Planning your finances in uncertain times

The saying, “We live in uncertain times” has never been truer. The future isn’t likely to get any clearer, but when it comes to our finances, we can have some say about how things will go for us.

Economic and investment market conditions are hard to predict, but just as with embarking on a long trip or playing a golf game, we can plan our approach and adjust as events unfold. A sound financial plan prepares you for both the ups and downs of the economy and allows flexibility for the unexpected.

Controlling what you can

Here are some financial outcomes you can control:

Liquidity

One of the key protective measures you can take is to stay liquid. This means having money available in case of a shock to your finances. It also means not having so much debt that you are over-leveraged.

Market timing  

Rather than trying to time short-term changes in your investments to match the market’s mood swings, you’re better off with a well-diversified all-weather portfolio that can withstand the ups and downs.

Investment costs

High investment fees, commissions, and expenses can weigh down investment returns and derail your goals. Low-cost, commission-free investments are better choices.

Taxes

Taxes can impede your retirement goals just as investment costs can. Proper tax planning maximizes your “After-tax Wealth” over time as all the areas of your finances contribute toward tax-efficiency.

Preparing for “Life Happens”

Some things aren’t uncertain at all, but they sneak up on us if we haven’t paid attention to them.

Retirement

The need to produce income during retirement is a challenge that must be planned for well in advance. If you are not sure where you will generate your retirement income, it’s time to build a retirement income plan.

Health Issues

Preventing financial distress form a health emergency means having adequate health insurance, adequate funds to cover expenses and maintaining a healthy lifestyle to stave off medical issues.

Aging

None of us are getting any younger, but there are steps we can take to prepare for the future. Beyond exercise and healthy eating, preparing for longevity includes covering the high cost of home care assistance and custodial care.

Estate Planning

According to AARP, 60% of Americans have no will or other estate planning documents. In California, this can be an incredibly expensive and disruptive oversight.To be truly prepared for uncertainty, your financial planning should cover all the areas of your finances. At Blankinship & Foster, we help you design these plans and we guide you through implementing them, so you can move forward with clarity, confidence and direction.

About Jon Beyrer

Jon Beyrer, EA, CFP® is a partner of Blankinship & Foster LLC and is the firm’s Chief Compliance Officer. As a lead advisor, he focuses on helping families achieve their goals with sound wealth planning. In the community, Jon serves on several boards and is co-founder of the Professional Alliance for Children, a legal/financial charity for families of ill children. He has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and the Journal of Financial Planning. Jon lives in San Diego with his family.

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