«   |   »

Financial Planning: More Than a Savings Account

There is little in life more satisfying than setting a goal, sticking to it, and then seeing your hard work and discipline pay off. This is especially true when meeting your savings goals for an “Emergency Fund,” then a College Fund. However, building up your savings account shouldn’t be the extent of your financial planning. Here are a few ways to make your savings the beginning of even more financial success.

Investments

Everyone dreams about a relative putting away some money in their savings account and then you find a fortune years later. This type of dream is hardly a road map to modern financial success. Interest rates nowadays are low enough that you’re more likely to lose money due to inflation than make significant gains from interest. For this reason, you need to make wise investments to see your money grow. Many people are afraid of the volatility of investing, but there are many options for investment that carry very little risk.

 

For example, a good jumping off point would be a low-cost target-date retirement fund. An ideal fund like this will automatically diversify and balance your investments, at little cost to you, as you age. This may sound complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Many workplaces offer 401k retirement investing opportunities through a preferred fund as a benefit. Many will also match a certain amount of your contributions to that fund. Matched money is money on the table, and shouldn’t be left there. If your workplace doesn’t offer this benefit, though, you can always consult with a financial planner or wealth management company. But you need to be careful when choosing someone to help you with something as important as your financial future.

According to Trajan Wealth there are two primary ways that financial planners are compensated i.e. ”fee-only” or “fee-based. The names may sound similar, but the differences are significant. Fee based planners make commissions off every product they sell you (so they have an incentive to sell you more stuff).  Fee only planners “have a fiduciary duty to put your best interest first meaning low- cost and low-fee saving programs.” Typically they help you find “no-load” mutual funds so you don’t have those fees to contend with. Trajan is a “fee only” planner and says, “We are paid a flat advisory fee and have incentive to grow your portfolio. The more you make, the more we make. We are dedicated to developing unique investment strategies and helping you navigate your present and future financial life, paving a clear path for you and your financial goals.”

Wealth Management Services

Your wealth manager’s job is to help you choose the best options for your current financial situation and to help plane for your family’s future needs. This can include tax preparation, trusts, wills, deeds, income planning, insurance advice, stock and bond management, retirement planning, and more. If you have money in the bank and goals in mind, a wealth management service can help you turn your savings into a secure future.

While wealth management services have traditionally been for the particularly wealthy, the field has expanded to include those with even just a little bit of surplus income. A small savings can become a retirement fund, a home, or even the foundation of an estate if it is handled properly. Having an expert on your side can allow you to benefit from their knowledge as you learn more about financial planning so long as you maintain discipline.

Continued Savings

Even if you have sizable savings, active investments, and help from an expert, you shouldn’t let go of the discipline practiced to get there. Any financial advisor with your future in mind will tell you to keep sticking to your budget and putting money into savings. As you age, your plans can and will change, so keeping up with your savings will allow you to adapt to whatever comes next. In your 20’s you might be saving with travel in mind, your 30’s a house, and 40’s forward your retirement. If you continue to save, with or without professional help, you’re more likely to reach these goals as they come. The richest of the rich never stop saving and managing their money, and neither should you.

When you’ve put in the work to save money, you should absolutely be rewarded. While the world, or your interest rate, won’t hand you a fortune once you reach your goals, there are steps to take beyond savings that will allow you to set newer, higher goals and reach them.

You might also like: