Despite what many people think, the number one financial dream killer isn't portfolio losses, or financial emergencies, or unemployment, and not even natural disasters. The number one reason people fail to reach their financial goals is procrastination - putting off the inevitable until the cost of your dreams or goals become prohibitively expensive.
The current compensation model for financial industry participants*, who promote the use of investment funds and other managed investment products for retail clients, has been mostly unchanged for over 30 years.
Have you considered putting aside extra funds for the teenage years?
If you have not thought about this, then you may want to if you have a child that is quickly headed towards the adolescent years. This can be a turbulent time, not just with the emotion and drama it can bring, but also with all of the associated expenses that it can add to the family budget.
When you think of your family financial strategy, you need to consider each and every phase of life. To their detriment, many families do not consider just how expensive the adolescent years can be.
Many people have no idea. Some people have a vague idea. A few people, a very few, have it all worked out. When it comes to retirement planning, many people do not take action until forced to by a mid-life event (career change, death of loved one) or by hearing about seniors running out of money.
Most people want to be wealthy, or at least financially independent. The sad truth is that very few people are financially independent when they reach retirement. The rest are dependent to some extent on others or government benefits for their daily money needs.
Far too many people today live a lifestyle that is under a mountain of consumer debt. In many cases, that debt follows them into retirement. There are simple strategies to achieve financial independence; however, they may not necessarily be easy to follow.
When it comes to making financial decisions most people focus on either\or scenarios; that is making a tactical decision that may or may not reflect a larger financial planning or wealth accumulation context.
We often see these types of isolated, one-off decision choices in media articles that pose dilemmas such as: Is it better to invest in an RRSP or pay down your mortgage? Should you take your tax refund and invest in an RRSP or go on Vacation? Are TFSA’s better than RRSPs? Should you pay off your credit card balance or invest in an RRSP? You get the picture.
We are now well into 2015 and your New Year's Resolution to do a better job of managing your money are already being forgotten. As the late Sir John Templeton famously stated, the best time to invest is when you have money! The challenge for many people, with many middle-class people just struggling to make ends meet, is just getting started.
Before a sky scraper can reach for the clouds, it needs a very strong foundation. Once the building is complete, the foundation is virtually unseen. The same goes for our financial strategies. Following are the basics of a strong financial foundation:
Budget - Governments and businesses use budgets to properly allocate resources. It's known as good business. A budget can help you figure out where your hard earned income is going and to identify ways to cut spending or increase savings.