You’ve marched along to Pomp and Circumstance and collected your diploma–now you’re ready to finally head out on your own. Maybe you have student loans that you need to start paying back. Perhaps you’re looking forward to making your first car purchase or starting a new job. Whatever your situation, you’ll definitely have new financial challenges you’ll need to address and financial goals that you’ll want to accomplish during this stage in your life. Fortunately, there are some relatively simple steps you can take to get started on the right track with your personal finances
For many people, there’s perhaps nothing more exciting than traveling to a new country, experiencing different cultures, tasting exotic foods, and exploring unfamiliar landscapes. But before you take off on an international adventure, consider that a little preparation and a few precautions can help prevent a lot of unexpected headaches.
If you’re like many small business owners, you pour your heart, soul, and nearly all your money into your business. When it comes to retirement planning, your strategy might be crossing your fingers and hoping your business will provide the nest egg you’ll need to live comfortably. But relying on a business to fund retirement can be a very risky proposition. What if you become ill and have to sell it early? Or what if your business experiences setbacks just before your planned retirement date?
In addition to typical spring cleaning tasks, you may want to take this time to focus on your finances. In particular, now may be as good a time as ever to evaluate your debt situation and try to reduce and/or eliminate any debt obligations you may have. Here are some tips to get you started.
Working with a trusted financial professional is one of the best ways to help improve your overall financial situation, but it’s not the only thing you can do. Educating yourself about personal finance concepts can help you better understand your advisor’s recommendations, and result in more productive and potentially more prosperous financial planning discussions. Take this brief quiz to see how well you understand a few of the basics.
The word “millionaire” typically conjures up images of a lavish, jet-setting lifestyle, but behind the scenes, that may not always be the case. Like Warren Buffett, who famously still lives in the relatively modest house in Omaha, Nebraska, that he bought in 1958 for $31,500, many millionaires (and billionaires) live a modest, if not downright frugal lifestyle–a lifestyle that may have helped them become millionaires in the first place.
If you’ve ever had trouble finding an important financial document, you know why it’s necessary to keep your financial records organized. Less clutter means less stress, and though you’ll need to commit a bit of time up front to organize your files, you can save time and money over the long term when you can find what you need when you need it.
If you’re entitled to a distribution from your 401(k) plan (for example, because you’ve left your job, or you’ve reached age 59½), and it’s rollover-eligible, you may be faced with a choice. Should you take the distribution and roll the funds over to an IRA, or should you leave your money where it is?
When you were saving for retirement, you may have pursued an asset allocation strategy that balanced your needs for growth, income, and safety. You can take a similar multi-pronged approach to turning your nest egg into ongoing income. One way to do this is sometimes called the “bucket” strategy. This involves creating multiple pools of money; each pool, or “bucket,” is invested depending on when you’ll need the money, and may have its own asset allocation.
As a small business owner, you are probably aware of the importance of offering a basic employee benefit package that includes health and disability insurance, and a retirement savings plan. However, recruiting and retaining top talent often requires going above and beyond the basics. By offering creative, low-cost benefit programs, you can differentiate your business from other potential employers.