Sometimes the best holiday gifts can’t be wrapped or purchased in stores. Some, like a personalized financial plan, keep giving back to you and your family for many years to come.
A financial plan is designed to help you stay on track with your goals, understand your circumstances and what steps you need to take, and make more informed decisions. According to an Ameriprise study, 88% of those with a comprehensive financial plan feel they have a clear financial direction — almost 50% higher than those without professional planning services.1
To plan for a successful financial future, you’ll want to determine a balance between solid outcomes for yourself and your family. For many, this includes long-term health care, income planning, insurance, an emergency fund, and other strategies to help protect your assets and reduce the potential impact of an unexpected event.
While you’re in the midst of the gift giving season, consider taking these five financial planning actions.
1. Increase Your Retirement Savings
Increase your contribution to your 401(k) or 403(b) to make the most of your retirement savings, especially your company-sponsored retirement account if your employer matches your contributions. The most common 401(k) match is 50 cents per dollar up to 6% of your pay.2 If you earned $100,000 annually, you could save $6,000 each year and get an additional 401(k) match of $3,000, totaling $9,000 per year. For 2016, you can contribute as much as $18,000 (or $24,000 if you are 50 or older). Aim to contribute as close to this limit as you reasonably can.
2. Review Your Potential Portfolio Income
There’s a good chance you’ll spend 20 to 30 years in retirement. This longevity risk can be scary for pre-retirees who worry about not having enough money to last through retirement. The earlier you address your retirement income streams, the more confident you can feel. The end of the year is a great time to review your portfolio and see what percentage of it can provide a reliable income stream. You’ll also want to have an income strategy that can protect your wealth from inflation, taxes, and market volatility.
3. Review Your Life Insurance
Life insurance’s tax-free death benefits may help provide a solid foundation to your portfolio as it offers the financial protection few other products can provide. Additionally, including life insurance as part of your portfolio offers other advantages as it provides tax free access to cash. Depending on the policy, life insurance may be able to help you strengthen your retirement savings, build cash flow and reduce tax exposure, and help protect your wealth for your children and grandchildren.
4. Consider Long-Term Care
Insurance may seem like a bet against yourself, but if you’re approaching your retirement years, it can be a bigger gamble to go without long-term care insurance. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of Americans age 65 or older can expect to need some form of long-term care in their lifetime.3 Whether you’re worried about potential health concerns or want to protect your hard-earned wealth, it’s important to talk with a financial advisor to learn about the long-term care insurance options available to you and whether or not a policy makes sense for your lifestyle and needs.
5. Take Advantage of Workplace Benefits
For CRNAs working at a hospital or private medical group, you may be eligible for a number of health care benefits beyond medical insurance, such as disability insurance and even life insurance. Contact your HR department to review your available benefits, as well as the small print of your medical, dental, and vision insurance. The end of the year is the time to take advantage of all your health care needs before your deductible resets. Dental plans, in particular, often have a maximum coverage amount. If you haven’t used up the full amount and anticipate any treatments, make an appointment before December 31st.
Finding a Financial Planning Partner
Creating and managing a financial plan can be hard work and confusing, and most CRNAs don’t have the time. A financial advisor can help you review your finances, determine any end-of-year actions you need to take, and evaluate how you can work toward your long-term retirement goals and protection needs.
Specializing in helping CRNAs get on the right financial foot, we’d be happy to meet with you to discuss your financial planning needs and any concerns you currently face. Let us help you address your questions by calling us at 855.304.3748 or emailing [email protected].
About Jeremy Stanley
Jeremy Stanley is the founder of CRNA Financial Planning®. He has been providing advice and guidance for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) for over two decades. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, Jeremy has met rigorous certification and professional standards set by the CFP® Board. He is committed to adhering to the principles of integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism and diligence when dealing with clients.
Jeremy is also the author of The Wealthy CRNA and A CRNA’s Life After Anesthesia. The Wealthy CRNA features insights into becoming a financially successful CRNA and how to start planning for your financial future, and has been prior approved for up to 4 Class A CE credits by the AANA. A CRNA’s Life After Anesthesia serves as your financial roadmap for a smooth emergence into retirement. It reviews recent changes in the CRNA industry along with the new rules of retirement and the final steps of legacy planning. This book has been prior approved by the AANA for up to 2 Class A CE credits.
Jeremy Stanley is a financial professional with and Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Private Advisor Group, a registered investment advisor. Private Advisor Group and CRNA Financial Planning® are separate entities from LPL Financial.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific financial or tax advice or recommendations for any individual.