The old adage, “People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan,” can be especially true when it comes to finances. And, given the current economy, the best time to start taking control of your finances is today. Being financially responsible doesn’t just happen. It’s a conscious decision you make to live within your means.
Slowly, American consumers are catching on. A nationwide survey on the financial state of U.S. households, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, found only 13 percent of households are currently saving 7 percent or more of their disposable income, although fully 36 percent of households expect to save at this level in 5 to 10 years.1 While that trend may be encouraging, there remains ample room for improvement.
It’s Never Too Late to Plan
No matter what stage of life you’re in, you should have a strategy that helps meet your current financial needs, while creating a path to help you reach long-term financial goals. Whether you’re just starting out or are nearing retirement, a strategy is necessary, and the good news is no matter what your age, it’s never too late to start.
A proactive approach now can help avoid disappointments later on. Here are four simple no nonsense suggestions to get you on the right track:
- Start a savings plan. By just saving a small amount today, you can make a huge difference later on. What financial goals can you set today to help make your dreams a reality?
- Protect your loved ones. Would your family or partner be able to maintain their standard of living in the event something happened to you? Buy a life insurance policy — or increase your coverage — and make sure your loved ones are protected.
- Save for college expenses. If you’re a parent or guardian, it’s never too early to start saving for your children’s college expenses. Start a college education fund, so they won’t be burdened with student loans and can attend the college of their choice.
- Be ready for retirement … consider what amount of your current income you can allocate into retirement savings vehicles, such as 401(k) plans, IRAs and other investments. With retirement possibly lasting 20 or 30 years, the more resources you have, the more likely you’ll be able to enjoy it.
No matter where you are in life, a proper financial strategy will help you achieve your financial goals, maintain your current lifestyle and ease worries about the future. Take action today to help realize tomorrow’s goals and dreams.
1Viewpoint on U.S. Savings Rate, PwC Financial Services Research Institute, 5/13/2010.
Adopted from an article by Lenny Sklawer, New York Life Insurance Company