Being Involved in Your Family Finances and Investments
Written by Linda Patch – Personal Financial Advisor
Who does the finances in your family? How involved are you with the day-to-day budgeting, bank account balancing or bill paying? Do you love this kind of stuff or does it terrify you?
Who takes care of the money?
Most of us have never had any formal training in personal finance other than maybe a one-semester financial literacy class back in junior high school. No wonder many of us shy away from these real-world tasks! However, it is important for you to know where you are with your family finances, including balances in your checking, savings, and retirement investment funds (401ks, IRAs), as well as how much debt you have, and how much you (and your spouse) earn and spend each month.
Sometimes, one partner gets tasked with “doing the finances” and there is nothing wrong with that. But it is helpful to talk regularly together about where you are now, and where you are headed with your family finances and goals. Open communication keeps the accountability on both partners to ensure things are moving forward as planned. It also gives each of you a voice in what your goals and time frames may be. If you are single, and managing your finances yourself, it might be helpful to discuss these matters with a trusted friend, family member or a financial advisor. They can often offer worthwhile insights and perspectives.
Ask yourselves what really matters to you. What do you value most? How are your finances helping you move toward those things that are most important to you? Again, talking these things through with your spouse or a loved one, and discovering how you want your finances to work for YOU is a great way to determine your financial goals. Money is simply a tool to be used to help us in our life’s journey. Making a plan is the way we determine how we want to use that tool.
Planning for Retirement
One of the goals most people want to plan for is retirement. Retirement funding is often a big portion of savings and long-term investment goals. How comfortable are you with making decisions about how much to save and where to invest those funds? Are you on track for retirement? Are your investments within the retirement plan allocated as you need and want them to be? Do you think you may need to find a way to contribute a little more? Do you have other sources of retirement income? If one or both partners are still working, I would suggest that you both sit down at least once a year with your retirement plan advisor (often provided free of charge through your employer) for each of your retirement plans. He or she can advise you concerning these questions and help you decide what changes, if any, you may need to make.
So, if you aren’t already doing it, take a look at your family finances. See if there are things you may want to change, or ways you can refocus your spending, savings and investments to help you reach your goals. You may be pleasantly surprised at the difference it can make in your financial goals and your peace of mind!
Caliber Wealth Management is a branch office of DFPG Investments, Inc. Securities offered through DFPG
Investments, Inc. Member FINRA/SiPC. Investment advisory services offered through Caliber Wealth
Management. DFPG Investments, Inc. and Caliber Wealth Management are not affiliated.