The following is a guest post by CFP Board Ambassador Elaine King, CFP®. This article originally appeared on the Family and Money Matters Institute website.
Financial security is relevant to all families. Knowing that you have the resources to cover all your needs alleviates stress and allows you to make significant decisions about what you want for your future and that of your family. The concept that we commonly associate with financial security is saving: saving is important to achieve greater benefits, but in itself does not guarantee stability.
To make your money grow and have what you need, not only now but in the future (when you want to retire, or when it’s time for children in your family to go to college), it is important to balance four factors: planning, saving, investment and protection. These four elements are basic to the growth of your resources, so you can get the most benefit from the fruits of your labor. Let’s see in detail what each one of them is about:
To achieve your goals, it is important that they are clear. What are your goals? For what do you think you'll need your resources? What will you have to carry out to achieve them? Good goals are clear, achievable, measurable and have a time limit. You can set short, medium and long-term goals. It is very important that you follow up your progress and keep the motivation despite the obstacles that may arise.
Planning is essential to know how much to save and how much to invest, to understand how to protect your money and for what you think you’ll use it. Without planning, resources dilute and it is likely that you won’t see the fruits of your labor.
Once you have established your goals, it is important to know what you need to achieve them. Saving is the key to gathering enough resources for your family growth. It is advisable to save between 10 and 15 percent of your salary, so the amount grows monthly. Establish a discipline related to your savings and try not to touch that money until you meet your desired goals.
In addition to saving, it is important to share the saving discipline with the children in your family. Teach them that in order to achieve important goals, we need to wait and have discipline. This way, when they are older, it will be easier for them to manage their own finances.
To make your money grow, saving is not enough. There are many ways to invest, and each one has distinct characteristics: higher or lower risk, more performance, different terms, etc. Learning about investment is vital, so you can select the type of investment that suits you and which is best suited to your lifestyle.
Good management of finances involves the concept of protection. It’s very important to protect your resources: you do not want to lose what you achieved through your hard work. Protection involves elements such as insuring your property and your person, and carrying out the necessary legal procedures so that your money is used as planned. That is why it is so important to make a will, or sign a prenuptial agreement if you are going to get married. Remember that you don’t know what will happen in the future and protecting your resources now is the only way to make sure you have them when you need them.
Elaine King, CFP®, CDFA™, international financial planning expert, is the author of two award winning books; La Familia y El Dinero Hecho Facil and Family and Money Matters Next Gen. She is the Director of Family Education and Governance at WE Family Offices and Founder of Instituto La Familia y El Dinero (IFAYDI).