Just as you take care of your personal health by proactively incorporating healthy habits and annual checkups, you also take control of your financial health when you are proactively engaged in managing your finances. Like your physical and mental health, your financial health requires an ongoing commitment and focus.
Regardless of your stage in life, you should establish certain habits that can put you in a position to reach your financial goals, whether that’s a vacation, a college fund, a savings account, or a successful retirement.
There are a few universal tips to consider as you establish and maintain your financial health.
1. DETERMINE YOUR FINANCIAL GOALS
You have to know where you want to end up in order to know the way to get there. The goal can be as short term or ambitious as you need it to be, at this moment in your life. Maybe it’s creating a budget to be able to save more money. Maybe you’re looking ahead at what you’ll need for a happy retirement. Either way, you need to look ahead and establish the goal and create the timeline to reach it.
2. CREATE A FINANCIAL PLAN
You wouldn’t expect to lose 10 pounds without evaluating your diet and exercise and making adjustments in order to achieve results. Similarly, you need to evaluate your current financial situation, and then develop a financial plan to help you work toward your goal. You’ll need to consider your current budget, projected income, investments and other factors as you create your personal roadmap to a well-planned financial future.
3. REVISIT YOUR FINANCIAL GOALS
Your financial goals can – and should – reflect your life circumstances. Family, career, or health changes can affect demands on your finances. Reexamine your financial goals at least twice a year. Revisit your investments as well. Work with your financial advisor to rebalance your portfolio as necessary to stay on the right track with your long-term objectives.
4. ENROLL IN YOUR 401(K):
If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, enroll as soon as possible so that your money has a chance to grow. Contributions are tax deferred, and many employers make matching contributions. Contact your employer or plan administrator for specific information regarding employer match requirements and vesting schedules. Saving as much as you can while you are working is an easy habit to establish and an effective way to pursue your retirement goals.
5. STAY THE COURSE
Markets can be volatile, but don’t be tempted to overreact to every change. Remember to maintain a long-term investment outlook.
6. TURN TO EXPERT ADVICE
Experts can play an important role in getting results. An independent financial advisor can help you to establish your financial health today so that you can work toward your goals for the future.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.