The Benefits of Creating a Long-Term Financial Plan

If you are one of the many Americans who live paycheck to paycheck, then you probably don’t spend too much time thinking about your financial future. You likely have more immediate concerns when it comes to money. And yet, ignoring the future won’t stop it from coming, and that right quick. If you want to have money to live on after the age of retirement, or in the case of incidents that keep you from earning a living in the meantime (job loss, medical emergency, etc.), you need to have a financial plan in place that accounts for a rainy day fund, as well as living expenses for the duration of your twilight years. And there are all kinds of benefits to be gained when you start planning for your financial future now.

The first step is to sit down and take a long, hard look at your current budget. If you don’t have one, now is the time to lay out your income and expenses for a comprehensive assessment. The immediate benefits of this activity are numerous. First and foremost, you’ll become aware of what you’re actually earning and spending. And if you’re like most people in this consumer society, you’ll find that you’re probably spending more than you earn thanks to credit cards. With a solid budget in place, though, you might be surprised to learn that you can drastically cut frivolous spending, take control of your finances, and get on track for socking some money away. This will help you to pay down debt and improve your credit score in the immediate future, and you can also start to create a financial plan that will ensure stability and prosperity in the years to come.

In terms of long-term financial plans, there are a few options to consider. You may already contribute to a 401K through your place of employment, and this is a good start. If your company offers a matching plan you should contribute the highest percentage of pay that they’ll match. The reason for this is that a 401K draws pre-taxable income, which means you’re actually taking home more of every paycheck (although this portion happens to go to a savings account of sorts). But it’s also a compound interest account, which means the more money you put in early on, the more you’ll end up with when you retire, even if you contribute less down the road. A Roth IRA offers similar benefits with tax-deferred status (for a set amount of annual contributions), so it’s a good idea to start such an account as soon as possible.

Of course, you can also make long-term investments by putting together a diverse portfolio of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, for example. Or you might invest in real estate by purchasing a home, an asset that will likely gain value over time. You could also purchase rental properties for a passive income or join a REIT (real estate investment trust). All of these options provide you with the opportunity to make your money work harder for you. So if your current situation has you seeking payday loans on a regular basis and trying to figure out which bill you’re not going to pay this month, it’s clearly time for a change. Getting real about your finances and making a long-term plan for your financial future is the only way to dig yourself out of a rut that only stands to get deeper otherwise.

One Response to The Benefits of Creating a Long-Term Financial Plan

  1. Anna Aguon Mellor says:

    Thank you very much for putting information about finances out for us to learn. I’m planning and effectively making $$$ for my family’s richness. Thanks again!

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