Stress plays a significant role in depleting our health.
"What is your life's biggest stress?" The most common response is money.
The Key To Personal Finance Management is Organization
Leave nothing to chance and there will be minimal unpleasant surprises. Each of the following requires management:
Earned Income. Your wages can be fixed, but self-employment income is more variable.
Regardless of your situation, it is important to track your income, both for purposes of budget as well as taxes.
Keeping a log, even if it's as simple as notes on a calendar, keeps you focused on the core of your current finances.
Passive Income from investments. Typical passive income comes from bank accounts, CD's, annuities, stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and real estate investments.
To maximize your investment income it's important to monitor these investments.
When there are changes in different financial climates, you should consider shifts in investment strategies.
Budget..The word we all despise. It makes some feel very limited, however this is practical. If you don't know what it costs for your monthly and day to day expenses, you need to look into this now.
Start with fixed monthly expenses for housing, transportation, utilities and insurance. Next add food and household products. What you have left after covering those expenses is your "play" money.
Retirement Accounts. Your nest egg can come under what I call many "umbrellas." There are Traditional and Roth IRA's, 401k's, 403b's, and Pensions.
What some people don't realize is that each retirement account can be invested in any of the passive income vehicles listed above, and there is flexibility in making changes.
You should have conservative plans for your retirement funds 5 years before you plan to begin draw on those funds. And don't forget that nasty 10% penalty tax if you withdraw before age 59 1/2.
Taxes. This is likely the most unfavorable expense we all must endure. The rules are changed every year making it more and more difficult to manage this on your own.
The best defense against overpaying this tax is to keep track of all potential deductions for the entire year so someone can sift through them and bring your tax bill down as low as possible.
If you don't already have a system, I recommend a manila envelope, file folder, or use one credit card and keep the monthly statements organized.
College Planning. Whether advanced education is for your children or yourself, it should be planned for, similar to setting aside funds for your retirement.
For a child, setting aside the cash baby gifts in an account as a college fund is the ideal springboard. Any family member can contribute, with a current gift limit of $15,000 per person per year.
With the college savings investments, the increase in value over time is not taxable if used for education. There are tax credits and a loan interest deduction.</span
Buying or Selling a Home. This process can be quite overwhelming. Professionals need to be coordinated and you need to stay in contact with all of them to be certain they have all your financials and paperwork correctly prepared in advance of a closing, Just as daunting as the physical move.
Packing up your life into boxes gradually and labeling each box with contents is common sense. If you add the room you want it to be stored in the new living space is even better. I have written an entire pack and move e-book with all the details to make your weeks leading up to the move and the unpacking a breeze. Contact me if you'd like the link.
Estate Planning. This involves not only a Will. The associated documents are Power of Attorney and Medical Directive. These document will help your family take care of your business when necessary
Having a Will is critical, especially if you have children. You may have a life insurance policy to protect them and who would manage their funds needs to be specified. Also consider who would become guardian if your children are minors.
You may not have major assets, however not having a Will becomes a major Court procedure for those left behind and attorney fees can eat up anything you do have.
Divorce Financial Planning. Let's face it, no one wants a divorce war. And no one wants to spend their life savings on legal fees to get divorced. You CAN get through this with your sanity and wallet intact.
Planning for your post-divorce future can be compared to planning a wedding. There are questions you need to ask yourself such as "Where am I going to live?" and "What will my post-divorce budget be?"
You CAN get financially prepared, negotiations can be successful and you can minimize stress. WANT TO KNOW MORE? Contact me below. FREE Pre-Planning Checklist and Consultation.
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