&l;p&g;As I look over my tenure in the financial industry, I see certain problems that consistently challenge financial success in the lives of the American family. I&a;rsquo;ve realized five basic principles work in every area of life, including finances, marriage, raising children, and even your career.
Today, however, I want to address how your financial position might be improved throughout retirement.
&l;img class=&q;size-full wp-image-407&q; src=&q;http://blogs-images.forbes.com/impactpartners/files/2018/04/GettyImages-531414568.jpg?width=960&q; alt=&q;&q; data-height=&q;425&q; data-width=&q;640&q;&g; While no one plans to fail, many fail to plan.
While no one plans to fail, many fail to plan. According to some statistics, almost &l;a href=&q;http://money.cnn.com/2016/10/24/pf/financial-mistake-budget/index.html&q; target=&q;_blank&q; rel=&q;nofollow&q; &g;70% of Americans&l;/a&g; don&a;rsquo;t have $1,000 in the bank, and &l;a href=&q;https://www.ssa.gov/news/press/factsheets/basicfact-alt.pdf&q; target=&q;_blank&q; rel=&q;nofollow&q; &g;50% of married&l;/a&g; couples receive at least half their income from Social Security. It&a;rsquo;s sad to say that many of these families worked all their lives only to end up in poverty in retirement.
Many Americans are paying more taxes after retirement than they did while they worked. In general, families aren&a;rsquo;t taught how to tax plan, creating a large gap in cash flow. Inflation is another area where there is a lack of education &a;mdash; it&a;rsquo;s like a &a;ldquo;green monster,&a;rdquo; just waiting to secretly absorb money. As Americans, we&a;rsquo;ve been led to believe a false inflation percentage because the consumer price index (CPI) has items used to determine the rate of inflation that doesn&a;rsquo;t pertain to every family on an annual basis.
Insurance is another area where deception has occurred to many families. The average death claim is relatively low compared to the need a family has for survival after the loss of a breadwinner. Individuals and families need insurance planning just as much as any other area of their financial position.
Years of trying different methods to prepare families for financial peace led me to develop what I think is one of the most effective approaches to a plan for retirement. Knowing education was a top priority, we started a nonprofit organization to teach families how to plan for retirement and live as financially free as possible. We designed a platform where we go into libraries, churches, schools, and anywhere else we can get in the door and teach concepts that could make a difference in families&a;rsquo; lives.
Thus, the S.M.A.R.T. lifestyle approach was born.
This step uses the biblical principle of making definite, life-changing decisions. Many families feel like nothing has worked in their favor and that the only answer is bankruptcy. It&a;rsquo;s up to advisors to show the world there is hope. One must be resolute in their decision to enter a life-changing, successful plan.
Step two comes only after a decision of change and commitment has been made.
There is a process of growth that must be encountered for the change to happen in your family. Good decisions must be made in all areas moving forward, whether it&a;rsquo;s investing, making a purchase, or deciding the right time to retire; these are life-changing events that require much thought and time to decide.
Once maturity begins, the process to the next step is imperative.
&l;strong&g;Action and Accountability&l;/strong&g;
Most of us have been told that we need goals and ambitions. Without a written plan of action, being consistent can be difficult, especially if we do not have an accountability partner. I suggest that, if you&a;rsquo;re married, it might be in your best interest to have your spouse keep you accountable.
Seriously, who knows you better than your spouse?
If you have an advisor, they should take part in that accountability for you. Advisors don&a;rsquo;t need to tell you what to do; they should walk you through the process. In the end, everyone wins.
Another principle is reflecting on our actions, attitudes, and decisions. If we relax and think through our decisions, changes might be necessary. You may ask, &a;ldquo;Did I choose the right investment?&a;rdquo; or, &a;ldquo;Do I need to retire at this time in my life?&a;rdquo; These are all life-changing parts of the equation and could make hundreds of thousands of dollars of difference to one&a;rsquo;s family. Never rush without some reflection on the consequences of your decisions.
This is the most exciting part of the five-step process. It is the time to celebrate. By following these steps all the way through, a transformed life is inevitable. Many lives have been changed using these steps, and my prayer is that many more will be affected in the future.
&l;em&g;This content was brought to you by Impact PartnersVoice. Investment advisory services are offered through Foundations Investment Advisors, LLC, an SEC-Registered Investment Advisor. South Carolina Insurance License #142898.&a;nbsp;&l;/em&g;&l;em&g;DT447834-0419&l;/em&g;&l;/p&g;