April is Financial Literacy Month – Secure Your Financial Future

_financial_literacyFinancial Literacy month has really inspired me to write about some basic financial education. As I said in previous posts, I found the website, www.financialliteracymonth.com recently and was really impressed.

The website focuses on a pledge and a 30-step process to gaining financial knowledge. Allowing anybody to take 30 baby steps toward the goal of financial literacy.

In Step 15: Secure Your Financial Future, we discuss retirement planning. I’ve written about what you can do if you are behind on retirement savings in a previous article. Many people are behind, don’t worry there are some things you can still do.

Here are some things you can do if you are behind:

  1. Reassess your goals
  2. Save more
  3. Downsize
  4. Keep working
  5. Watch portfolio risk
  6. Be careful of scams

In addition, you may want to take advantage of some other resources.

Participate in your employer’s 401(k) plan. Make sure you contribute enough to get all the company match. This is free money, don’t pass it up. Plus, it will help reduce your taxable income. If your employer doesn’t provide a retirement, first, have him or her call me to set one up! Second, max out an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

Get a kick ass partner! A good financial advisor (me of course) can help you in many ways. They can help you determine how much to save, your tolerance for risk as well as develop a comprehensive financial plan. Having a coach makes any player that much better!

Stay on top of it. The Financial Literacy website makes a good point here. Stay interested and informed of what is going on with your investments. Don’t just pick some funds and never go back and look at it again. You should rebalance your portfolio allocations once per year. It helps reduce risk. In addition you may want to raise your retirement contributions 1% every six months or when you get that nice raise for telling your employer to call me and set up a retirement account!

You would think that actually saving would be a no-brainer, right? Step 17: Save For Your Goals, discussed the need to set up that savings. It addresses automatic savings, which is having it deducted from your pay or bank account. In addition, you can monetize a hobby or just spend less. There are tons of ideas in the other 30 Steps for building your savings.

Need to know your progress in saving for retirement? Write me at david@lexwealth.com, or call me at (859) 225-2596. Stay tuned for the remainder of this series.