Some of us get stressed at the mere mention of the words “life planning”, which can be quite an undertaking, but these days, there are so many ways to plan for the future that it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. The resources available to you range from college planning to saving for retirement, and all it really takes is a good plan and some commitment.
Here are some of the best ways to start planning for the future.
It’s often easier said than done, but saving money is an important part of planning for your future. If you don’t have a savings account already, open one up with strict instructions to yourself not to access it until you’re ready. Try not to miss a deposit on payday, even if it’s just ten or twenty dollars. Every little bit helps.
You can also set up a 401K at work and have your employer take the money right out of your paycheck, so you’ll never even miss it.
Write down your goals
You can’t plan for the future without clear-cut goals for yourself, your family, and your way of life, so sit down and write out what you hope to accomplish in the next ten or twenty years. Is your biggest goal to buy a home? Start saving for your child’s college education? Get serious about your career, or go back to school? All of these things are attainable with the right preparations.
Plan for higher education
If you have children or you’re thinking about going back to school, the first step is to start saving. Your family may qualify for financial aid, but in many cases there are still out-of-pocket expenses. You can either open up a basic savings account at your bank, or you might consider a 529 college savings plan for your child. These plans are designed to cover school costs only, but you receive a generous tax incentive for opening up an account.
Plan for that move
If you’re thinking about buying a home, do some heavy research before making a decision. Think about which neighborhood you want, which school district the home needs to be in, how much room you need, and whether you’ll still be living there when you reach your retirement years. If you will, some things to consider include whether there are stairs to navigate and how big the lawn is; as a senior, it may be difficult for you to use stairs every day or take care of a big lawn. If the move is in the near future, plan for packing and finding help on moving day and consider whether you need to downsize.
Plan for your career
If you feel as though you’re stuck in a professional rut, it might be time to go to your boss and figure out your future with the company you work for. Don’t be afraid to ask for a raise, promotion, or to be assigned to new projects that challenge you. As an employee, it’s your right to desire to do your best work and be aptly compensated for it.
Author: Jackie Waters | firstname.lastname@example.org