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Personal Finances Close to the Breaking Point?

By Kent Irwin

Five Steps to Prevent Disaster and Achieve Dreams

We are now beginning to see what happens when an entire nation spends more than they make. The average savings rate for many years has been poor, and it is currently the lowest since the Great Depression. This is evidenced by high home foreclosures (up 90% May ’07 versus May ’06). Household debt has risen 80% since 1990 (adjusted for inflation).

In addition, a large percentage of baby boomers have not saved enough for retirement.
Most people struggle to make great financial decisions and prepare for financial difficulty. Economic forces have exacerbated this: Inflated costs of heath care, gasoline, and loan interest rates, jobs moving overseas and we are not making as much money as our parents (did when adjusted for inflation).

Inaction may deplete your savings and increase your debt to the breaking point. However if you follow these 5 steps, you will not only prevent financial disaster, but you will achieve your financial dreams.

Step #1 Get a financial plan now
A comprehensive financial plan will be the cornerstone to correcting mistakes and charting the course to your goals. Antoine de Saint-Exupery was correct when he said that “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Begin planning today and you will achieve your dreams.
Starting a financial plan has never been easier. You have several options:

If you are in the upper income bracket and or have a sizable investment portfolio consider engaging a fee-based credentialed financial planner. The best ones are equipped with the latest software, knowledgeable and are worth their weight in gold. To find a good one ask friends, family or your other advisors for names of good ones. Fees usually start out around $5,000 per year.

If you are not wealthy, some planners will provide a financial plan coupled a commission or fee product.

eFinplan.com provides consumer web based comprehensive financial planning software for only $149. Unlike most internet calculators, this platform covers virtually every area of financial planning. Running the software on your own is very educational and you can perform multiple what-if scenarios to determine how the overall plan would change with each decision.

Step #2 Assemble a team of trusted professional advisors
You can’t go at it alone. The team of financial, investment, tax, legal and insurance advisors that you assemble are essential to helping you implement your plan. There are many excellent advisors of these professions that enjoy helping people. Ask friends and relatives for referrals, and begin a relationship that will help you for years to come. These advisors will become good friends and will be there to answer your questions, plan, and avoid traps along the way.

Step #3 Learn financial fundamentals
Are you skilled in budgeting, debt management, taxes and investing? Most people lack these skills since they were never taught them at home or in school. Everyone should be skilled in the basics so that they can make better decsions and avoid being scammed. There is a lot of learning material available on the internet, TV, in the bookstore and classes that are offered at a low cost to the public. You will find the information more easily to understand than you thought possible, and you can easily master the fundamentals.

Step #4 Implement and Take Control
Having a written plan to implement, trusted advisors helping you and knowledge is empowering. With this new power you can take control of your present condition, begin achieving goals because you are making great decisions.

Step #5 Give to philanthropy
Every other financial health checklist neglects this important element. Some believe that financial success leads to less stress, but research indicates the opposite—people that are less stressed actually achieve more success. People who contribute resources, such as time and money, are generally happier. Contribute today—don’t wait until someday when you think you might have abundance. Giving will not only help others, but you will appreciate the by-products of this generosity: less stress, more happiness and greater success.

Don’t become a financial statistic, act now and follow these 5 steps to financial success.
Kent E. Irwin is the founder of eFinplan.com which provides comprehensive financial planning software and educational information to consumers. See eFinplan.com for more information.

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Author site: Kent Irwin | View all articles by

Topics: Business, Financial Planning | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Personal Finances Close to the Breaking Point?”

  1. sandra742 Says:
    September 9th, 2009 at 8:46 am

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

  2. Ariana Coleman Says:
    April 30th, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    i am hopping that with very hard work on Affiliate marketing, maybe i would be able to achieve Financial Freedom in 2 years time.’`:

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