Whether you are young and single, married with children, or retired and widowed, financial planning should always be a priority. No matter what age or stage you’re at in your life, having a plan for your money is essential.
When is the right time to do financial planning?
We’re so glad you asked.
The “right time” is Right. Now. You are the right person, and now is the right time.
I know that sounds cliche. Stay with me.
Financial planning is the process of making smart decisions with your money so you can achieve your life goals. It’s about you. And, just as financial planning isn’t reserved for a specific type of person (i.e., “millionaire investors” or “successful career women”), it’s not reserved for a specific time in your life.
Why Right Now is the Right Time for Financial Planning
Just as you continue to evolve and change, so too does your money. You would never take a few years off from brushing your teeth or washing your face, would you? So, why would you take a few years off from making the smartest financial decisions you possibly can? There’s no reason to wait or postpone your money matters now.
Why You are the Right Person to do Your Financial Planning
Financial planning is for all women, and there isn’t a time in your life when it isn’t appropriate.
Of course, depending on what stage you’re at, your financial needs will be different. The needs of a new mother are far different than that of a grandmother who just lost her husband — but every single woman has important decisions to make. All women deserve the benefits of being financially smart and confident.
Besides, no woman has ever had just one title or only one role. No, your identity, like your life, is always evolving.
For instance, you may be in one or even several of these stages simultaneously:
- Growing your career and planning for your future. All the more reason to put a solid plan in place to get you where you want to be 5, 10, or 20 years from now. The sooner you start, the sooner you can begin to achieve your financial goals.
- Changing careers. Making a career change can be exciting, terrifying, liberating, or a combination of all three. You want to know what you should do with your retirement plans, what insurance options serve you best, and how your new life and work will affect your tax situation.
- Raising a family. When you have a family, there’s a ton of critical financial decisions to make for your children, spouse, or partner. Decisions about everything from education to vacations to how your dreams will take shape. The sooner you start planning, the sooner you can all start working together towards your future.
- Navigating a divorce. It may have happened by surprise or been long in the works. Either way, it is one of the most challenging times of your life. Your whole world is turned upside down, and you’re concerned about the fallout. Having a strong legal and financial team makes all the difference in the world.
- Caring for an ill or disabled family member. Caregivers typically care for a family member more than 24 unpaid hours each week, often while holding down a full-time job. In this demanding and vulnerable situation, it is critical you don’t go backward financially as you care for those who need you most.
- Coping with the loss of a partner or spouse. This is one of the most challenging transitions of your life; it will rock your world, no matter how prepared you are. The profound loss is compounded by fear about whether you’ll have enough, and what you should do now. You don’t have to make these financial decisions alone.
How to Start Planning for Your Financial Future
Having a financial plan helps you work towards the future of your dreams. It also enables you to prepare for circumstances that you can’t predict and are outside of your control.
If you have yet to start your financial plan, don’t worry. It’s never too late. You are here and reading this, so you’re on the right track.
To start on your financial planning journey, think about where you are right now. What life roles do you currently fill? Employee, mother, manager, widow, student, wife, caretaker.
Next, brainstorm three ways a financial plan can help you to achieve the financial support you need right now. As an example, perhaps you need help putting together a debt repayment plan which would significantly reduce your stress and allow you to sleep at night. Or, maybe you’ve recently had your first child and you know you need to create a will, but you’ve been putting it off. Once you’ve finished brainstorming, write your three ideas down.
By writing down your three reasons, you’ve given yourself a starting point. You’ve outlined your “why.” These three reasons represent why financial planning is important to you.
The next step is to take action. Start piecing together your financial plan. This includes everything from investing to debt repayment to insurance and ensuring you have a solid emergency fund.
This may seem overwhelming at first, which is perfectly natural. Just take things one step at a time. It’s not a race, and there isn’t a test at the end. So, take your time and dream a little as you work through this. This is your life, and this is your plan. You’re worth the time and effort!
Remember – right now is the right time. You are the right person. Financial planning is for all women.