Finance Quick Answers
Can you give some pointers for me to check up how I am doing financially?
With job scarcity and pension fund scandals, people are wondering about their economic future. One way to take stock is to analyze your finances in terms of life stages.
Before you marry - Discuss money, insurance,
your savings and plan of living expenses with your
fiancÚ. One person's bad credit record may make it hard
to get a mortgage until you've been in good standing for
Before you have children - Check your health
insurance policy for family benefit waiting periods and
prenatal leave. Plan to increase your life insurance
with the birth of each child.
Before your kids reach middle school - Start
setting aside money for higher education. Check the
tax-free 529 program. Up your retirement funds to 10% of
your income. DON'T borrow against your home to pay off
Ten years before you retire - Up retirement
savings to 15% of your income. Your goal is to cover 70%
of your retirement needs. Check your social security
statement yearly. Make prepayments on your mortgage to
lessen monthly living expenses at retirement time.
Cynthia E. Crawford, Ph.D., Consumer & Family Economics Specialist, University of Missouri Extension
Last update: Sunday, July 20, 2008