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A Roadmap to Financial Security

Chris Wilmerding

Divorce, death of a spouse and serious illness are constants, which cause upheaval in millions of lives every day. The cruel irony is that often these unpleasant experiences have a double whammy. People suffer through the angst, anger, loss and many other emotions to the point of exhaustion only to encounter a whole new world called personal finance. Managing budgets, incomes and investments are often handled by one spouse, leaving the other spouse happily ignorant until something happens.

When that something happens, here is a roadmap to financial security.

  • Know what you spend every month - Many American households do not have a budget and some have little or no idea what they spend each month. Tracking what you spend each month is a healthy way to understand “where it all goes” and often causes people to change their spending habits. And using a software program like Quicken will likely give you a deeper understanding of your spending habits. 6 to 12 months is usually enough to set up a pretty reliable budget.
  • Know your sources of income - Whether you are you retired, working part or full time, or receiving payments from an ex, you need to know your sources of income and how much each source will reasonably produce after tax year after year. Matching your budget to your income is fundamental to your financial well-being.
  • Develop a plan - Yogi Berra once said “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” This is especially true in personal finance. Do you have a rainy day fund for unexpected expenses? Can you generate enough income to lead a comfortable and secure retirement, or will you run out of money in retirement? How do you plan to manage the rising cost of healthcare as you get older? These and a few other key questions can be addressed by developing a financial plan and reviewing it each year to insure you are on track.

While this roadmap would probably be helpful to most American families, it is especially important for those who have gone through a significant transition. The reward for matching your income with your expenses and building a financial plan is peace of mind, renewed optimism, increased confidence and many other positive emotions. Helping clients reach this state of happiness and confidence is one of the most rewarding parts of my job.

Chris Wilmerding is Principal of Thayer Partners, an independent investment management firm located in Westwood MA providing financial planning and wealth management counsel to individuals and their families.

Chris Wilmerding
100 High Street, Westwood, MA 02090
617-275-5432 Direct
617-275-5431 Fax
617-312-8025 Cell
JCW@ThayerPartnersLLC.com
www.ThayerPartnersLLC.com

Advisory Services through Commonwealth Financial Network®, a Registered Investment Adviser.


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