Most Americans could use the help of a financial professional at some stage in their life. The time when this occurs is different for everyone of us based upon our level of comfort and experience dealing with our finances and the level of complexity we are facing. For many, the burdens of managing a career, a family, and unforeseen life events (a sudden death, a divorce, a financial windfall, college expenses, taxes, etc.) tells us that it is time to seek out help. When I speak with clients I tell them the appropriate time to speak with a financial advisor is when they have questions that they cannot easily answer themselves. Don't wait until you have a problem, but seek out help when you first notice it or notice that you aren't comfortable making a decision. Most Americans could benefit from working with an advisor at some point in their life.
The number one priority is to save as much as you possibly can. There are two ways to do this, one by increasing income the other by cutting expenses. Most people can't take on another job given their day job, but everyone can manage their expenses. Cut out extraneous expenses and live beneath your means. If you accustom yourself to living well without a lot of luxuries, you can save money and set yourself up to retire well and have some cushion for a few extravagances.
I am blessed to work with a great group of clients. Unfortunately, many of them have been through the process of losing a spouse. Every situation presents itself differently, and every widow or widower I speak with has dealt differently with the grieving process. This is to be expected as we are all individuals and the relationships we are losing were all built upon very different foundations. Thus, when I am asked for general advice about dealing with finances after a major loss, I usually hesitate as there is no one correct answer for everyone. But, there is one piece of advice that I have heard consistently from widows and widowers, namely, that you have time.
A while back I was quoted in US News and World Report in an article related to savings. Here is my sage advice:
"Something is always better than nothing; more is always better than less," says Jamie Ebersole, a certified financial planner in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts.
As parents, we all want to help our kids develop great saving habits. One way to do so is to help your kids save for retirement. Starting early and saving regularly is a recipe for long term success. Here are three reasons why you should consider starting a Roth IRA for your child or children.
I am often asked by my younger clients and those in their mid-career stage (ages 50 - 60) whether or not they should consider retiring early. This is a great question to ask and unfortunately I don't have a straight answer for you. As with most things in life, the answer depends and it is a highly personal decision. In order to help clients assess their readiness for retirement, both financially and psychologically, here are some of the questions I like them to answer. While this list is not exhaustive, nor necessarily in order of importance, it will give you a good place to start on your path to deciding your retirement plans and will hopefully open up new areas for consideration and exploration. At the end of the day, the goal is to help you make the best retirement choices possible, for you, your spouse or partner, your family and your friends.