Want to Get Your Financial Life on Track?

We are lucky enough to have some of the top insurance agents and financial advisors at our disposal (they form our board of directors). So we thought we’d put them to work for you. We asked them, “What is your best piece of advice to help someone get their financial life on track—or back on track?” and here is what they had to say:

The economy has been tough on almost every one. We have had to cut out things here and there. Take a look at what you spend on a daily and weekly basis, keep a diary of expenses. You might be surprised at how much money you might save if you took your lunch to work a few days a week or made your own coffee in the morning. Then create a proper budget. Include in that budget how much you could save for the things that are really important. And remember to review your budget regularly to keep yourself on track. —Cindy Gentry, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF

Save … save … save! No matter how difficult it is in today’s world, it’s critically important that you begin and maintain a steady savings program—even if it is just a small amount for now. No one has ever regretted saving money. —Ronald B. Lee, CLU, ChFC, CLTC

We spend more time planning a vacation than we do keeping our financial lives on track. Get your “house” in good financial order with a budget by keeping track of your monthly expenses compared with your monthly income. Your goal should be to have money left over at the end of every month. If so, you are on the road to financial fitness. There will be bumps along the road, but as long as you maintain a balance of spending limits with the understanding of your income, and knowing that you cannot spend more than you earn, you’ll be back on track in no time. —Robert N. Garneau, CLU, ChFC

It’s time for a “financial physical.” You may “feel” financially alright, but upon further analysis by a qualified professional you may determine you are jeopardizing your financial future. You get a physical check up to feel confident you are not putting your health at risk. Doesn’t it make sense to give the same respect to your financial health, too?” —Clarke Langrall, Jr., CEPA

Many people make plans for their vacations in the beginning of the year. How about spending a little time making plans for your retirement or what happens to your kids if something happens to you? —Michael L. Weintraub

Do a budget! Most folks don’t know how much comes in and how much goes out. So, they can never get a handle on how much “discretionary” income they have to … spend, save, invest or buy insurance. If you don’t know where you are, you’ll never be able to figure out how you can go anyplace else! —Brian H. Ashe, CLU

Have a financial advisor review your tax return. She can advise you if a tax-deferred annuity would help reduce your taxes, for example. She can also give advice on life insurance loans and/or dividends, and answer questions such as: Are you maximizing your policy’s tax advantages? and Would a long-term care policy benefit you and your heirs? —Patricia L. Krarup, CLU, ChFC, MSFS

Let us know which piece of advice resonated most with you.

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