So many people go through their lives without paying much attention to where their money goes, or thinking much about how to plan and save for the future. But anyone with a full-time job and a steady income, and especially anyone with a family, needs to start planning now for a successful retirement 30, 40, or 50 years later. If you’re not sure where to start, financial consultant Mike Savage can help. If you’re overwhelmed by investment options and 401 (k)s and want someone to help you find the best financial strategy for your wealth, work with the experts at Savage Financial in Pocono Summit.

Sometimes the hardest part about planning for the future is actually establishing a plan, one that you can stick to and will keep you and your family on track. So, let’s start with the basics. After reading this blog and coming up with your own specific plan, contact a financial consultant to help you fill in any gaps and give you insight into a strategy that can fit your life and your future needs.

Start Simple

If you don’t already have one, create a budget that includes your total income each month and all of the outgoing money, including food, gas, car payments, mortgage, utilities, healthcare, credit card payments, and all of the miscellaneous expenses that you have throughout the month. This may sound unnecessary and basic, but you can’t really start planning until you have a clear picture of what money you have and where it’s going.

Set Goals

With a thorough budget that allocates all of your money toward expenses, bills, or savings, you can begin setting goals and determining a strategy for meeting these goals. When setting goals for yourself and/or your family, it’s important to be specific and also realistic. If you currently have a mortgage, your goal may be to pay it off 10 years early. If you have kids, you may want to have $20,000 in a college fund by the time they reach 18 years. If you want to invest your money, you may want to set a goal of having an investment portfolio of $600,000 in 8 years. When you have goals in place, work with a financial consultant who will help you create the best strategy for achieving your goals.

Start Saving

Creating a financial plan is great, but it won’t get you anywhere if you don’t actually save money. Many people, when they get a raise at their job, instead of increasing their 401(k) contribution or using the money to start investing, they instead just increase the amount of outgoing money. Families start going out to eat more or buying goods or equipment they “need” around the house, instead of using that money to build their wealth. Try to put around 20 percent of your income toward savings.

Basics of Financial PlanningBuild a Portfolio

A financial portfolio can range from stocks, bonds, mutual funds, commodities, 401(k), a Roth IRA, real estate, or even starting a business. In some cases, a portfolio is managed by investors or financial companies, but you can also manage your own portfolio. If you’re new to the financial planning world, these terms can be scary and overwhelming, but with the right financial consultant, it doesn’t have to be. There will always be some risk with investing your money, but the right investment strategy can pay off in the long run when managed correctly. Learn more about how to build a portfolio from Mike Savage.

Keep it Flexible

Your life is surely not the same as when you first graduated from college. You may now have a family, a mortgage, vacations to plan, a mother-in-law who needs long-term medical assistance — life, and your financial goals, can change, so it’s important to stay flexible. If your mutual funds aren’t performing as you’d like, then you may need to switch your strategy or reallocate some funds to other options.

Work With a Financial Consultant

Whether you have been planning and investing money for decades or if you’re brand new to budgeting, having someone on your side who can offer guidance and expertise is extremely valuable. Mike Savage is a financial planner in Pocono Summit and has worked with a variety of clients who needed assistance with their finances.

If you want to start planning for your future, start simple, and contact the experts at Savage Financial today.