Personal Finance Guide: Step-by-Step Savings
You’ve worked hard to get to where you are today, and you want to know that you and your family are safe financially now and long into the future. There is such a lot of information out there about where to put your money, how to spend, where to invest and how to protect your assets.
But not all advice is equal and there are times when it’s hard to know who to trust and where to place your savings, so they see you through retirement and leave your family a nest egg on into the future.
We’ve taken a look at some of the advice from money saving experts to help guide you through savvy investments in your twenties through to your retirement and beyond.
It’s more than likely that you’ve scraped your way through university, perhaps even with a job, but it’s unlikely that you’ve managed to save anything and that’s fine. Your twenties are about finding out where you want to be and what you want to do but when you’re ready there’s some groundwork you can lay for the future.
Starting a savings pot is a great way to get into the habit. When you do start work, take a realistic look at what you’re spending each month and see if you can start putting a little aside and into a savings account. It might feel ridiculously small, but it will soon grow as the months tick by and if you do find you have some spare cash just before pay day, that can be swept into the account too.
Chances are that if you’re working you either have an employer-contributed pension scheme or have been given the heads up that you’ll need to start your own. Either way, get to know the ins and outs of it and make sure you regularly put money into your pension pot now for a secure future.
As you grow older you might find yourself taking on extra responsibilities such as a mortgage, now is the time to make sure those savings are working properly and aren’t left languishing somewhere gathering dust. Talk to a trusted advisor to see if there is any way you can make your savings work harder for you and start increasing your contribution each month, if possible.
Try and make a start paying down any loans you might have taken out when you were younger. Some companies will allow you to make overpayments. The same is usually possible for your mortgage.
As you push towards your forties and maybe find yourself with a family, think about checking out your life assurance and other insurance policies that will protect your family should the worst happen. Shop around for deals that leave you financially stable and protect you should you find yourself unable to pay the mortgage because of sickness or injury.
If you do have children, now’s the time to start a savings fund in their name to help towards university fees, driving lessons and so on when they reach adulthood.
If you find yourself facing any legal or financial difficulties, consider contacting someone like Fund Capital America to help you out.
Sixties and into retirement
Don’t let your pension investment become guesswork. As you approach this milestone, make sure you know exactly where you stand and how much you are entitled to when it pays out.
If you are still working make sure you have at least two months’ worth of monthly expenses saved up, in case there are delays in accessing your payments. This should be separate from your regular savings and be for emergencies only.
If you know your retirement date, it’s worth spending some time looking closely at how your budget is going to work out from month to month. While your outgoings may have gone down, if you’ve paid off your mortgage for example, so will your income so check to see where you are financially and avoid any nasty surprises.
For many people, this is the point where the decision is made to downsize the property, providing a lump sum to live comfortably on and a more manageable sized home. Talk to your financial adviser about how you might also include your children in any profit you make to reduce the amount of inheritance tax they may be forced to pay.
Now is also the time to get organised and make a Will. As much as you might not want to think about it, just getting it done and out of the way is the best way to approach it. A Will can save a lot of confusion and added stress for family members later down the line and let’s everyone know where they stand when it comes to your estate. Talk to a trusted legal advisor and where appropriate, let your family members know where to access your Will when the time comes. Alternatively, you can leave it in the care of the solicitor if that feels safer.
Being financially organised isn’t fun or exciting but it will allow you the freedom to do so much more with your money. While others are spending, you can be saving for a holiday of a lifetime, a car or a house that you can truly call your own. Getting rid of debt as early as you can and focusing on keeping your savings topped up will allow you to treat yourself and your family as well as encourage them to start their own savings plans. You’ll also feel safer knowing you have an emergency fund to fall back on.
From twenty to sixty, each stage of life brings with it new challenges, so plan carefully to have a happy and fruitful life from today and long into the future with financial plans that care for you and your retirement. Let your older age be one of travel, excitement and fun, after all you earned it from being so careful and planning so sensibly for all those years.