All You Need Is … A Financial Plan!

It’s never too early to begin planning ahead for your financial future.

retirement cartoon

“If plan A fails, remember there are 25 more letters.”
— Chris Guillebeau

It’s not only important to think about your short-term goals, but also factor in long-term goals and “what if” provisions as well. Yeah – we get it, these are super not fun topics. We don’t like thinking about injury or death, either. But, everyone’s gotta do it, so here you go…

holding car keys
Financial Planning Basics
Chad Foster

Car Financing

Cars are a rapidly depreciating asset, meaning they quickly decline in price soon after you buy them and steadily decline in value over time. Thus they (like other items in their same category including clothes, furniture, jewelry and electronics) should go through extra scrutiny to determine if you really want and/or need them!

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planning credit card debt and finances
Financial Planning Basics
Heidi Clark

Credit Cards

Plastic is the easiest way to deal with gaps in paychecks when buying major items, but they are also the easiest way to destroy your financial picture early. Continually holding credit card debt across several months allows interest to build on these balances anywhere from 12% to more than 20%.

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young couple moving into a new home
Financial Planning Basics
Bradley Burk

Estate Planning

It seems odd, and somewhat frightening, to be thinking about incapacity, death and estate planning when you are young and don’t have much of a net worth, but it’s important for everyone to understand a few concepts and take several basic steps to make it easier on your family and loved ones.

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suburban house
Financial Planning Basics
Judson Meinhart

Home Mortgage

You must manage your borrowings to your benefit alongside smart saving and investment decisions in order to achieve the most out of your financial situation.

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many umbrellas in sky
Financial Planning Basics
Judson Meinhart

Insurance

Not having the appropriate insurance coverage in place to protect you from the unexpected can wreck any well thought out financial plan. If you lose your ability to earn and save and are under or uninsured from a loss of life or disability, then all of the reading you have done thus far will be of little to no help to you.

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Financial Planning Basics
Lori Pilon

Student Loan Forgiveness: The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Student loans are, for many, a necessary means to an end. Whether you are the borrower or the spouse, one of your main concerns upon graduating is how to pay off student debt and/or how to have those loans forgiven ASAP.  I am a “lucky” spouse whose husband had a cry-worthy amount of law school debt upon graduation. When he landed

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young adult student planning student loans
Financial Planning Basics
Chad Foster

Student Loans

Though annoying to have an overhang, don’t rush to pay off your student loans since your interest rates on these loans likely ranges from 4 to 7%. This rate is well below returns you can expect by fully funding your 401(k) to get an employer match and long-term equity return averages of about 10%.

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calculator on a pile of money
Financial Planning Basics
Justin White

Tax Planning

In summary, taxes stink. So it is good to know how they work and how you can avoid them in cases where you are able to do so. Due to the complexities of the IRS tax code this section could be a website by itself, so what follow is a brief focus on how the tax code applies to young professional readers.

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Please read the following disclaimer:

All information included in this page and all pages throughout Young Money, Smart Money is provided for informational and educational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice or a recommendation to invest accordingly. Investing involves risk, including a potential for a loss of principal. Educate yourself about all investments and funds you purchase, including their risks, objectives, and fees and expenses before investing. For additional assistance, please contact us or another financial professional for a more detailed review of your specific situation.