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Financial Tip of the Week - Tips for Financial Success in Retirement

Source: Military Community and Family Policy (MC&FP) Weekly eNewsletter

You are ultimately in charge of your finances, and the results you get from working with a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professional are as much your responsibility as they are the planner's. These tips can help you avoid some common mistakes and get the most out of financial planning:

  • Set measurable financial goals. Create specific targets for what you want to achieve and when you want to see results. For example, instead of saying you want to be "comfortable" when you retire or that you want your children to attend "good" schools, you need to define exactly what "comfortable" and "good" mean so you'll know when you've reached your goals. 
  • Understand the effects of each financial decision. Every financial decision you make can affect several other areas of your life. For example, an investment decision may have tax consequences that are harmful to your estate plans, or a decision about your child's education may affect when and how you meet your retirement goals. Remember that all of your financial decisions are interrelated.
  • Re-evaluate your financial situation periodically. Financial planning is a dynamic process. Your financial goals may change over the years due to changes in your lifestyle or circumstances, such as an inheritance, marriage, birth, house purchase, or change of job status. Revisit and revise your financial plan as time goes by so you stay on track to meet your long-term goals.
  • Start planning as soon as you can. People who save or invest small amounts of money early and often tend to do better than those who wait until later in life. By developing good financial planning habits such as saving, budgeting, investing, and regularly reviewing your finances, you will be better prepared to handle emergencies and life changes.
  • Be realistic in your expectations. Financial planning is a common sense approach to managing your finances to reach your goals. It cannot change your situation overnight — it's a lifelong process. Remember that events beyond your control, such as inflation or changes in the stock market or interest rates, will affect your financial planning results. 
  • You don't need to go it alone. Just as you seek a doctor's expert opinion for medical issues, there are times when you need a qualified financial planning professional to provide financial advice. Certified Financial Planner professionals are ready to help you develop and implement a financial plan that will help you on your journey to a healthy financial future. The CFP mark provides confidence that your financial planner is both competent and ethical.   
  • Realize that you are in charge. Provide your CFP all of your relevant information about your financial situation. Ask questions about the recommendations offered to you, play an active role, and be sure you understand the financial planning process.

 

 

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