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Achieving Financial Security

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A regularly updated comprehensive financial plan will improve your ability to navigate unexpected developments, achieve personal goals, and maximize opportunities. A comprehensive financial plan should reflect your savvy as a consumer, a parent, and a member of the workforce.

Investing in Human Capital—You

Today, the name of the game is keeping abreast of change. As a member of the workforce, this means remaining current and making additional investments in your education and training to continue to be competitive in the ever-changing job market.

The largest numerical job growth expected over the same period, health-related, computer-related, and education-related occupations will be important.


Steps to Wi$ing Up - Step 8-1. Develop a Professional Game Plan.

Think about your job or career. If you are not presently employed outside of the home, do you expect to be employed in the future? Where are you now and where would you like to be in the future?

Investing in Human Capital — Your Children

One of the most important investments parents like you can make is in the post-secondary education of your children. The future world of work will demand young people who are educated beyond the basics. And achieving financial security is easier when one’s income-earning capacity is promising.

Parenting for Financial Literacy

Parents today want to know how to raise financially literate children. The Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy (www.jumpstart.org), a group that promotes financial education for children and youth, has identified 12 principles that every young person should know. These principles are important to keep in mind as you raise your own children.

Developing a Comprehensive Financial Plan

This Curriculum has emphasized financial tasks and strategies you can do yourself. But there may be special situations for which you need outside professional advice5.

  • Organize and manage your finances. A financial planner can help you organize financial facts (your overall net worth and financial statements) and recommend specific strategies to maximize your resources and help you achieve your life goals.
  • Marriage and children. A financial planner can help when money personalities differ between spouses or when there were previous marriages, and they can address issues related to insurance and the titling of property.
  • Divorce. The impact of divorce can be financially devastating. A financial planner can help you design an equitable property settlement prior to divorce and can also assist in post-divorce planning. Women need to seek the best advice they can find.
  • Receiving a financial windfall. Sudden income from an inheritance (or even the lottery), especially if it is a substantial sum, can present a decision-making dilemma. A financial planner can help identify alternatives and eliminate inappropriate “deals” before you make an expensive mistake.
  • Retirement planning. A financial planner can help you understand your retirement plan’s investment choices, design a plan for accumulating retirement resources, and also design a plan for withdrawing money from your retirement nest egg once you are ready to retire.
  • Funding for college. A financial planner can help you understand funding choices, financial aid, and tax implications. A financial planner can also help you see the trade-offs between funding college and funding your own retirement.
  • Facing a financial crisis. You may need professional financial advice or planning assistance when faced with a crisis, such as job loss, serious illness, natural disaster, or legal problems.
  • Career advice. A financial planner can assess the financial consequences of a career change, compensation package, separation/severance package, and retirement plans like 401(k)s and deferred compensation plans.
  • Running a business. Consulting a financial planner when buying a business will help in setting up retirement plans and other benefits for owners and employees and in establishing a business succession plan.
  • Buying and selling a home. A home purchase has many financial ramifications and triggers questions for which you may need answers from a financial planner: housing affordability, type/length of mortgage, size of down payment, and tax implications.
  • Death of a spouse. This is one of the times when you may most need objective, outside advice concerning insurance, investments, and retirement plans. A financial planner can help.
  • Charitable giving. A financial planner can advise individuals and families who are financially able and interested to make charitable donations in ways that minimize taxes and maximize contributions.
  • Insurance. A financial planner can help you assess all of your insurance needs in relation to your overall financial situation and your financial goals.
  • Estate planning. Consulting a financial planner as well as an attorney will help put together the estate planning documents in a way that reflects your financial circumstances and wishes.

Estate Planning Basics

No one wants to think about estate planning, yet we must. In effect, we all have an estate plan already. The problem is, your state’s plan may not (and usually does not) meet your particular needs. You can avoid this problem entirely by developing your own plan. You will need four basic estate-planning tools: a will, durable power of attorney, living will, and medical durable power of attorney. You will need the help of an attorney and possibly a financial planner.


Steps to Wi$ing Up - Step 8-2. Critical Steps for Financial Security

If you have children, begin developing a plan to help your children achieve education and training beyond high school. Think about how to do this and what is affordable for you.

The Action Plan is a critical exercise that will help you turn the lessons learned in this chapter into action steps


My Action Plan for Achieving Financial Security is to develop a professional game plan for my own professional development.