When the markets and the economy are behaving badly, as they tend to do from time to time, it's easy to feel helpless. But creating a solid financial foundation can help you gain control of your investments and possibly avoid mistakes that can sabotage your portfolio.
Life insurance may be a cornerstone of a sound financial plan, providing potential financial stability to a surviving spouse, children, or other family members in the event of your untimely death. Sadly, many Americans have no life insurance coverage whatsoever, and of those who do, many don't have enough.1
Go out into your yard and dig a big hole. Every month, throw $50 into it, but don't take any money out until you're ready to buy a house, send your child to college, or retire. It sounds a little crazy, doesn't it? But that's what investing without setting clear-cut goals is like.
The managers of well-run businesses usually name "backups" to keep things going smoothly -- just in case. That's also a smart plan for your personal finances, where you risk experiencing financial losses or other difficulties if you can't make your own decisions because of a long illness or other unexpected problem.
Saving for retirement is not a thought that crosses the mind of recent college graduates very often, or even those in their 30s. The excitement of earning a livable wage and enjoying all the perks of life that come with financial independence tend to distract younger workers from maintaining a long-term vision of their financial health.
Correct financial planning can help you pursue a variety of monetary goals, in addition to your desire of living out a comfortable life during retirement. Unfortunately, because the average individual only views financial planning through the lens of retirement, they in turn miss out on other opportunities that will set them up for financial independence.