A Financial Plan for the Middle Class

A Financial Plan for the Middle Class

financial plan

Good financial advice in life is one thing that everyone needs, but very few people actually get. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, without a plan, you are more likely to not reach your goals.

While financial advisors are there for that very reason, many of them prefer to work with rich clients because those accounts typically yield greater revenue with less work. Still, there are those who are willing to work with middle-class clients — people who need to make sure every dollar has a task so that reaching a financial end goal is as feasible as possible.

So what are some of those goals that the middle class often strives for, and what steps can they take to get on the right path?

Paths to Financial Independence

The paths to financial independence are varied, but each one should be explored so you can be sure your money is always working for you in the best possible way. That means looking at areas like:

  • Your Work-Sponsored Retirement Plan — Many workplaces offer some sort of retirement plan for their employees. Whether it’s a type of IRA or a 401k plan, you can start your retirement planning by finding out what your job offers. In many cases, your employer will match what you put in retirement up to a certain percentage, so you want to make sure you’re taking advantage of that free money at the very least.
  • Home Buying — A home will most likely be the most expensive thing you ever buy, so you want to be 100% thorough here. Many people don’t think about things like taxes, closing costs, initial repairs, and a lot of other costs that come with buying a home, but they all need to be considered. This is one area of personal finance management where an advisor will be one of your most valuable assets.
  • Having a Savings Plan for College — The unfortunate reality is that college is expensive, and it’s likely to get more expensive as time goes on. Students today are leaving with debt after graduation, making it that much harder to get started in life. You can prevent this from happening, or at least soften the blow, by looking at savings plans specifically for college. Some of these, like a 529 plan, are made for that specific purpose and a good financial advisor will help you understand how to contribute and take advantage of the tax benefits that come along with it.
  • Insurance Planning — No one wants to think about death, but having a financial plan in place for your loved ones after you die is one of the greatest things you can do for them. With the right insurance in place, your children, spouse, or anyone else who depends on your income won’t have to worry about questions like how your funeral or house is going to be paid for.Peace of mind is a powerful thing, and one of the best gifts you can give to those you care about.
  • Retirement Income — You spend your years working so that you have something for the future, so you want to make sure it’s properly managed. Before you reach retirement age, you want to know everything there is to know about your many options when it comes to collecting your Social Security benefits.In some cases you can collect your benefits early. In other instances, you can delay collecting your benefits for greater payouts. The scenario that makes the most sense depends on your needs and circumstances, and a good financial advisor can help you navigate the system and make the right decision.
  • Investments — Whether you work or you’re retired, it pays to have multiple streams of income. With an appropriate investment strategy, you can make sure that any cash you have has the potential to grow instead of just sitting idly. This will help pursue a financially independent future where you can relax rather than worry about money like so many people unfortunately do.

The right financial advisor will help you explore your investment options while keeping your goals in mind. Whether you want low volatility to pursue a steady conservative income or high-risk/high-reward potential investments, a good advisor can steer you in the right direction.

Finding the Right Balance

All of the avenues I’ve outlined above are areas that a middle-class American should explore when it comes to having a financially strong future. It can seem intimidating, but laying the groundwork as soon as possible will assure time is on your side to build the future you want.

Because the process is so involved, you will definitely want to consult a financial advisor to ensure any financial plan you build is tailored for you. As always, feel free to get in touch with me with any questions you might have when it comes to your personal finance goals. I will be happy to help.

 

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.

Prior to investing in a 529 Plan investors should consider whether the investor’s or designated beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state’s qualified tuition program. Withdrawals used for qualified expenses are federally tax free. Tax treatment at the state level may vary. Please consult with your tax advisor before investing.

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