Your Financial Health
You only have two real sources of income: the work that you do to bring home a paycheck and the work your money does for you. Your financial future depends on your ability to effectively manage your money and put it to work.
- Manage Debt and Live Within Your Means - Excessive debt can be dangerous in the event of an economic downturn or an unexpected loss of income.
- Consider the Consequences of Financial Decisions - The sale or liquidation of any stock, bond, IRA, CD, mutual fund, annuity, life insurance or other asset to purchase another investment or insurance product may create taxable income, early withdrawal penalties or other costs or penalties.
- Ask an Expert for Help - Consult independent legal or financial advice before liquidating an asset to purchase an investment or insurance product, or transferring ownership of assets.
- Keep Your Wills Up to Date - Basic wills naming executors and guardians may not be sufficient as you accumulate assets and prepare for retirement.
- Match Your Risk Tolerance to Your Goals - It is usually prudent to have less volatile and more liquid means for education funding (shorter-term) than retirement funding (longer-term).
- Make Sure You Have Adequate Insurance Coverage - Insurance is designed to cover risks you cannot afford to take on your own. Life, disability and long-term care insurance can help protect a family's standard of living if the unexpected happens.
- Review the Ownership of Assets - While joint ownership may make asset transfers at death easy, they may also generate unnecessary estate taxes.
- Consider Establishing a Trust - The right trust may allow more of your estate to pass to your heirs.
- Own Products That Are Appropriate for Your Situation - If you absolutely need to receive a retirement check every month, choose a product that will provide income that is guaranteed to last as long as you do.
- Periodically Rebalance Your Investment Portfolio - The degree of risk in your investment portfolio should reflect your current financial goals. If you intend to use stock and bond funds to supplement your retirement income, talk to your financial advisor about reducing your risk as you approach retirement age.