As we embark on the first few months of a new year, many individuals and families are evaluating their personal health and fitness. Bentley Ford, Partner and Managing Director of Prime Capital Investment Advisors, says now also is the ideal time to assess one’s financial wellbeing.
This month, Bentley offers some important tips to help achieve or maintain financial success in 2022.
Make a plan. When it comes to financial success, hope is not a strategy. Whether you are just getting started, you’re in the consolidation phase of life or you are thinking about your legacy, planning through each phase of life provides better control and more financial security.
Create a budget. Many view a budget as a restriction - or a roadblock from immediate gratification. However, a budget is simply a plan to accomplish long-term financial goals. When it comes to budgeting, knowledge is key. While many families are aware of their income, many don't keep track of expenses. Know your expenses. You can't control what you don't know.
Have financial goals. The very basis of any financial plan are goals. Think of a goal as a destination. When taking a road trip, travelers map out a route or risk getting lost. Likewise, mapping financial goals can help individuals remain on the right path so they can achieve their objectives.
Consolidate assets. As time goes on, your number of accounts can grow, and monitoring assets becomes more difficult. If you have multiple retirement accounts from former employers, or your financial accounts are spread across multiple financial institutions, consider consolidating. Consolidating accounts allows you to better monitor your financial plan’s success.
Prepare for the unexpected with risk management and estate planning. Risk management in a financial plan typically refers to life insurance, which often is neglected. However, the pandemic has opened more investors’ eyes to their own mortality. Risk management and estate planning also address the risks of changes in estate exemption regulations or increases in taxes, both of which are widely believed to be eventual realities.
Assess repeatedly. Consistent review of your plan is important. Not only does your life change, but your goals will evolve as well. Assess whether the plan is effective and helps you create new goals as you advance through life’s stages.
Don't DIY your financial plan. A well-formed and effective financial plan isn’t something you can do yourself. With the increase in robo and app-based financial solutions, I see more people trying to handle various aspects of a financial plan on their own. Unlike a bad DIY home project that can quickly be resolved, the damage of a failed DIY financial plan may be irreversible. You may not have enough working years left to close the gap. The power of compound interest, one of the most powerful elements of wealth accumulation, can no longer be realized.
Prime Capital Investment Advisors can help. PCIA offers wealth management and financial wellness services, as well as retirement plan consulting. Visit pciawealth.com for more information.