This Is A Guest Post With Information Sourced From Genworth Financial:
A few weeks ago my wife and I sat down with a financial planner. We recently had our first child and decided it is fine time to get serious about paying off our respective debts and building a nest egg together. Primarly, we wanted to gain sound financial advise from a professional who could guide us in identify some additional investment opportunities to increase our overall net worth and help us solidify a plan that would allow us to purchase our first family home in the next 2-3 years.
While we both have a steady income and have a fair amount of money in savings and in our respective 401ks, we know we are not where we want to be financially, particularly with a young child to raise and care for. Our debts are relatively minor in comparison with the average American household – she is currently paying down about $4k in credit debit as well as another $10k in an auto loan, while I have about $10k left in school loans – but it was apparent to us that we had some work ahead of us in order to get where we want to be. Not only are we looking to purchase a home in the next few years, we are also looking into taking out a life insurance policy, as well as setting up our child’s college fund.
In the months prior, I dedicated many of my evenings actively reading personal finance books and articles to gain a better understanding of the home buying process, mortgage trends, the differences in life insurance policies, and the best ways to go about saving for our son’s college education. Luckily, I found there are a plethora of free resources available that could answer many of the questions my wife and I had, even before we met with our financial adviser.
For instance, during my initial investigations into life insurance policy options, I found several incredible articles that provided tremendous insight into the topic, particularly for newlyweds. Two in particular were of of incredible value in our particular circumstance – Money Matters: Insuring A New Marriage and Life Insurance 101. Each article we read would initiate another conversation, which would lead us to another resource and more dialogue. It was only a matter of weeks until my wife and I felt like we had a firm understanding of the topics we were investing, which proved to be a huge benefit when we finally sat down with our financial advisor.
The combination of our own research and meeting with a professional helped us define a strategic and realistic plan to put us on track to reach all of our financial goals. And again, this is within months of our initial conversation about getting our finances on track. As it stands, we now have a life insurance policy in place, have established a 529 College Savings Plan, and our on our way to paying off our debts and saving a down payment for our future home. Yes, I’ll admit we have had to tighten our belts slightly, but it’s certainly well worth the trade-off in knowing we have solidified a financial plan that will help us reach our goals.
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