Investing is for Sweethearts
The longer your term, the higher your return.
February is the most romantic time of the year, and you are likely to see a barrage of in-store and online promotions for flowers, chocolates, and heart-shaped cards for Valentine’s Day. However, long-term financial planning is an even more important act of love. Plus, unlike the flowers and candy, it won’t spoil and can provide your sweetheart with peace of mind and needed funds for years to come.
While planning may start with conversations, albeit not likely romantic ones, with your significant other, investing for a solid financial future doesn’t have to stop there. Your children, grandchildren and even future generations down the line can benefit from the investments you make today.
Here are a few questions to discuss with your sweetheart to start planning for long-term success:
- What would financial success look like for us? Is saving to buy your first home your top priority? What about saving enough to retire early, start a business, or help pay for your child’s or grandchild’s college education? Your answer may be different from other people and depends on what you prioritize. Planning to achieve your goals starts with identifying them.
- Where are we now vs. where we’d like to be? Take stock of your current financial situation. Many Americans live paycheck to paycheck, but achieving your goals requires you to break out of that cycle. Do you have emergency savings? Are there easy ways you can make more room in your budget? For example, canceling rarely used subscriptions and consolidating high-rate credit cards or other bills could lower your monthly payments and help you get out of debt sooner.
- How can we map out a plan to get there? Once you know where you are, you can begin mapping out a plan to arrive where you want to be financially. Start by setting small, achievable goals and build from there. For example, if you don’t have an emergency fund, commit to a 52-week saving challenge. By setting aside $1 the first week, $2 the second, $3 the third and so on, you’ll save a total of $1,378 in just 12-months. It’s never too late – or too early – to start!
- Are we taking full advantage of the resources available to us? If your employer matches retirement contributions up to a certain percentage, make sure you take advantage of that. It’s like free money added to what you’re saving for retirement. Likewise, your local financial institution likely offers a wealth of resources such as a free consultation with an investment professional, financial education, and more. Remember, you don’t have to go it alone. Take full advantage of all the resources available to you and your loved ones.
If candy or flowers are on your table, enjoy them but take time to also look down the road and start planning for a stronger financial future. Here’s to a successful financial journey with your sweetheart!
Marc Prasch, Chief Operating Officer
Abound Credit Union