Control Your Finances and Get Ready for Retirement
When it comes to getting control of your finances, taking the first step toward gaining an understanding of the big picture can seem like a daunting task. This can be especially true when you’re trying to make a long-term plan for investing and your retirement.
For some new investors, the ups and downs of the market can seem like a roller coaster you don’t want your hard-earned money to ride on. And while the market can be volatile at times (and out of your control), having the right strategy and support can make all the difference in the long run.
While there’s no magic formula or secret to becoming financially savvy, there are steps you can take to ensure you have set yourself up for success. At Sapiat Asset Management we believe strongly that anyone can become financially secure by committing to the right process. Our fiduciary, fee-only financial advisors, located in Greenville, TN, work with you to develop a plan to get you onto the right financial pathway.
Read on to learn how you can take control of your finances and set yourself up for financial success.
Take Stock of Your Current Financial Situation
It’s hard to know where you’re going if you don’t know where you are. The same is true for your financial future. Start by making a simple list of all of your financial accounts, including IRAs, 401(k)s or any other assets, no matter how small. Don’t forget to include any accounts you may have had from former employers. Also, include any owned properties and or anything else of value that you consider a major asset.
The next step is to make a list of all of your liabilities – also known as debts. Include any outstanding loans and other obligations. This typically includes any vehicle loans, personal loans, credit cards with balances, etc. By having all of your finances accounted for, you aren’t simply making an educated guess on where your finances stand. By taking the time to make a full assessment, you’re getting yourself closer to taking charge of your finances.
Educate Yourself About Personal Finance and Investing
The more you know about financial topics, the better you’ll be prepared for getting a grip on your own finances. This includes personal finances, lending topics and investing. While you may have a basic knowledge of how loans work (you borrow money and pay it back with interest), you may not understand the fundamentals of how your credit score determines your loan rate. Or you might have a general understanding of the stock market but have never actually invested before.
If you’re feeling anxious about the parts of investing you can’t control, having a better understanding of how the investing process works can help you feel more at ease. A qualified financial advisor can also help you on your path to better understanding the investment space. At Sapiat Asset Management we are passionate about helping our clients achieve true financial freedom. We are with you every step of the way.
Make a Budget (And Stick to It)
Once you’ve identified all of your liabilities and assets, you can better understand what steps you need to take to better prepare yourself for retirement. Now it’s time to take a look at your overall budget. This includes a list of money in and money out. Because most bills occur monthly, most budgets are also organized by month. There are many ways to organize your budget, from simple pen and paper to spreadsheets and thousands of mobile apps.
Regardless of how you choose to organize your finances, the main goal of creating a budget is to identify where you’re spending your money, and how you could possibly put that money to better use. Before creating a budget, you may not have realized how much you spend each month in certain areas. By getting a detailed look at exactly where your money goes each month, you’ll be in a great position to make some positive strides toward financial control.
Find Ways to Reduce Expenses
The next step after creating a budget is to look hard at areas where you can cut your expenses to put that money towards your retirement goals. Even if it seems you don’t have all that much to spare at the end of each month, if you look hard, you’ll probably find ways you can cut on non-essential expenses. If eating out is a common occurrence in your household, consider making a meal plan for the month so you can find better ways to be excited to eat in.
Not only will you save money, but it’s likely a great deal healthier for you as well. Another easy expense to cut could be a gym membership you don’t use or a subscription you don’t need. You may even be getting charged monthly for a service you have never used beyond the free trial. While your monthly expenses may look different, almost everyone has expenses they could trim if they were motivated to put it towards a larger goal—and what better goal is there than to take charge of your finances and retire on your timeline and your terms?
Consult a Professional
While it may seem like no matter what you do to get a firm grip on your finances, the nature of investing and the markets can be intimidating, especially for novice investors. It may help to know that you never have to be alone on your financial journey.
By partnering with a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) you can have an experienced financial partner that will help guide you on your financial journey. From your monthly budget to your 401(k), life insurance and beyond, your financial planner will be there every step of the way.
From your first interactions when setting your short and long-term goals, to your regular meetings to touch base on your financial status, your CFP® is working to help you achieve those goals. Markets shift and have their ups and downs, but a solid financial plan is built with the long-term in mind and can withstand the short-term shifts. With your financial planner on your side, you can have confidence that should a change in your allocations need to be made, your planner will be the first to recommend where your investment should go. Contact Sapiat Asset Management today and start planning your tomorrow!
Sapiat Asset Management is a Fee-Only, Independent, Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), specializing in goal-oriented financial planning and investment management for Gen X Individuals & Families, their Businesses, & the Trusts that benefit them.