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Financial Preparedness and Planning for Your Future

Mark Smith, CFP®, CPA/PFS, CIMA® - Wednesday, May 2, 2018

May3THSmAs we wrap up National Financial Literacy Month in April, we thought it would be a good time to talk through a few things to keep in mind for healthy financial planning. Financial wellness is so important for not only those that are currently working and/or thinking about retirement, but also for educating the young individuals who will soon be entering the workforce.

A lack of financial planning could have a much larger cost that some may think. As American’s age, and various societal factors come into play, most likely we will see significant changes and challenges – such as tax increases, higher healthcare costs, inflation, etc.

We tell many of our clients that financial planning isn’t just about managing their own wealth and portfolios, but it is also about helping maintain financial wellness for their families and allowing them to understand how to work towards financial freedom and achieve a lifestyle that fits within their goals and objectives. 

To do this, financial portfolios should be reviewed on a regular basis. You and your financial planner need to make sure that many factors are considered so that you can achieve the financial wellness that you desire.  Below are some key realities to financial planning that everyone should be aware of as you plan for not only your future, but the financial wellness of our next generation.   

  • Plan for Longevity- Studies now show that many people will now likely live beyond their own expectations – including many living into their 90’s. This means that countless individuals will be retired for over 30 years. Plan as though you will live even longer to ensure you don’t outlive your money.

  • Rising Healthcare Costs- Great healthcare is one of the driving factors behind why we are all living longer. We live in a great country with a phenomenal healthcare system.  But, healthcare isn’t getting any cheaper as we’ve also seen this increase over the years as well.  There’s no doubt this trend will continue to happen.
  • Plan for Inflation- If you are age 60 now, in 30 years, what you can buy now for $1 will cost you $2.42 (assuming inflation tracks its historical rate of 3%). Whenever you are investing, earmark towards inflation. Money’s value will no doubt change throughout the years.

  • Rising Cost of Living- Homeowners and renters are feeling the rising costs of living that we have in today’s landscape.  Although this may ebb and flow a bit, it will continue to rise and be higher in 10, 20, 30 years (and beyond).  You must structure and commit to a portfolio that historically matches or exceeds your rising cost of living to ensure you are prepared for these continuous increases.

  • Consistently evaluate your level of financial preparedness- The rational thought is for your portfolio is to at least produce an income that closely matches or exceeds the rising costs that you will face. However, it’s important to also look at savings and debt management goals, emergency funds and more. This will ensure that you have several ways for being prepared for factors that you cannot necessarily plan for.

Our successful clients understand the importance of creating a well-thought out long-term financial plan – for them and their families. Make sure you and your financial planner are evaluating your overall financial plan at least quarterly.  Your plan should also be comprehensive and not too narrowly-focused so that it covers all these areas of life – including tax issues, risk management, estate planning, and long-term care needs. 

Your original portfolio will most likely change over time due to life events, stock market changes, investment changes, etc.  Balancing and re-balancing your portfolio so that it continues to match your financial plan now and well into the future will ensure you’re heading in the right direction.  If you’re interested in M.J. Smith & Associates reviewing your portfolio and/or discussing options, please contact us today and we’d be happy to talk with you.

 

 

This information does not purport to be a complete description of the developments referred to in this material. Links are being provided for informational purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website's users and/or members.Any opinions are those of Mark Smith and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. There is no assurance any of the trends mentioned will continue or forecasts will occur. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected.

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