In the midst of tumultuous markets, there's one word that comes to the forefront with many investors: FEAR. While no one can predict the future (financial or otherwise), it’s important to create a solid strategy to move forward with confidence. If you’re facing financial fears, let’s work through them together. You don't have to go it alone.
- Fear of outliving your funds in retirement. Planning ahead is the best way to conquer your fear of not having enough money for retirement. Work with an advisory firm like Kennedy Financial Network to delve into your details and determine if you indeed have enough - or if you're on track - to retire. If you’re within 10 years or less of retiring, it’s time to take a close look at your financial priorities. It may be time to focus more on your future rather than your immediate wants and needs. If you aren't already, maximize the amount of money you are putting into your retirement accounts. Aim to meet contribution limits for your designated retirement accounts (especially where there are potential tax benefits). If you have a workplace sponsored plan, take full advantage of the employer match. Don't leave money on the table!
- Fear of not saving enough. Avoid being one financial emergency away from a downward spiral. When you have a budget, you know how much cash you’ll have to sock away in a savings or retirement account after expenses are paid. For fully employed folks, keeping three to six months of living expenses in an emergency fund is likely sufficient. The closer you get to retirement (or for those in retirement) you may want to increase that to twelve months or more of living expenses. Your safety net can also function as a "sleep at night" buffer. If you have funds on hand, you don't have to worry as much about fluctuations in the financial markets.
- Fear of debt. If you’re drowning in debt, it can be downright scary! Don’t let those fears control you—know where you’re spending. Create a budget and use it as a framework to spend with purpose. Understand your interest rates for credit cards and loans. Set realistic goals to pay down debt, step by step. If you need a calculator to help you decide which debts to pay off first, click here.
- Fear of checking your credit. A best practice is to check your credit every year; however, many are afraid to check it and find out they have a less-than-ideal score. Knowledge is power—it’s important to know your score and responsibly work to improve your credit. A poor credit score can make it challenging to be approved for a good loan or loan rate and impact other aspects of life.
- Fear of not knowing what you don't know. More often than not, the people I meet with have little to no knowledge about the financial markets. If that's you, the terminology and financial reports might cause your eyes to glaze over. It's important to work with an advisor who speaks in a language that you understand, and who identifies the issues that are important to your particular situation. You don't have to know the questions to ask. You just need an advisor as a partner who can anticipate your needs because they know your situation and what matters to you.
Want to share your financial fears and/or make sure you're on track? Please click here to schedule a time to meet. I'm always glad to help!