Are you ready for retirement? It sounds decades away, but it’ll be here before you know it—and experts recommend that your retirement savings should be 80% of your pre-retirement income if you want to live comfortably.
How on earth can anyone save that much money? We know it sounds daunting, but your key to success is your financial roadmap.
This is a document that outlines all of your investments and how they’re tracking over time. Essentially, it’s your framework for investment success, targeted to your goals.
Ready to get started? If so, keep reading to learn how to master wealth management with a financial roadmap.
Table of Contents
Take a Hard Look at Your Current Financial Situation
When you’re ready to start financial planning, you first need to analyze your finances. You can’t know how much you can afford to invest until you know exactly how much you have coming in and going out each month.
Many of us underestimate how much we spend each month (that UberEat total is likely higher than you think!), so review your bank statements going back at least the last six months.
Make a Budget
Next, make a budget. After paying all of your household bills, how much is left?
When it comes to budgeting, also see if you can find any savings. Are there any expenses you can eliminate or reduce? If so, this is an easy way to boost your savings.
Based on the amount left, decide how much you want to invest each month. This money will be the seeds of your new financial plan—over time, growing into something much bigger! Track all these things with easy to use Google Sheets profit and loss template, which will help to analyse growth and reduce expernses.
Oh, and if you don’t already have one, now is a great time to start an emergency fund. This is a separate savings account for emergencies, such as house repairs, unforeseen bills, or medical services.
Start By Paying Off Your Debts
You can’t start saving money if you owe lots of money. So, aim to pay off your most pressing debts, like credit cards, before you start investing.
We know it’s not always fun or exciting to do this, but being debt-free is one of the best things you can do for your financial future. If you’re struggling with debt, try to make some short-term changes to save money, like taking in a roommate or cooking at home each night instead of getting takeout.
Work Out Your Financial Goals
Next, it’s time to sit down and brainstorm about your financial goals. Where do you see yourself five, ten, fifteen years from now?
Think about things like retirement, travel, paying for your child’s education, or buying a home. Your goals will work out how and why you invest on both a short and long-term basis, so they’re important to know.
Research Investment Options
Once you know your goals, how will you reach them? It all comes down to which investment options are right for you.
We recommend doing plenty of research into any and all investments that interest you, from investment property to the stock market. This also means you need to determine how much risk you’re comfortable taking.
Common investments include:
- The stock market
- Mutual funds
- Real estate
- 401K plan
For example, some investments are very high risk but over huge returns. Others are much safer, but the returns might not be as low.
It’s also ok to diversify and invest in both short and long-term investments with varying degrees of risk. You can also think about how involved you want to be with the daily operations of your investments.
For example, being a landlord for an investment property is much more time-consuming than investing in mutual funds, for example.
Make an Action Plan
After you’ve identified your target investments, make a plan. This is an outline of all the steps you’ll take to reach your goals.
A spreadsheet can work well for this, identifying how much money you’ll invest in which investment, and how often. You can then track your increases over time.
Just be patient, as any action plan is likely to ebb and flow. You may see your investments drop sometimes, but they’ll go back up soon, as long as you’ve invested wisely.
Consider Working With an Expert
This sounds confusing–how do I get started if it’s all new to me? It’s true that building wealth isn’t always easy, which is why we recommend new investors think about working with a financial planner.
This is an expert in the field of investing and can help you make a plan, specifically targeted to your budget and goals. Be sure the person you hire is licensed and experienced though.
A good way to get started is by searching online for ‘asset advisory services near me’, then reading reviews to make sure you’ve found someone amazing.
Design Your Financial Roadmap and Watch Your Finances Grow
It’s time to take your financial future into your own hands! Using this guide, start working on your financial roadmap.
It’s not always easy and will definitely take some research, patience, and even trial and error before your wealth starts to grow. But it’s worth it, as there’s no better feeling than looking at your bank account balance and seeing how much it’s increased!
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