Is there anything more fun than college football? Possibly, creating a financial plan. You don’t agree? You might be surprised to learn that football and finance have more in common than you might think. They both require a good offense, a solid defense, and some effective special teams.
Here’s how to create a financial plan that will set you up for success!
Football Starts With Offense
To play financial offense, you have to be proactive with your money. Your game plan begins by creating a budget. Take a nonjudgmental look at both your income and your spending. Once you know where you are, organize your information into expense categories and reasonable targets. You can make some spending adjustments if necessary.
Your budget and cash flow analysis provide the information that will drive the creation of your emergency fund, life insurance needs, and retirement requirements.
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Have you noticed that here at FierceBeyond50, I post about all kinds of topics relevant to the beyond 50 lifestyle, everything from health and fashion, to downsizing and personal relationships, but not finances?
There’s a reason for that.
I suck at money. Big time.
When the conversation drifts toward topics of personal finance, one of two things happens. Either I start to feel very bored and very sleepy, or I experience the anxiety that can only be overcome by starting a new craft project.
Financial discussions confuse me and scare me. The first response tends to exacerbates the second response, I’ve noticed. The less I understand about money matters, the more frightening they become.
Even in my ignorance, I do understand that it’s important for a woman to have a handle on her finances, especially in the years beyond 50. That’s why, with a certain amount of trepidation, I’ve recently undertaken a personal quest to do exactly that.
I highly recommend this book. It’s very clear and easy to understand and has specific action plans to help readers corral and steer their financial futures. If you know me at all, you know how I love a good action plan! Having a whole year to work through them seemed less intimidating, like something I could actually do. My husband and I are already working through some of these steps and it’s been an illuminating experience. (I’ll be blogging more about that in the future, so stay tuned.)
Something else I loved about this book was the warm, conversational tone of the author. Peggy Doviak seemed like somebody who would be easy to talk to, the kind of lady who I’d want to invite into my kitchen for a cup of coffee and a good gab.
Since Peggy lives in Oklahoma and I live in Oregon, a coffee date would be complicated. That’s why I decided to do the next best thing – invite her to guest blog. Actually it’s even better than a coffee date because I get to share her with all of you.
Today I’ve asked Peggy to write about a question that’s on the mind of so many Beyond50 readers – When can I retire?
Read on for Peggy’s answer to this very important question!
Are you terrified you can never retire? If so, you’re in good company. We’ve all seen the statistics about saving money in our twenties, and the young people who have committed to that strategy just rock! However, many of us did not plan for our retirement in our twenties, thirties, or sometimes even forties. We always had a “good” reason, but still, we didn’t save. Suddenly, OMG, we’re closing in on being 65! We need a solution, and we need it now.
Unfortunately, the financial services community understands our panic and, all too often, tries to exploit it. Over plates of cold chicken fettuccini and a never-ending PowerPoint, a local financial adviser tells us that if we haven’t saved a million dollars by now, we will be eating cat food during our twilight years. The adviser may also warn against counting on the viability of both Social Security and any pension we have earned. But never fear—he has the perfect product to meet our needs, whatever they are. Just sign here.
DON’T! Maybe the sales pitch really does offer an appropriate product, but don’t make your decision from a position of fear. When people are anxious or ashamed, they are desperate for a quick solution that provides peace of mind. When an investment product claims to offer financial certainty, it’s appealing. But remember—they bought you the fettuccini. continue reading