Today on MYM360: How is Your Financial Health?
If you’re like most people you’re probably pretty busy – even too busy sometimes to check your financial health. But neglecting your financial health like neglecting your physical health can lead disaster so it’s important to check out your vitals once or twice a year.
So what are some key areas to check? Here are five major areas:
- Your credit. This entails visiting annualcreditreport.com for your free credit reports. You are allowed at least one free from each of the three credit bureaus and if you stagger them throughout the year, you can always get the latest info. Another option is to visit CreditKarma.com. they are now providing credit scores and reports for free and in light of the breaches and the hacks, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of what’s going on with your credit.
- Your emergency fund. An emergency fund should have a minimum of one month’s expenses and a healthy fund may have six months of expenses. Six months of expenses can be a lot of money so I don’t recommend that you keep it all in savings. Maybe have one month in savings and the remainder in an investment that is not too risky but can give you a better return than a savings account.
- Your retirement fund. If you have a retirement plan, compare your retirement savings to your plan. If you are still in the early stages and retirement is pretty far out, moderate savings of 10% is a good amount to aim for but the closer you get to retirement, the more important it is to beef up your savings – possibly to 15% or 20%. Although you may be planning to work in retirement, it will be so much better to have the option not to.
- Your investments. Do you have a good mix of stocks and bonds or stock and bond mutual funds? Are you getting a return that allows your investments to grow beyond taxes and inflation? If not, you may not have enough when you need it. If you’re not sure, this is not the place to guess. Educate yourself or get professional help. This is too important.
- Your net worth. This is where you add up all of the things you owe and subtract them from all of the things you own. The result is your net worth. The key thing to look for here is is it growing? If not, why not. You grow your net worth by increasing your assets, shrinking your liabilities or debts or a combination of the two.
Your financial health is so important and it deserves your undivided attention. Got a burning question? Send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
And that’s it for today. Thanks for listening and as always remember that minding your money really is the path to a richer life!