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5 key planning principles to protect your family’s finances.

No matter what the current economic environment, adhering to a few sound and well-practiced strategies will help you to prepare for the future. While your individual situation will always have its unique qualities, these suggestions may be useful as you review your family’s long-term plans.

Preserve your future assets.

Whenever possible, try to preserve the assets and resources you’ve set aside for retirement. Although you’re allowed to make withdrawals from these funds whenever you need to, early (i.e., before age 59½ for IRAs and similar plans) and frequent withdrawals will often bring costly taxes and penalties.

Since you can’t recoup the time you’ve invested, you’ll need to ensure you can quickly replenish the lost funds. Otherwise you may find yourself with fewer available assets if and when the market rebounds.

Maintain a diversified portfolio.

The various types of financial products and asset classes—life insurance, savings accounts, CDs, annuities, bonds, and stocks—serve contrasting objectives, involve different levels and types of risk, and perform differently in a variety of economic climates, so it’s essential to maintain a broad selection of these assets in your portfolio. By combining insurance protection, asset allocation, and investment management, you can help reduce the impact of market fluctuations on your savings. Of course, diversification alone does not assure a profit or protect against market loss.

Don’t chase the latest financial or investment fads.

Although it’s often tempting to invest in the newest or fastest growing asset classes, it’s important to regularly review your strategies with your financial professional to help ensure that your needs and objectives can be met by these products. Naturally, if your current assets are secure and sizeable enough, it’s best to let them be. Remember, what’s novel today may not always be what you need in 10, 20, or even 40 years from now.

Manage your risk carefully.

Taking on too much risk when the markets are soaring (and everything looks safe) can often leave you exposed and vulnerable to a resulting decline. To protect your portfolio and ensure your long-term investment goals are being met, you should balance the risks inherent in investment products with other financial assets that offer guaranteed income upon retirement (such as fixed annuities). No matter where you invest, though, you should always check the financial strength rating of the company you are buying from (any guarantees issued by an insurance company are based on their ability to pay claims effectively). Keep in mind that many investment products do not offer a guaranteed return of principal. Their returns and values fluctuate.

Keep a long-term perspective on your financial future.

Generally, markets are cyclical: so rather than react to each swing of the market, it’s usually more effective to build a portfolio with an emphasis on long-term strategy— particularly when it comes to your retirement and other long-range needs.

When it comes to planning for, and protecting, your family’s financial future, consulting with a qualified financial professional is a good first step. You’ll want someone who’s knowledgeable about a number of insurance and financial products that can help meet your needs and goals.

Your New York Life agent is just a click or a phone call away.

When you work with any of our New York Life agents, you can be sure you’re working with individuals who follow the highest standards of professionalism and integrity, and who pride themselves first on their ability to help you and your family feel safe and secure.