The term 'empty nest' evokes different feelings for everyone. It may have happened way too fast or maybe it took far too long, but with all your children almost grown and out of the house, a new phase of your life is about to begin. As with every stage of your journey, finances will play a key role in what's possible for you during your empty nest phase. By fine-tuning your current financial strategy and looking ahead at future challenges, you will be better positioned to achieve the success you deserve.
Much of what we do today is to improve our future financial position. As with anything, we can get better results by following a plan. This is why both an Estate Plan and a Financial Strategy are important for those who want to ensure better tomorrows for ourselves and our families.
Before a sky scraper can reach for the clouds, it needs a very strong foundation. Once the building is complete, the foundation is virtually unseen. The same goes for a financial strategy. The following are the basics of a strong financial foundation:
Budget - Governments and businesses use budgets to properly allocate resources. It's known as good business. A budget can help you figure out where your hard earned income is going and to identify ways to cut spending or increase savings.
A fire breaks out in a movie theatre. You're there with your spouse and children, as are several local merchants. Who do you save first? The butcher? The banker? The hardware store owner? Their families? Or your family and yourself?
A ridiculous question. Of course you would save your family and yourself first. Then why don't we use the same principles with our money? All too often the butcher, the banker and the hardware store owner get paid first and little or nothing is left for us.
Despite what many people think, the number one financial dream killer isn't portfolio losses, or financial emergencies, or unemployment, and not even natural disasters. The number one reason people fail to reach their financial goals is procrastination - putting off the inevitable until the cost of your dreams or goals become prohibitively expensive.
A wedding day can be a springboard into many new and exciting adventures. With all the excitement leading up to the big day, the new couple routinely focuses so much energy on planning the event that they seldom spend any time discussing other important life issues - like developing a sound financial strategy for the future.
As couples embark on a new life journey together, it is important to take time to discuss life goals, hopes and dreams and then commit to incorporating each element into an overall financial strategy.
It is possible for just about everybody to achieve financial success. Getting there is usually not a matter of financial wizardry. By following some basic principles, you can make your financial dreams come true:
John and Jane had spent many months planning for their special day. They had also budgeted and spent many thousands of dollars to celebrate their wedding. Now what?
Since John and Jane have made a for richer or poorer commitment to each other, it's time to do something about it; and they need to start right away. Following is a list of the primary areas that will need their immediate attention:
Most people want financial freedom over financial servitude. Who doesn't want to be financially independent, where their money is working for them rather than working for their money? The problem for most Canadians is that financial freedom can be a struggle of living paycheck-to-paycheck or where spending tends to win out over savings. Ultimately, financial freedom is not so much a single choice to attain it, but about daily choices that can make it a reality.
Recent studies have shown that as many as 60% of Canadians will not have saved enough money in order to adequately provide for their retirement.1 The problem for most people is not that they plan to fail, they simply failed to plan, adequately. And, while many may have been conscientiously saving towards retirement, somewhere along the line they lost sight of their target. Either the target never existed or it was never very clear in their sights. Without a target, they can't possibly know where or how high to aim.