These days its more important than ever to save money for your future and for that of your family. Here are ten ideas to help you along:
- Set Your Goals: It is impossible to get somewhere if you do not know where you are going. Think of the things you would like for your family and where you would like to be in 5, 10, or 15 years. Also, think about the type of lifestyle you would like after retiring.
- Pay Yourself First: Once you know what you would like to accomplish, determine how much of your income you can devote toward your goals and place it into your savings program regularly at the beginning of each month. By paying yourself first, you can spend freely the rest of the month knowing you have already set aside the money for your future. Provident Credit Union's Direct Deposit and Automatic Transfer programs can help you save on a regular basis.
- Set Up an Emergency Reserve Fund: You should build up 3–6 months of income in a cash reserve fund to protect your financial program from unexpected emergency needs. We have a number of options available that are suitable for this type of fund.
- Update Your Life Insurance Program: Ask yourself what would happen if you died. Does someone depend on you financially, such as a spouse or children? If so, life insurance should be a part of your financial program. We can help you analyze your needs and select a plan which is right for your situation.
- Consider Disability Insurance: One of the most overlooked areas of planning, yet one of the most devastating, is the loss of income due to a disability. Some have referred to a disability as a "living death." We can help you determine whether your company's group disability program is appropriate for you or whether individual insurance might be better.
- Create an Estate Plan: Even if you're not a millionaire, you should give some thought to distributing your assets and providing for your heirs when you die. Wills, trusts, and other programs may be appropriate for your situation. We would be happy to discuss these issues with you and provide some guidance in developing an estate plan. In addition, we can refer you to an appropriate legal counsel to prepare documents and provide necessary legal advice to develop a thorough estate plan.
- Utilize Company Benefits: Some of your best financial planning tools may be provided by your employer. Life, disability and medical insurance are all common programs many employers offer. In addition, company-sponsored retirement plans provide excellent tax benefits to help you save for retirement. We can help you review your company benefits and make suggestions to help you get the most from these programs.
- Invest for Long-term Goals: Many people assume saving accounts or CDs are all they need to build a sound investment program. However, if your investment time frame is more than a few years, investments such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds may provide you significantly better returns. We can bring objectivity and expertise to help you analyze and select the appropriate investments to meet your individual goals and objectives.
- Minimize Your Taxes: Every dollar you save in taxes is an extra dollar you can use to accomplish your financial goals. We can help you analyze your tax situation and make suggestions to help reduce your tax liabilities. In addition, we can help you roll over your company retirement plan without incurring taxes or penalties.
- Periodically Review Your Plan: Review your financial plan at least annually and make adjustments as your goals change. Look at your investments to be sure they are in line with your needs and are suitable under current conditions. We will sit down with you, review the above items, and suggest ideas to help improve your current situation and make your financial future more secure.
For more retirement planning and investment advice, e-mail a Provident Financial Consultant* or call (650) 508-7222 or (800) 656-4096. Provident offers a full range of Investment and Retirement Planning services.