Every success story starts with a plan.
Managing your money takes intention.
We know financial planning isn’t always as easy as it sounds on paper. Our agents have dedicated their careers to helping people from all walks of life cut through the confusion to find a realistic strategy that works for them. If you feel overwhelmed, know that you aren’t alone—and it’s never too late to start.
Whatever your situation, we’re here to help you start to reconcile what you have and what you want—beginning with how you operate day to day. For example, we know that fewer than 40 percent of adult Americans say they have a budget and keep track of their spending, and 29 percent have been unable to set aside any money for retirement. Nearly a quarter (24.8 percent) have less than $100 in their checking and savings accounts combined.**
For those and other issues, we’re here to help. Whether you are struggling to put money in the bank, or ready to take your plans to the next level, we’ve honed some general best practices that are easy to understand, and wise to follow.
Establish an emergency fund.
It’s ideal to save six to eight months of living expenses, set aside someplace safe and accessible. Don’t trust yourself with cash? Set up automatic transfers from your checking account to a savings account. Even $25 a month can pile up into a helpful amount during an emergency.
Protect your future income.
Since your income potential is probably your greatest asset, protect it with life, health, and possibly disability insurance.*** That way, if something unfortunate happens during your prime earning years, you or your loved ones will still have income.
Accept an employer’s money match.
If your employer offers a 401(k) match, contribute at least enough to qualify for the full match—usually anywhere from 1 percent to 6 percent of employee contributions. Any money you contribute is deducted pre-tax from your paycheck, so it’s a lighter hit on your take-home pay than you might expect. You can also consider income annuities if you want to make sure you have an income during retirement.
Prioritize and eliminate debt.
Look at any debt you’ve accumulated—credit cards, car loans, mortgages, and student loans—and start systematically paying them down. Since credit card interest rates can run as high as 10 to 24 percent, you might want to start there first.
Take advantage of tax-efficient tools.*
There are many tax-advantageous ways to save money. Look into IRAs (traditional or Roth), 401(k)s, and tax-deferred annuities to save for retirement. If saving for college, 529 college savings plans may be an option.***† A Whole Life Insurance policy that accumulates tax-deferred cash value can also provide for supplemental income if you no longer need the death benefit.**** When it comes to financial strategies, there are no set paths. It all depends on your individual situation.
Our tax calculator can help illustrate the value of a tax-deferred savings strategy.
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