Starting Off on the Right Track

By Morgan Almer, certified financial counselor
The Village Family Service Center

In mid-December I met with Nathan and Brenda Richman for their financial fix up appointment. They came in with several goals.

1. Build an emergency fund of 36 months of expenses.

2. Learn to live on a cash-only basis.

3. Save at least 15% of their income for retirement.

4. Give significantly to those in need.

I was very impressed at what the Richmans have done over the last year or so. They have been implementing and using many of the tools we recommend for our clients on a daily basis. They track their expenses and keep a periodic expenses journal.

They have also been aggressively paying down their car debt, which is the only debt they have other than their mortgage. They have made great progress and their car will be paid off in a matter of months.

Paying off their car loan will free up money in the monthly budget—which they plan to set aside for emergencies. After their emergency fund is at a level acceptable to them, they can add those dollars to what they are already investing for retirement.

There are some great tools available to help people reach their retirement goals. Since we are unable to do investments at The Village, I recommended that Brenda and Nathan speak with an investment professional who would be able to assist them in allocating their investment funds according to their risk tolerance.

For clients like the Richmans—who are on a positive financial track—we often recommend “Your Financial Road Map.” Your Financial Road Map is a personalized, confidential report covering every important facet of your financial life. It is based on a straightforward questionnaire that takes only about 30 minutes to complete. The personalized report is filled with analyses and guidance pertaining to your financial situation. Your Financial Road Map costs $79, and addresses several key financial areas. Find out more about Your Financial Road Map on our website.

 Nathan and Brenda are definitely on the right track. It is a pleasure working with people who are so committed and determined to reach their financial goals.

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