Fine-Tune Your Finances Now, Reap Rewards Later
Many people spend a lot of time planning and fine-tuning their physical fitness, and that often includes working with a personal trainer. Why not think of financial fitness in the same way?"Working with a CFP® professional can help you gain the confidence to feel more financially secure as you navigate your life," according to the website of the CFP Board, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting professional standards in personal financial planning.As financial planner Dick Wagner, CFP® emphatically believes that "money skills are 21st-century survival skills."The CFP Board offers these steps that everyone should take to strengthen their financial status:- Save smart. Make a commitment to saving, based on your income, age, and future plans. A CFP® professional can provide competent and ethical financial perspective to help you assess your expenses and set priorities, such as increasing contributions to retirement accounts and reviewing to beginning a 401(k) plan, if you have them.- Earn more. Talk to a certified financial planner for advice on how to boost your income, whether by seeking professional advancement through an advanced degree, taking on a side gig in additional to your regular job, or investing in stocks, bonds, or real estate.- Have fun. Retirement may seem like an uninspiring financial goal, especially to professionals just starting in their careers. Instead, think of retirement savings as financial freedom to enjoy yourself later in life. A certified financial planner can guide you in ways to save for later while budgeting discretionary funds for enjoying life now.- Pay attention. Just as exercising regularly promotes physical health, focusing on finances regularly will pay off in future wealth.In addition, a certified financial planner is an invaluable resource in times of financial change. These changes may be positive, such as buying a home, getting a better job, or receiving an inheritance. Or, you may face unexpected financial hardship due to job loss or medical issues, or struggle to get out of debt or repay student loans. In both good and bad times, a CFP professional provides expert guidance in reassessing your finances to help you meet your short- and long-term goals.Visit letsmakeaplan.org for more financial planning tips and guidance, and to locate a certified financial planner in your area.