Creating Financial Plans

Key to a Good Plan: Flexibility

Ever go to a financial planning meeting when the subject turns to financial planning software? Often planners give complicated software high grades and believe the resulting plans are precisely accurate. They aren’t; good financial planning never predicts precisely. The key to good planning is having the flexibility to change directions as needed.

Do you expect your doctor can tell you exactly when you’ll die? How can your financial planner describe your finances – and the role those finances will play in your life – 20 years down the road?

Retirement Saving Mistakes

You probably spend time planning your family vacation than preparing for your golden years. As a result, you make basic mistakes in trying to fund your retirement. Here are the top moves I see people make to screw up this crucial saving.

No specific goal. Many people usually say something like, “I want to retire in my 60s.” Fine – but pinpointing the age when you want to retire is not even half the process. Additional key questions:

How Aging Alters Money Needs

Time shifts your personal investment requirements. What you need to do at 25, 50 and 70 are different. Understanding the differing phases of your financial life is vital to getting what you need right for retirement.

How often have you heard this phrase about the financial world: “This time is different”? Whether it was the tech boom of the late 1990s or the housing surge of the last decade, markets shifted. Time always shifts them.

Handling Investing ‘Dangers’

Don’t be scared into making bad investment decisions based on what is in the news. The odds of Crete’s economic woes or Russian advances in Ukraine hurting your financial well-being are tiny.

Scary News? Keep Your Focus

What can you and other investors do about Russia, vanished airliners or whatever tomorrow’s headlines bring? How does the Ukraine crisis affect your providing income for you and your family for the rest of your lives? The answer – in this age of rat-ta-tat information about disasters – fixes your whole mindset about investing.

How Do You Manage Wealth?

For some, “wealth management” means managing money. For others, setting up estate planning. For still others, planning how to protect assets. There’s no right universal answer – but the answer for you dictates your entire investing and saving philosophy.

Pet Financial Planning

Are you a good pet owner? Owning an animal means more than feeding it and loving it. Pets aren’t cheap, so doing right by Fido or Tabby involves financial planning.

How to Read Your Tax Form

Tax time is here, with the deadline for filing on Tuesday. Very few people do their own taxes, and many do not understand what the Internal Revenue Service form 1040, the central document of your return, says.

The components combine to tell the IRS your story. Following are some ideas for helping you understand your return.

Simplifying Retirees’ Portfolios

You can go crazy – or worse, invest badly – when all the world’s financial news is a few clicks away. The complexity can be overwhelming. That’s why, in portfolios as in life, think about when and how simple is best.

Warren Buffet, the most recognized and successful investor of our times, recently discussed provisions in his will – specifically how his final instructions are simple and clear.

10 Best Financial Websites

In this digital age, we’re fortunate to have a plethora of sources to find information and help order our financial lives. But amid the vast array of sites, 10 stood out. I highly recommend them.

I weaned this list from an enormous field. According to Google Dashboard, I currently maintain 663 bookmarks in my Chrome browser, sorted among 53 different folders. All of these websites were important enough that at one point, I elected to bookmark them.

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