Starting over and beginning again contain similarities in nature, but they are different. Starting over is when we recognize we could have done things differently in previous years and are looking to improve our focus in the upcoming year. Beginning again is recognizing a reset for various strategies and opportunities provided by the IRS for our asset accumulation strategies. Starting over acknowledges necessary improvement, while beginning again allows for a reflection of success while recognizing there is still work to be done. Ready or not, 2023 is impending.
Whether starting over or beginning again, a strategy should consider the desired outcome. After living today, what matters most to you in your future, and what is your biggest risk in accomplishing that desire? it is true many issues are far more important than money, these questions to consider are all financially oriented. We all have a limited amount of “dollars” to direct toward spending, giving, or saving. What should drive our focus?
At Financial Enhancement Group, our household strategy is to look at each of these categories as a percentage amount rather than a fixed dollar amount. Things will happen throughout the year, forcing possible adjustments, but having a target helps keep us on track.
We search for efficiency and optimization in each category by looking through the lens of The Fiduciary Focus: Risk (long-term) and volatility (short-term) impact; fees and expenses associated with the strategy; tax impact today and tomorrow; and the real or inflation-adjusted return on our money.
Our suggestion would be to “live on” a certain percentage of your income. Youth is expensive! Raising children is even more so. The percentage of your income you will need for living expenses will likely decline as you age. The lower the required percentage, the greater chance you have of replacing your standard of living at retirement.
Giving is a personal issue and varies from family to family. Having a percentage target and a charitable vision helps us know how much to give and to what organization. The Fiduciary Focus helps us understand what asset to use to provide the greatest value for both the charity and our financial outcome.
Saving for most families revolves around three major issues: short to mid-range expenditures such as a down payment for a house, college education, and personal retirement. Begin with the end in mind! What matters most to you and your significant other?
Without having a strategy, it is easy to put money in accounts that are not suited to the probable need. This inefficiency can lead to excess taxation, unnecessary expenditures, and frustration over market volatility. The examples of unnecessary pain and suffering caused by acting or reacting rather than having a focused approach to saving are plentiful.
Break your dollar down in percentages. How much will you live on this year? Is that amount reasonable? How much will you give? What is the best way to make that gift? How much will you save? Use the Fiduciary Focus along with what matters most to you; create a strategy, and then execute.
Financial Enhancement Group is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Securities offered through World Equity Group, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services can be provided by Financial Enhancement Group (FEG) or World Equity Group. FEG and World Equity Group are separately owned and operated.