Thursday, 22 January 2009 13:15
There are things that we all try to put off as long as we can – visiting the BMV, doing our taxes, buying birthday cards. You know what I’m talking about, those tasks that we know we have to do but just don’t enjoy doing them. Well, there are some things I have put off for far too long concerning my finances, and maybe you have too.
Create a Will
Nobody wants to think about the possibility that something might happen to them, but knowing that your loved ones are taken care of if something were to happen is comforting. There’s plenty of information online that can help you create your own will, or for a couple hundred dollars, you can get a basic will through a lawyer. If you plan to create it on your own, here are a few things to include:
1. Decide what property to include in your will.
2. Decide who will inherit your property.
3. Choose an executor to handle your estate.
4. Choose a guardian for your children.
5. Choose someone to manage children's property.
6. Sign your will in front of witnesses.
7. Store your will safely.
Meet with a Financial Advisor
Currently, all I have going for me in the way of saving for retirement is my 401(k), and if you’ve ever sat through one of those meetings, you know we’re all doomed to not have enough for retirement. So, here are some items to consider before meeting with an advisor:
1. Ask for referrals from co-workers, friends or family.
2. Select an advisor who best suits your personality and supports your long-term goals.
3. Write a list of long-term goals that includes your ideas for your future.
4. Bring a list of assets to the meeting.
5. List your debts.
6. Include any life insurance information.
7. Bring bank statements from the past two to three months.
Start Saving for College
Although it seems like a long time before my daughter would graduate high school, it’s important to start saving for college early. However, my theory is that if you can make payments for daycare these days, you can send your child to any ivy league school they want after graduation. Even so, here are a few tips for saving for college:
1. The sooner you start saving, the better.
2. Stocks are best for your college savings portfolio.
3. You don't have to save the entire cost of four years of college.
4. With mutual funds, investing for college is simple.
5. 529 savings plans are a good way to save for college and they offer great tax breaks.