money, and teach them to spend and save responsibly. Lead by setting positive examples.
- Prepare for change. Having a contingency plan can help you minimize the risk that events such as disability or divorce will jeopardize your financial security. Have an emergency fund and sufficient insurance for unforeseen events. Also establish or update your will and guardianship plan.
- Seek advice. Consult professionals, such as a financial advisor and attorney. They can help guide you to make rational—rather than emotional—financial decisions.
Enjoy this new stage of life, while keeping your long-term financial goals in sight.
Bennett Whitlock, CRPC ®, is a private wealth advisor and managing director with Whitlock Wealth Management, a franchise of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Learn more at WhitlockWealth.com or call 703-492-7732.