Whether looking at the future through a financial lens or in the broadest sense, the unknown can be daunting. From extenuating circumstances to foreboding political implications, many peak only at the future through shielded eyes.
However, because of the inevitable uncertainty the ambiguous Tomorrow will bring, being financially literate is the key armor anyone can don themselves with.
Quizzle spoke with Adam Paoli, financial strategist at the Heartland Group, The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company’s Chicago agency about financial readiness.
Where’s The Best Place To Start Planning For The Future?
“The best place to start is to find a holistic planner who can help teach you a ‘game plan’ on how to build wealth most efficiently and that will keep you honest to that plan,” Paoli began.
One of the biggest downfalls people have when starting their journey to financial security is overlooking what assets are already in the individual’s arsenal. It is important to begin with a sturdy foundation, supported by those who know how to teach individuals how to meet individual goals.
The point is not to hand over your financial life to someone else and let them do it for you, but to work in a partnership with a trusted mentor to gain responsible ownership over your own life.
While there are classes and online resources available to those seeking to teach themselves, the individualized attention and relationship invested in a financial planner/advisor is unprecedented, according to Paoli.
“Very few classes exist for consumers on financial planning, financial products or financial wellness. An advisor who is trained, licensed and accredited across both protection and investment strategies will be equipped to teach […] and establish a digestible set of action steps to start building toward a more secure financial future.”
Beyond Credit, Which Is Inevitably Its Own Fodder For Financial Literacy, What Areas Of Finance Need To Be Addressed First?
Maintaining a healthy credit score is inexorably a large portion of the financial security pie; however, it is not the entirety.
A robust credit works hand in hand with other areas of financial security. The relationship is crucial, as many are acutely aware, credit functions as a representation of an individual’s financial responsibility. Credit reports are snapshots into the larger mosaic of how money, assets, hardships and impulses are handled.
When considering the “blank slate” individual – a person who comes to the financial readiness table with next-to-no knowledge, Paoli reminds how important it is to reinforce the most basic principles of proper money management.
“We stress having good cash reserves and becoming excellent monthly savers. Once that habit is established, they [individuals looking to better their financial health] will be better prepared for cash flow planning conversations, etc.”
Remember: While the future is unknown, you have the power to prepare for it. Respect your level of control and embrace the opportunity to make a difference in your own financial portrait.