When it comes to a person’s future, there is no such thing as planning too early. If it were possible, a person should start planning for their future as early as Junior High School. That might sound a bit odd to some folks, but think about it. If you had started a savings account and saved every dime of your allowance, where would you have been after high school? If you had had the forethought to check out investing options, you could potentially be in a much more financially secure position today.
Realistically, most kids do not think about such things as financial planning for their future. Perhaps that is the great thing about being a kid, all you have to worry about is what is happening at the moment. There are some things you can do to start paving the way to a more secure financial future.
Some people are a little nervous about having savings accounts at banking/financial institutions. This fear is not without substantiation. In recent times, banks have closed their doors and others have drastically changed certain policies. With an unstable economy, it is even tougher to want to trust your hard earned money to any financial company. Having said all of this, it is still without a doubt, smart to have some sort of way to save back some money for the future. You can accomplish this by opening a savings account or simply buying a safe and keeping it in your home somewhere.
Investments does not just refer to stocks and bonds. Investing in stocks and bonds can be a wonderful asset to your financial portfolio, as long as you are smart about what you invest in and the timing is right. A credible stock broker can be a big help in this area. Wise investments also mean things like your home, education and reliable vehicle. To break it down:
Home- This is where you hang your hat after a long day at work, where you raise your children and make a lifetime of memories. This is a worthwhile investment because it ensures you have a place to live when you retire, and can even be an asset to your children when you are gone.
Education- With a solid education in a couple of different areas you can ensure you are a desirable employee, which is helpful in a job search. Investing in your children’s education will put them on the path to their own independence and success as adults.
Vehicle- Investing and maintaining a solid vehicle ensures you will not be dependent on others for your success at work or at home. People do not seem to realize how important a good vehicle is until theirs breaks down on them.
It is so important to sit down and create a budget and actually stick to it. A budget will allow you to track where your money is going, and help you eliminate unnecessary expenses. Following a budget can help you save for unexpected expenses like car repairs.
This does not just refer to auto and medical insurance. It is very wise to insure your home and personal belongings that have value. Fire, theft, and weather can all take their toll on people, homes, and possessions. While some things like photographs, and other valuable mementos may be irreplaceable, you can receive monetary compensation for other valuables like jewelry, electronics and some furniture. Do not let yourself be caught in a bad situation without any form of compensation.
It is a good idea to have a plan in place in case you lose your job for whatever reason (company down sizes/goes out of business, bad economy, etc.) You can go back to school and learn a second or third set of skills, or even consider starting your own small business. Even if you are lucky enough to be able to retire from your chosen profession, then it is a good idea to have a way to make some extra money. Some retirement packages are not enough to live on comfortably by themselves.
The other side to having an alternative income is in the unfortunate event of the death of your spouse. In a household where one person is the sole bread winner, an untimely death can put tremendous emotional and financial strain on the surviving spouse. When one person is a stay at home Mom/Dad, they often do not have the proper skills to enter into the workforce and end up in a terrible situation.
In households where both people work, death or divorce can cause the same financial upset. When half of the household income is suddenly gone, financial ruin can be right around the corner.
Think of financial planning as the most important investment you will ever make, the investment in your future.