What You Can Do Today to Safeguard Your Family’s Financial Future

When it comes to life planning, the sooner, the better. After all, you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow, and every decision you make today may have a profound effect. If you’ve never thought about things like your children going to college or what would happen to them if you were to pass away unexpectedly, it’s time to have a plan in place. Fire In Me presents some tips that can help you make sure your family is protected.

Trust in Yourself, But Have a Plan in Writing

Even if you are financially secure now, that does not mean that your money and assets would be put to good use if a tragedy were to strike. There are many benefits to financial planning, and a trusted financial planning professional can help you understand these and draft an estate plan that makes the most sense. Your estate planning efforts will ensure that you and your family know where your money is and that there are no legal barriers that keep them from it.

Your estate plan will likely include a will and, depending on your assets and plans for the future, a trust. A will is a legal document that conveys your property, including real estate, bank accounts, jewelry, and cash, to your beneficiaries of choice. A trust is likewise an estate planning tool but allows your assets to transfer outside of probate court.

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Build a Solid Foundation, But Make It Diverse

Whether you are a business owner or an hourly worker, there are always opportunities to create wealth. But, as your grandmother would say, it’s best not to put all of your eggs in one basket. Obviously, you will want to have a savings account so that you have liquid funds for rainy days. Other ways to invest include buying real estate and learning to navigate the stock market.

When you invest in real estate, you have an opportunity to create an income stream by either buying and selling or renting homes long or short-term. As long as you have money for capital, there are few other barriers. However, real estate can get expensive, and your profit margin may be low. The stock market may not be as reliable as real estate in the short term, but it is more diverse. According to Fidelity, stocks do offer a historically positive return, even if the market is unpredictable. You can also purchase bonds and CDs as other vehicles for your money.

Save for College, But Take Care of You First

A conundrum that virtually all parents have is whether to put money away for retirement or to fund the first few years of college for their children. As noble as it is to want to first save for college, you do have to prioritize yourself. This does not mean you can’t put a small amount into a 529 Plan or other college savings vehicle, but keep this in mind: your children have their entire lifetime to earn and pay for college while your working years may be coming to a close.

Once you estimate how much you’ll need for retirement, you’ll know how much you need to save each month for the next X number of years. If you have money left over after the retirement account is funded, then you can think about the cost of college.

Estate planning is an act of love and one that hopefully, you won’t need to rely on for many years to come. But, if you are a parent, you must think about the future today and consider a future where you may not be around. While the hope is that you can enjoy a long and healthy life surrounded by your children and grandchildren, you will sleep better each night knowing that your loved ones won’t suffer financially if you aren’t there to care for them.

Fire In Me offers tips on everything from family vacations to financial planning. Please reach out today!

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Joyce Wilson

Author's Corner

Joyce Wilson is a retired teacher and enjoys sharing lesson plans, resources, and teaching tips on Teacher Spark. Her website is a compilation of practical resources that will inspire student engagement and instill a love for learning. By tapping into a student’s natural creativity and curiosity, Joyce believes that they can take their education to a new level.

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