Whether you're seeking to manage your own assets, control how your assets are distributed after your death, or plan for incapacity, trusts can help you accomplish your estate planning goals. Their power is in their versatility--many types of trusts exist, each designed for a specific purpose. Although trust law is complex and establishing a trust requires the services of an experienced attorney, mastering the basics isn't hard.
Category: Money Management
Few terms in personal finance are as important, or used as frequently, as "risk." Nevertheless, few terms are as imprecisely defined. Generally, when financial advisors or the media talk about investment risk, their focus is on the historical price volatility of the asset or investment under discussion.
Go out into your yard and dig a big hole. Every month, throw $50 into it, but don't take any money out until you're ready to buy a house, send your child to college, or retire. It sounds a little crazy, doesn't it? But that's what investing without setting clear-cut goals is like. If you're lucky, you may end up with enough money to meet your needs, but you have no way to know for sure.
Approximately 66 million people today receive some form of Social Security benefits, including retirement, disability, survivor, and family benefits. (Source: Fast Facts & Figures About Social Security, 2017) Although most people receiving Social Security are retired, you and your family members may be eligible for benefits at any age, depending on your circumstances.
In times of crisis, you don't want to be shaking pennies out of a piggy bank. Having a financial safety net in place can ensure that you're protected when a financial emergency arises. One way to accomplish this is by setting up a cash reserve, a pool of readily available funds that can help you meet emergency or highly urgent short-term needs.
When you determine how much income you'll need in retirement, you may base your projection on the type of lifestyle you plan to have and when you want to retire. However, as you grow closer to retirement, you may discover that your income won't be enough to meet your needs. If you find yourself in this situation, you'll need to adopt a plan to bridge this projected income gap.
Being able to send your child to college is near the top of the wish list for most parents. A college education can open doors to many opportunities, and is increasingly necessary in today's economy. But that diploma doesn't come cheap. Unless you are very well off financially, it's difficult to sit on the sidelines for years and then suddenly find the money to pay for college when your child is ready to go. The best thing to do is to start saving as early as possible, even if you're able to save only a small amount at first.
In today's corporate environment, cost cutting, restructuring, and downsizing are the norm, and many employers are offering their employees early retirement packages. But how do you know if the seemingly attractive offer you've received is a good one? By evaluating it carefully to make sure that the offer fits your needs.
There are things you can do to save more for your retirement. Consider four basic strategies: Rearrange Your Priorities Pay yourself first. You may feel that you're not doing the right thing or it may be selfish to put yourself before saving for your children's college education, among other things. However, it is critical that you save for retirement first. Take advantage of all company retirement plans and other tax-free or tax-deferred retirement accounts.
If you are five years or less away from retirement, you're close enough to calculate approximate income and expenses. Your goal is to have enough money to live on comfortably and not outlive your assets. You need to match your expected lifestyle expenditures with your projected cash flow and provide for contingencies, such as extended illness, rapid inflation, and losses in your investments. Cash flow planning is an important part of retirement planning.