20 Things to Consider When Planning for Your Financial Future

Jamison Financial Group Asheville

We recently spoke to the Jamison Financial Group in Asheville North Carolina about finances, investments, savings and planning for the future. Here are 20 things they gave us to consider:

  1. Get a credit card to establish credit. You don’t have to use it much, just buy a few things and pay them off on time to establish your credit.
  2. Save a little money often. Even if it’s not much (just a few dollars per paycheck will help!), it will grow quickly if you start early and keep at it because of the power of compounding. Read JFG Insights to learn more.
  3. Pay off student debt. Keep in mind, if you ever have to file for bankruptcy, student loans are NOT forgiven (unlike credit card debt). Read more about the challenges Millennials face.
  4. Figure out your budget…before you really need to. Take time to balance your income and expenses so you don’t have to scramble at the end of the month with your bills. This is called Financial Planning.
  5. Pay your bills ON TIME! Pay your credit card bills, car payments, student loans, rent, and utilities on time to avoid late payment fees or accrued interest.
  6. Invest in Yourself! Spend time learning about investing, taxes, and finances, you’ll save money because you understand how to save money! Here is more on financial fitness.
  7. Don’t over-extend your money. It’s great to be able to go out to eat every night, but you also don’t want to be scrambling to figure out how to pay your rent or make it to your next paycheck.
  8. If you must eat out often, downscale a bit. There are some fine restaurants that don’t cost the proverbial “arm and a leg.”
  9. Read the fine print on everything you sign. Ten minutes of reading small type could save you years of headaches.
  10. Take care of your credit score. You’re entitled to one free credit report per year from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, the 3 main credit reporting agencies.
  11. Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts on services! You never know what kind of money you’ll save just by asking for a cheaper rate.
  12. Sign up for health insurance. If you are too old to be covered by your parents’ policy, it’s worth spending a few hundred dollars a year to prevent a whopping hospital bill.
  13. Learn how to cook! This will save you tons of money, and it’s generally a good skill to have.
  14. Start saving for retirement NOW! Even if you think it is too early to think about retirement, save anyway. You can never start too soon! Visit our article on the Retirement Crisis.
  15. Wonder if you are behind on retirement savings? Most people who are already well into their financial lives are behind on their retirement plans. Contact us to get a check-up on yours.
  16. If you are behind on retirement savings, catch up! It doesn’t matter if you are 25 or 55, your retirement funds will not heal themselves. Learn how to get moving here!
  17. Learn about social security. About 75% of retirees count on Social Security for a main source of income. Learn about how it works to maximize your benefits. (see link on #19)
  18. Increase your social security payments. Your monthly Social Security check can be as much as 76% higher by waiting to start your benefits. (see link on #19)
  19. DO THE MATH! Despite #18, 73% of all beneficiaries claim early at age 62. This diminishes your income by claiming early because life expectancies have improved! Make sure you understand how much money you are leaving on the table by claiming at age 62 versus age 66 or 70! To learn more, read: What Social Security will do for you.
  20. May 1, 2016 is the deadline for File & Suspend. For those within the right date range, act now to beat the loss of the File & Suspend benefit.

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