Critical for long-term success, your financial plan doesn't need to be complicated, but it should provide a starting point and create a baseline for measuring your goals and determining what’s most important to you.
Just Cut Fees
Physically review all financial statements (bank, brokerage, retirement, etc.), bills (home & auto insurances, utility, etc.), and subscription services (gym memberships, streaming services, internet providers, phone contracts, etc.) to uncover fees that you can eliminate or reduce. There's no excuse not to now...most of us are at working from home due to COVID-19. Find the time to spend just a few minutes which could end up saving you hundreds if not thousands of dollars every year.
You have to know exactly how much you need per month to live. The easiest way to create a budget is to track what you earn, save and spend. Keep it simple...but accurate. Do it.
Invest to earn a rate of return greater than inflation. Consider low-cost, broad-based index funds to diversify holdings, reduce management expenses and mitigate tax consequences.
Just Plan for Retirement
It's never too early (or late) to start saving for life after work. Make regular contributions to retirement accounts, like 401(k) plans, for tax deferred growth.
Just Eliminate Debt
Reduce or eliminate debt whenever possible - you'll find it easier to achieve your goals without having debt hanging around your neck. You'll sleep better too.
Monitor your brokerage statements and 401(k) account to ensure you are on track for retirement. It is always a good idea to overestimate your needs. Expect the unexpected, plan for and invest for recessions to be part of our future. Why? Because they are. Having a solid financial plan can weather the toughest storms.
According to reports from CNBC, 75% of Americans are going it alone, without the help of a financial advisor. To achieve their goals, everyone should have a financial advisor. But not just any advisor – a good one, and the right one for you.
We will get through this. We will.
Appreciate everything that is right in your life. Appreciate the people in your life. Appreciate the little things. Appreciate the big things. Appreciate your struggles...it's during challenging times that you can grow and become the best version of you.
NOW GO OUT AND JUST DO IT.
Paul R. Rossi, CFA