President Lincoln once said, “If I had six days to chop down a tree, I’d spend five of them sharpening my axe.”
Sometimes, planning for an event can take longer than the event itself. This is particularly true when it comes to planning a secure financial future.
Many people put off financial planning, especially during uncertain economic times, because they either don’t know where to begin or they don’t think they have enough money to make it worthwhile.
The truth is there is never an ideal time or place to begin, and there is no specific level of income or assets one needs to make planning for the future worthwhile. You can (and should) begin planning for the future regardless of which life stage you are in and regardless of how much money you have.
To begin the process, first identify your present and future financial goals. If you’re like most people, your goals will include protecting your family in the event that you die prematurely or become disabled; managing your expenses while paying down debt; buying your first home or helping your children pay for college; saving for retirement; and distributing your assets to heirs — privately, equitably and tax-efficiently — following your death.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take during each life stage that will help you build and maintain your personal financial security.
Building personal financial security is not something you accomplish just once, nor is it something you begin once you’ve accumulated a specific amount of assets. It is something you do as soon as you can and keep doing throughout life.
To that end, if you’re among the millions of working men and women who dream of one day being financially secure, take a few minutes — right now, right where you are — to consider your financial goals and the various life stages through which you’ll pass.