During your peak career years, there are easy-to-follow tips to help you keep your financial future secure or help you develop a needed financial plan to guide you from your 40s in to your retirement years.
Enlist a Wise Financial Adviser
Start your financial planning in your 40s with sound advice. Choose someone who is honest, who listens closely to your current circumstances and who is willing to help you chart financial goals for the next 5 years, 10 years and up to 20 years.
If you need to select a financial planner, then ask someone why they got into the business. Listen for their passion as well as how they’ve gained their current knowledge and how they plan to educate themselves for the future. Also, how many questions do you they ask you about the health of your parents, education plans for your children or are they simply trying to sell you products that they’ve been ordered to sell?
A wise financial planner can help you earn more on your investments then you could alone. Plus, it’s their job to stay on top of trends and changes in the economy. The most successful people surround themselves with competent advisors.
What is in your portfolio? Mutual funds exclusively? Some stocks? How about insurance? Diversification is a broad term that you can break down this way:
Mutual funds / stocks
Diversify internationally as well as domestically. An economy in one part of the globe may be on the rise while an economy in another part of the globe may dip and even head into recession.
Include this subject in your financial planning in your 40s. Term insurance may serve you well for the next 10 years. But after that it could get expensive. Perhaps you won’t even need life insurance depending on your family’s projected circumstances.
Consider purchasing long-term care insurance. It is less expensive at this age and could have you covered if you need to be hospitalized due to a major illness.
Disability coverage could serve your needs, too. If you became disabled how easily could your spouse or significant other provide for the needs of you and your family? This type of insurance could provide a financial safeguard temporarily if you were in a serious accident and lost your ability to work.
Diversification in your 40s can also include investments such as real estate. Whether or not you have good credit, educate yourself on the value of investing in a single family home or duplex and then holding on to the asset for appreciation and a small positive cash flow for 5 7 years.
Plan for Growth and Stability at the Same Time
You want to invest using a well-balanced strategy of growth with caution in your 40s. It’s too soon to invest in annuities unless you’re working with an insurance salesman and you can make the future guaranteed savings part of a well-rounded insurance package.
In fact, be wary of a financial planner who will advise you to invest a significant percentage of your retirement income in an annuity at this point in your life.
Invest in assets and not speculative ideas. If you don’t mind taking risks and you come across a great opportunity, make sure you’re only using a small percentage of your portfolio.
Review your retirement savings
Review how your retirement money is allocated and how it’s performing on a once to twice yearly basis.
Set Expectations for your Kids
Whether your children are in elementary school, high school or college, begin educating them on how to handle their finances responsibly. Make sure they know how to save and become an investor instead of just a spender.
Set expectations so they’ll begin to understand the value of building their own financial independence and not just a dependence on “mom” or “dad” for a fast buck for their impulse buys. If you’re having trouble saving for your own retirement and you’re paying for their cell phone service then you may have to have a tough talk with them and cancel the subscription even if they get mad. Or else, show them ways they can earn the money to pay for their own cell phone.
Work a reputable attorney or law firm to establish a living trust where your assets are well-protected and well-organized. This is as much a safeguard for your family and your peace of mind like life-insurance. The fee may cost up to $3,000 but if your assets are growing and you have children then it’s worth the cost.
Don’t Read the Money News Everyday
Regardless of news about the economy, don’t dwell on negative financial news every day. Educate yourself with sites like Bloomberg.com and Investopedia.com but don’t worry how your stocks or mutual funds are performing on a day in-day out basis.
Look at the long term trends for any stock, mutual fund and your own portfolio.