Leaping Into Financial Confidence

Lack of time is one of the main excuses people use to avoid tasks. Well thanks to the Leap Year, everyone will get an extra 24 hours this month to devote to those outstanding items on their checklist – like getting an honest view of their financial standing.

The average American spends more time planning for a vacation each year than planning their finances; use this extra day as your excuse to better yourself financially.

Gather relevant financial documents like your most recent tax return, your last paystub, and the latest statements for your retirement and investment accounts and ask the following questions:

  • What is your gross and net income, and what are your expenses?
  • What do you have in terms of financial assets (savings and investment accounts, real estate, retirement plans, etc.)?
  • What are your debts, both in terms of amounts outstanding as well as what you pay each month?
  • What workplace benefits do you receive?
  • What insurance coverage do you have to protect your health, income, life, property, or need for physical assistance?
  • How are your assets titled and who gets them when you are no longer here?

Answering all these questions at one time, in one place is a key first step to building a sound foundation for a financial plan.

Knowing your starting point is necessary for figuring out how far you have to go to achieve your goals, or if, indeed, those goals are feasible. By focusing on exactly where you stand, you’ll be taking a big leap toward financial confidence in 2012.

 

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