The very nature of a pilot's work entails a logical and checklist-based plan to get from Point A to Point B. Thus, getting started with a financial checklist is a natural way to assess where you are now, and the steps required to achieve a financially stable retirement.
The following six areas are important to consider when building your checklist and reviewing your overall financial picture. Customize your checklist to your personal goals, and see which areas are secure and which ones could use a little more work.
Where are you at in terms of retirement planning? Are you blindly making contributions to your airline’s 401(k) plan or have you crunched the numbers to verify your contributions will yield the retirement income you need?
Is your asset allocation appropriate for your risk tolerance, age and goals? Can you save additional money for investing on top of your tax deferred plans? Traditional retirement plans, like 401(k)s or IRAs have limits but you don’t have to stop saving there. Long-term plans combine social security, annuities, retirement funds and all other assets with a balanced investment portfolio to ensure your family is comfortably provided for throughout your retirement.
Estate planning isn't a one-and-done event. Rather, it's an evolutionary process that is tweaked and amended as time marches on. Do you have a trust in place? Is your advanced medical directive up-to-date? Are there beneficiaries or PODs listed on all your accounts? These items make it much easier for family and beneficiaries should the unexpected occur.
Are you fully insured? This includes health insurance, life insurance and homeowner's insurance policies - including the appropriate riders or gap coverage for your lifestyle. Review your policies with your agent or broker to ensure your insurance is adequate enough to cover the full value of your assets, debts and lifestyle.
Do you have a strategic plan to pay down current debts? Contact lenders and credit card companies and ask them to lower your interest rates. Make it a goal to live within your means and lead a debt-free lifestyle.
Finally, what are you doing to protect your family's financial well-being? Are you saving for your children's college tuition? Do you have charitable trusts in place? Will parents or in-laws require financial assistance for long-term care?
Answering these questions will provide an overview of your current financial situation and are a great starting point for building your own checklist to help keep you on track. Notice any gaps or areas that need attention? Consider partnering with a financial advisor who can assist you as you chart a realistic plan towards a stable financial future. For assistance with your own personal retirement and investment plan, please call us at (972) 684-5923.
Download a copy of the Financial Goals Checklist to get a head start on reviewing your financial picture.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individual investment advice. Actual recommendations are provided by Retirement Advisors of America following consultation and are custom-tailored to each investor’s unique needs and circumstances. The information contained herein is from sources believed to be accurate and reliable. However, Retirement Advisors of America accepts no legal responsibility for any errors or omissions. Investments in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds may increase or decrease in value. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Any of the charts and graphs included in this blog are not recommendations for the purchase and sale of any security.