It is of utmost importance to have a personal financial plan. By having a plan, you can avoid financial hardships and troubles in the future. A personal financial plan includes many goals. As we reach different stages in our lives our financial situations change. With this change comes a need to prioritize certain goals. A successful plan includes short and long term goals. Financial planning is a dynamic process that does not end when you take a particular action (Kapoor, Dlabay, & Hughes, 2009). You must always stay on top of your financial situation(s).
In my personal estate and retirement plan, I have many short and long term goals.
One of my short term goals is the elimination of some credit card debt. A few years ago, I had four credit cards and soon approached my credit limit. It was all I could do to just make the minimum payments on these cards. The monthly interest payments were around $350 per month and the total debts were over $15,000. I did a bit of research and then enrolled in a debt settlement program. I really hated to dodge my original obligations but I no other choice, it was that or not pay them at all.
The debt settlement program works in a different manner to settle your credit card debt. Instead of making your monthly payments to the credit card companies you instead put that money into a savings account set up in a third party bank. Once you accumulate enough funds in this account, the debt settlement company can now negotiate a settlement with your creditors. This settlement amount can be half or more of the original balance. So far, three out of my four cards have been settled. The fourth card should be finished within a year.
[...] A very important long term goal for me is to pay off, or pay down, my mortgage balance as fast as I can. I currently round up my mortgage payments by fifty dollars or so. But I plan on paying down the balance even further by making one extra monthly payment per year. Should any windfall income or extra cash become available, these funds should go directly into paying off your home. The earlier the mortgage is paid the less interest you will pay on that loan. [...]
[...] Getting back to my estate, I am leaving my entire estate (all cash, real estate, and investments) to a single heir. That way it greatly streamlines the inheritance process. I have instructed that one heir to distribute the funds as I have previously agreed. For this to work thou, you must have faith that the heir will complete the bargain. “Never name co- trustees or co-executors of your estate. Next to poor planning, litigation can be the biggest financial drain on an estate. [...]
[...] Buying second hand items and clothing also saves me money. Furniture retailers make it so easy to buy that whole room full of furniture on their credit terms. But you can buy a similar set used for a few hundred dollars and be done with it. I purchased about 90% of my furniture at garage sales or consignment stores. Second hand clothing stores have a better selection than you might think, I check there often. Use coupons, shop around and don't be afraid to barter for better prices on goods. [...]
[...] & Gardner, T. (2002). The Motley Fool Finance Workbook: A Foolproof Guide to Organizing Your Cash and Building Wealth. New York: Simon & Schuster Kapoor, J., Dlabay, L. & Hughes, R. (2009). Personal Finance, 9th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing von Borstel, W. (2009). Leave As Much Joy As You Brought. Journal of Practical Estate Planning, 15-18, 50-51. Retrieved July from Accounting & Tax Periodicals. (Document ID: 2014055291). [...]
[...] The attorney can suggest strategies that minimize the need for your beneficiary to pay taxes, sell your property, or otherwise protect the estate value. To conclude, I believe that each individual needs a sound estate and retirement plan. To not do so now spells disaster down the road. In order to make this plan work, one must micro-manage their expenses and know how much to contribute to a savings plan. I realize too that some of my goals may not be obtained. I am starting late in life so this is even more reason to stay on track of my budget. [...]
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