How many short-term financial decisions do you make each week? You probably make more than a few, and they may feel routine. Yet in managing these day-to-day issues, you may be drawn away from making the long-term money decisions that could prove vital to your financial well-being.
How many long-term financial decisions have you made for yourself? How steadily have you saved and planned for retirement? Have you looked into ideas that may help to lower your taxes or preserve more of the money you have accumulated?
In a 2010 Prudential survey of 1,250 American women, 86% of those polled felt that they lacked knowledge when it came to choosing investment or insurance products, yet 95% of the respondents identified themselves as the financial decision-makers in their households.1 Does this describe you? Perhaps it’s time to work toward gaining more confidence and control over your financial picture.
Start by taking inventory. Look at your investments and savings accounts: their balances, their purposes. Then, look at income sources: yours, and those of your spouse or family if applicable. Consider your probable or possible income sources after you retire: Social Security and others.
This is a way to start seeing where you are financially in terms of your progress toward a financially stable retirement and your retirement income. It may also illuminate potential new directions for you:
- The need to save or invest more (especially since parenting or caregiving may interrupt your career and affect your earnings)
- The need for greater income (negotiate for a raise!) or additional income sources down the road
- Risks to income and savings (and the need to plan greater degrees of insulation from them)
Devoting even just an hour of attention to these matters may give you a clear look at your financial potential for tomorrow. Proceed from this step to the next: follow with another hour devoted to a chat with an experienced financial professional. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your investment questions!
Want more articles from Ken? Check out this article: Financial Fitness: 6 things you can do to get in shape financially