• Employee Stock Ownership Plans for Executives

    Tips to navigate ESOP suitability within the context of financial planning strategies

    Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) have emerged as a popular mechanism for companies to foster employee ownership and align the interests of employees with those of shareholders. For seasoned executives, considering participation in an ESOP entails a careful evaluation of the potential benefits and risks involved.

    Benefits of ESOPs for Seasoned Executives

    Ownership and Alignment of Interests: ESOPs grant employees, including seasoned executives, a direct stake in the company’s performance and financial success. By owning shares of the company, executives are motivated to work towards enhancing shareholder value, fostering a sense of ownership, commitment, and alignment of interests across all levels of the organization.

    Wealth Accumulation and Retirement Planning: Participation in an ESOP provides seasoned executives with an opportunity to accumulate wealth over time, leveraging the potential appreciation in the value of company stock. ESOPs can serve as a valuable component of executives’ retirement planning strategies, allowing them to build a diversified portfolio of assets while benefiting from potential tax advantages associated with qualified retirement plans.

    Tax Deferral and Liquidity Options: ESOP contributions are typically made with pre-tax dollars, allowing participants to defer taxes on the value of the contributed shares until distribution.

    Additionally, ESOP participants may have access to various liquidity options, including the ability to sell shares back to the company or on the open market, providing flexibility in managing their investment portfolio and liquidity needs.

    Retention and Incentive Alignment: ESOPs can serve as effective retention tools for seasoned executives, incentivizing long-term commitment and loyalty to the company. By offering a stake in the company’s ownership, ESOPs reinforce the executive’s connection to the organization’s mission, values, and long-term success, fostering a culture of employee engagement and dedication.


    RELATED: Understanding Stock Options: ISOs, NQSOs, & Restricted Stock


    Risks and Considerations for Executives

    Concentration of Risk: Participation in an ESOP exposes seasoned executives to concentration risk, as their investment portfolio becomes heavily weighted towards company stock. In the event of adverse developments or underperformance of the company, executives may experience significant declines in the value of their ESOP holdings, potentially jeopardizing their financial security and retirement goals.

    Lack of Diversification: ESOP participants may face limited diversification options, particularly if the company’s stock represents a substantial portion of their investment portfolio. Without adequate diversification, seasoned executives may be vulnerable to market volatility and sector-specific risks, underscoring the importance of implementing sound diversification strategies to mitigate downside risk.

    Liquidity Constraints: Unlike publicly traded stocks, shares held in an ESOP may have limited liquidity, making it challenging for seasoned executives to convert their holdings into cash when needed. Illiquid ESOP shares may pose liquidity constraints and inhibit executives’ ability to access funds for personal financial goals, necessitating careful planning and consideration of alternative liquidity options.

    Regulatory and Fiduciary Compliance: ESOPs are subject to a complex regulatory framework governed by ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) and other federal and state laws. Seasoned executives serving on the board of directors or as trustees of the ESOP bear fiduciary responsibilities and must adhere to strict compliance requirements, including the duty to act prudently and in the best interests of ESOP participants.

    Navigating the Decision Process with Care

    For seasoned executives contemplating participation in an ESOP, the decision entails a nuanced assessment of the potential benefits and risks in light of their financial objectives, risk tolerance, and long-term outlook.

    Consultation with financial advisors, legal experts, and other professionals can provide valuable insights and guidance in navigating the complexities of ESOPs and evaluating their suitability within the broader context of executives’ financial planning strategies.


    Copyright © 2024 FMeX. All rights reserved.
    Distributed by Financial Media Exchange.

  • Love and Money: What to Do When Your Spouse Won’t Talk About Finances

    If Financial Communication Doesn’t Come Naturally, You’re Not Alone

    Money conversations with your spouse are imperative when you want to achieve joint goals, and yet they don’t always come easily. Money is a very personal topic, and many people are not accustomed to discussing it. It can be downright perplexing when your spouse refuses to work on a budget with you, create financial goals and objectives, or talk about a habit that may need to be addressed. Perhaps they are actively avoiding or even refusing to discuss a specific issue, or maybe they simply fail to engage when you raise a topic. Regardless, if you want to jump-start money conversations with your spouse, it’s helpful to first begin with why they are practicing avoidance.

    There’s almost always a root cause for tension about money in a relationship. A survey conducted by the  American Psychological Association found that almost one-third of adults with partners reported that money is a major source of conflict in their relationships. Your significant other’s feelings (or fears) about money may come from a myriad of experiences that may lead them to be non-communicative. Perhaps they have experienced a past financial failure, or feel financially unskilled, or they could even be keeping a financial secret.

    If talking about money usually leads to conflict between the two of you, then pause to give some thought to what the underlying issues may be. While you may not arrive at a solution right away, it’s still important to determine the ‘why’ so you can move towards having money conversations with your spouse that are useful, if not entirely harmonious. With this in mind, approach the conversation in a general manner as opposed to focusing on a specific money issue. This may give you some insight into your spouse or partner’s general feelings about money. Here are six pointers to keep the conversation productive:

    1. Invite your partner to have a conversation and set a time and date for it, rather than springing the topic on them.
    2. Use inclusive “us” language that promotes and supports the two of you as allies and teammates.
    3. Avoid bringing up specifics so that you are not implying blame.
    4. Identify some shared goals and focus on them.
    5. Listen carefully to your partner and don’t interrupt or correct them.
    6. Maintain a calm demeanor and display openness to their thoughts.

    If you believe that having this conversation will be too difficult, you might consider inviting a trusted third party to help facilitate. A financial advisor can often fill this role for a couple with multiple financial issues or planning matters to discuss.

    Put the Focus on a Team Approach

    Let’s dig into the second point above a bit more. It’s quite common for money conversations with your spouse to become contentious if you feel like you’re at odds, rather than on the same team. It’s also common for spouses to have different ideas and habits concerning spending and saving, organizing a budget, or using credit cards. This doesn’t mean you can’t successfully work together. It may just take a bit more effort – and more structured money conversations with your spouse – to learn how to take a team approach to accomplish your goals. It’s not just your finances that can benefit either. A 2021 survey by Fidelity Investments about couples and money found that couples who communicate well about money experience positive benefits in their overall interactions with one another.

    As the two of you talk, make an effort not to lay blame or focus on previous mistakes or missteps. Bringing up the past or reminding them of your ongoing efforts to educate them about finances and money will most likely prove counterproductive. Bring the perspective of this being a fresh approach, where you can start anew and move forward together as a team. Talk about what might work best for the two of you, such as watching a video series or working together with a financial advisor who can help guide you toward improved financial literacy.

    Initiate Solutions to Face the Challenges

    You might think you’re keeping the peace by not addressing your partner’s lack of communication about money, but this is a misguided approach in the long run. It amounts to ignoring a problem that may only grow larger and be harmful as time goes on.

    Though challenging at times, money conversations with your spouse are critical because they help ensure that the two of you participate together in your finances. If your partner expresses that following a budget will cause them anxiety and stress, and you therefore allow them to do as they please, you are really only reinforcing their ability to remain removed from the process. However, you need a household budget, and that takes two people who are willing to work as a team to meet both of your goals and create financial security.

    It may be up to you to find a solution that will bring your partner to the table. Using the household budget as an example, perhaps you can re-work and streamline the spending categories such as dining out and entertainment, and identify a single dollar amount that is their monthly discretionary spending limit. You may want to consider working from a cash budget that basically eliminates the ease of using credit and debit cards so you can only spend the cash in your wallet.

    Take Your Time with Your Approach

    When you are the financially minded partner in the relationship, you might be very eager to have money conversations with your spouse. Remember to give your partner the grace to grow and become comfortable in their role. It takes patience, and it may be a slow process to build your partner’s willingness to talk about money and adopt a team mindset about household finances. There will likely be times when one or both of you will slide back into old habits and patterns. Try to be aware of these times and resist laying blame, bringing up former disputes, or shutting down altogether.

    In fact, since we are all fallible, it can be helpful to be prepared for the inevitable course corrections on your journey together. A few phrases that may be helpful to use when it seems like money and marriage matters are going off-course:

    • I don’t think either of us is comfortable with this situation, so let’s work together to get out of it.
    • Let’s give ourselves some time to be thoughtful and write down why we’re feeling so frustrated right now.
    • Let’s identify a goal that we share and are excited about and brainstorm together about how to achieve it.

    It’s good to have a “reset plan” that works for both of you. Keep it handy and use it as needed so you can stay on a positive course as you manage money and marriage together.

    Love and Money: Have Better Money Conversations with Your Spouse

    While it can be frustrating to feel like you’re alone in the financial part of your relationship, remember that learning to talk about money with your partner is a process. Money conversations with your spouse won’t always come naturally, and they won’t always be comfortable. Persist, however, because money issues can impact many parts of your lives, and thus have a negative impact on other areas of your relationship. The tips in this article may help you gain some forward momentum in money conversations with your spouse but be sure to reach out to Lane Hipple if you think you could benefit from professional guidance.

    Illuminated Advisors is the original creator of the content shared herein. I have been granted a license in perpetuity to publish this article on my website’s blog and share its contents on social media platforms. I have no right to distribute the articles, or any other content provided to me, or my Firm, by Illuminated Advisors in a printed or otherwise non-digital format. I am not permitted to use the content provided to me or my firm by Illuminated Advisors in videos, audio publications, or in books of any kind.

  • College Costs Are Rising 5X Faster Than Inflation

    The vital role of inflation in financial planning for children’s college expenses

    In today’s rapidly changing economic landscape, proper financial planning has become more critical than ever. When it comes to saving for children’s college costs, accounting for inflation is a fundamental aspect that cannot be overlooked.

    Inflation, the gradual increase in the cost of goods and services over time, has the potential to erode the purchasing power of your money if not factored into your financial strategy.

    Rising College Costs vs. Inflation

    Did you know that in 1980, the price to attend a four-year college full-time was $10,231 annually – including tuition, fees, room and board, and adjusted for inflation – according to the National Center for Education Statistics? By 2019-20, the total price increased to $28,775. That’s a staggering 180% increase.

    But let’s look at it another (and more sobering way):

    If the cost of going to college increased consistently with the U.S. inflation rate over the last 50 years, students today would be paying between $10,000 to $20,000 per year to attend public or private universities.

    The Inflation Challenge

    Inflation is a natural economic phenomenon that affects virtually every aspect of our lives. From groceries to healthcare to college costs, the cost of living tends to rise over time.

    If not addressed in your financial planning, inflation can have a profound impact on your savings’ ability to cover future expenses. This is particularly relevant when it comes to saving for children’s college education, given the long-term nature of the goal.

    Preserving Purchasing Power

    Imagine you start saving for your child’s college education when they are born. Over the next 18 years, you diligently save a significant amount. However, if inflation averages around 3% per year, the cost of college education could easily double during that time. Without accounting for inflation, you might find that the money you’ve saved falls way short of covering the actual expenses when your child is ready to enroll.

    By accounting for inflation, you ensure that the purchasing power of your savings remains intact.

    You are essentially future-proofing your investments, allowing them to maintain their value over time. This safeguards your ability to meet rising expenses without compromising the quality of your child’s education.


    Related Article: Financial Planning for Recent College Graduates


    Realistic Goal Setting

    Incorporating inflation into your financial planning helps set realistic goals. When planning for a future expense like college, it’s essential to understand the true cost. Ignoring inflation can lead to underestimating the required savings amount, potentially causing stress and financial strain in the long run.

    When you accurately account for inflation, you gain a more accurate understanding of the amount you need to save to cover college expenses. This empowers you to allocate your resources effectively, thereby minimizing the risk of falling short and maximizing the chances of achieving your goals.

    The Power of Compounding

    Compound interest is a powerful force in wealth accumulation. When you invest your savings, they have the potential to grow over time. However, if you fail to account for inflation, your investment returns might not keep pace with rising costs.

    Inflation-adjusted returns are crucial to ensure that your investments genuinely generate wealth and provide the returns you need to meet your financial goals.

    Mitigating Financial Stress

    One of the primary purposes of financial planning is to alleviate financial stress and provide peace of mind. Inflation, when unaccounted for, can disrupt this objective. Unexpectedly high costs can lead to last-minute financial scrambling, potentially forcing you to compromise on the quality of your child’s education or take on substantial debt.

    By accounting for inflation, you are adopting a proactive approach to financial planning. You are preparing for the future’s uncertainties and ensuring that your child’s educational aspirations are not compromised due to financial constraints.

    Planning Matters

    Financial planning is a holistic process that requires careful consideration of various variables, with inflation being a critical one. When saving for children’s college expenses, it’s vital to factor in inflation to preserve the purchasing power of your money, set realistic goals, harness the power of compounding, and mitigate potential financial stress.

    By incorporating inflation into your financial strategy, you are taking a proactive step toward securing your child’s education and your family’s financial future. Remember, time is on your side, and early, informed financial decisions can make all the difference in achieving your goals.

  • Bridging The Retirement Income Gap With FIAs

    Authored By: Heather L. Schreiber, RICP® NSSA®

    What do retirees fear most?

    According to a GoBankingRates survey, 66% of Americans worry that they will run out of money during retirement. That’s ahead of the 50% who were concerned about a steep healthcare outlay¹.

    How can seniors and their financial advocates address this worry? Many are choosing to do so with a fixed index annuity (FIA). LIMRA reports that FIA sales were $79.4 billion in 2022, up 25% from 2021, and 8% higher than the record set in 2019²’³. What’s so appealing about FIAs? Before the big reveal, let’s set the stage.

    Shaky Stool

    During the 20th century, a so-called 3-legged stool provided an underpinning for retirees’ finances. That is, cash flow could come from 3 sources: Social Security, pensions from former employers, and personal savings. However, employer pensions have become the exception rather than the rule for many retirees. Pensions are still common for long-term government workers but are relatively rare in the private sector.

    Instead of pensions, private sector employers offer employees the opportunity to put wages into defined contribution plans such as 401(k)s. Generally, those dollars go into funds holding stocks and bonds. Recently, though, market
    volatility has been in the headlines.

    Down Year

    The Morningstar U.S. Market Index lost 19.4% in 2022, the biggest annual loss since 2008…when it lost a 38.4%. Bonds are supposed to offer stability when stocks sag, but the Morningstar U.S. Core Bond Index lost 12.9% in 2022, its biggest annual loss since inception of the index in 1993³.

    To demonstrate the potential effect of such results on an approaching retirement, suppose a hypothetical Holly Smith retired in early 2022. At the start of that year, Holly had managed to accumulate $600,000 in retirement savings, evenly divided between stock funds and bond funds.

    Assume Holly’s investments matched the broad equity and fixed-income markets. At the start of 2023, her holdings would have been down to $241,800 in stocks and $261,300 in bonds—from $600,000 for retirement to just over $500,000. After such a loss, Holly would need almost a 20% gain just to get back to where she had been. Moreover, our Holly had retired in 2022, taking 4% of her savings ($24,000) to supplement Social Security last year. Now, Holly bears sequence-of-return risk, which impacts people whose retirement coincides with a bear market.

    Holly’s choices might be taking that same $24,000 this year, from the $479,100 left in her portfolio. That’s a 5% withdrawal rate, which could lead to depletion while Holly is still alive. Or, Holly might stick to her 4% strategy, withdrawing only $19,164 (4% of $479,100) in 2023, which could mean cutting back on her lifestyle in retirement.

    Financial markets have bounced back in the past, and that could be the case again, helping Holly’s portfolio last longer. Even with a rebound, retirees such as Holly face risks such as longevity that could eventually drain her portfolio, inflation that could strain her budget, and a need for costly long-term care. Threats to cut back on Social Security benefits add to Holly’s dilemma.

    Mitigating Retirement Risks

    Savvy planning can help take these key retirement risks off the table, or at least reduce them to the point where retirees are comfortable. Fixed Index Annuities (FIAs) can help mitigate these concerns to the extent that exceeds what other sources of retirement income can provide for retirees.

    An FIA is funded either through a single lumpsum payment or a series of periodic contributions from a consumer to an insurance company. In exchange, the consumer receives a contract that may deliver tax-deferred buildup, principal protection in a down market, and growth potential. Increases to the annuity value, termed interest, are credited to the contract annually, tied to a market index such as the S&P 500. FIA dollars are not directly invested in the index components but are pegged to the results.

    Generally, FIAs offer protection against market losses. In return, they usually provide lower upside potential than being invested directly in the market. With a crediting rate of 70% of the S&P 500, for example, a hypothetical 12-month index gain of 10% would generate a 7% crediting rate to the annuity value of an FIA with that provision. The tax-deferred nature of an FIA allows money to compound over time without having to pay ordinary income taxes on the growth until funds are withdrawn. Consumer have the choice of turning on a reliable income stream from an FIA for a period of time or for a lifetime to supplement other sources of income in retirement.


    Related Article: Passing an Inheritance to Your Children: 8 Important Considerations


    Bountiful Benefits

    On the plus side, considering a fixed index annuity when building a retirement income strategy has several advantages which include:

    Tax deferral. Any gains inside an FIA avoids immediate income tax, allowing the annuity owner to take advantage of pre-tax compound growth during the accumulation phase. FIA owners also benefit from flexibility in creating retirement income drawdown strategies by controlling when and how to take income from the annuity.

    Asset allocation alternative. Conventional wisdom holds that a 60-40 split, stocks to bonds, combines the growth potential of equities with the stability of fixed income. However, both stocks and bonds suffered double-digit losses in 2022, as previously mentioned. Concerns of ongoing inflation may lead to hesitation regarding investing in bonds.

    An income stream that retirees can’t outlive. Americans are living longer than ever. That generally equates to more time spent in retirement and pressure on retirement assets to last longer. Even with Social Security and perhaps other sources of dependable cash flow, there still may be a gap between actual income and desired annual outflow. An FIA can fill that gap, generating income that will last as long as the retiree (and perhaps a spouse) may live.

    Principal protection against possible market losses. As explained above, sequence-of-returns risk occurs when financial markets drop early in retirement while a retiree is tapping his or her investment portfolio. That can cause lifelong savings to deplete more rapidly than would have been the case if those market corrections occur later in retirement. An FIA can protect retirement assets by offering a source of cash flow that is not exposed to this risk during a market downturn.

    Income to allow deferral of Social Security benefits. Waiting to claim Social Security benefits, perhaps to as late as age 70, can increase lifelong payouts substantially and often increase payments to a surviving spouse. In order to finance such a delay while avoiding additional stress on other assets, an FIA can play a key role. A retiree might start tapping into an FIA at, say, age 62 to bridge income so that Social Security claiming occurs later. Seniors can make their accumulated retirement assets work smarter, not harder.

    Support for a surviving spouse. When one spouse dies, the Social Security income benefit of the lower-earning spouse goes away, and the higher benefit is payable to the survivor. Loss of a spouse generally means a decline in income—going from two Social Security benefits to one survivor benefit—so depending on an FIA to replace lost income may be a strategy that can help the survivor maintain the same standard of living.

    A hedge against unanticipated long-term care expenses in retirement. Standalone LTC insurance policies can be costly. Data from the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance put the average premium for a 55-year-old couple on a $165,000 initial policy with a 3% annual growth in maximum coverage at approximately $5,025 per year³. That can be an unnecessary expense if the policy benefits are never used.

    Nevertheless, LTC coverage may be necessary, because Medicare does not cover custodial LTC and the average cost nationwide for a private room in a nursing home is about $9,000 a month, according to Seniorliving.org⁴. Adding a long-term care rider to an FIA can provide an additional layer of protection, offsetting the potential expense of a need for LTC.

    Spousal benefits. FIAs, when jointly owned, can create income streams over the course of two lives for a married couple. This can be extremely important because widow(er)s typically become single taxpayers, owing increased income tax. What’s more, a surviving spouse may not have much experience handling the couple’s finances. An FIA offering continued contract ownership to the survivor may provide tax deferral and market risk-free cash flow to an aging widow(er) in need of stable income.

    Legacy planning: Non-qualified annuities, with properly named beneficiaries, may be utilized as an estate planning opportunity to permit non-spousal beneficiaries, such as the owner’s children, to stretch post-death withdrawals over decades, based upon their life expectancy. That’s because non-qualified annuities are not covered by SECURE Act’s 10-year rule.

    Due Diligence

    No financial product is perfect for every consumer in every situation, and that’s true for FIAs, too. These annuities may deliver exceptional results, but there are risks as well. For starters, any guarantees are backed by the issuer, so it’s necessary to evaluate the insurer’s financial strength; therefore, due diligence is vital. A knowledgeable financial professional can provide real value here.

    In addition, FIAs may have costs, just as is the case with any financial product, such as an additional fee for an income rider. Again, a financial professional can help by determining the actual cost of buying a specific FIA to ensure that the product and associated costs meets the specific needs of the investor. The more that is known before buying an FIA, the greater the chance of enjoying the multiple benefits listed above.

    Retirement Action Plan:

    • Prepare early. Determine a realistic retirement timeline that considers income needs in retirement, source of retirement income, family history, and current investor health.
    • &nbsp
    • Develop a plan that includes guaranteed income sources for predicable and necessary expenses. This plan should aim to fill any projected gaps.
    • &nbsp
    • Recognize the various risks that come with any financial plan, including market risk, healthcare risk, inflation, loss of employment, or death of a loved one. Adjust the approach to minimize such concerns.
    • &nbsp
    • Schedule a plan review at least annually with a knowledgeable financial professional and make needed changes.
    • &nbsp
    • Consider including a fixed index annuity as part of a retirement income plan, to provide needed lifelong income without exposure to possible market weakness.

    Sources

    ¹ https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/66-of-americans-are-worried-theyll-run-out-of-money-in-retirement-here-are-7-tips-to-make

    ² www.morningstar.com/articles/1131213/just-how-bad-was-2022s-stock-and-bond-market-performance

    ³ www.aaltci.org/long-term-care-insurance/learning-center/ltcfacts-2022.php#2022costs

    www.seniorliving.org/nursing-homes/costs/

    Not affiliated with the Social Security Administration or any other government agency. This information is being provided only as a general source of information and is not intended to be the primary basis for financial decisions. It should not be construed as advice designed to meet the needs of an individual situation. Please seek the guidance of a professional regarding your specific financial needs. Consult with your tax advisor or attorney regarding specific tax or legal advice. ©2023 BILLC. All rights reserved. #23-0432-053024

  • Financial Planning for Recent College Graduates

    Six Steps to Prepare for Long-Term Success

    Graduating from college is a major milestone, but it can also be a daunting time for many young adults as they transition into the “real world”. If you have a recent college graduate in your life, they may be facing a number of financial challenges, from student loan debt to finding their first job. Financial planning may be the last thing on their mind, but you can use your influence and experience to help them see the benefit of taking financial planning steps as a recent college graduate in order to set themselves up for long-term success.

    Share the six steps below to help them get started.

    Financial Planning for Recent College Graduates Tip #1: Create a Budget

    The first step in any financial plan is to create a budget. Don’t think of it as something that constrains you. Rather, consider your budget a tool to balance spending on needs and wants, and to help you achieve your goals. Creating a budget helps you understand where your money is going and where you can make adjustments to save more. Start by listing all of your monthly income and expenses, including rent, utilities, groceries, transportation, and any debt payments, such as student loans. Then, look for areas where you can cut back, such as eating out less or finding a more cost-effective apartment. Be sure to set aside some money each month for savings, as well. (More on that below.)

    Financial Planning for Recent College Graduates Tip #2: Make a Plan to Pay Off Student Loans

    Student loan debt is a major concern for many recent college graduates. If you have student loans, make a plan to pay them off as quickly as possible. Consider consolidating your loans or refinancing them to get a lower interest rate. You may also want to explore income-driven repayment plans, which can reduce your monthly payments based on your income.

    Financial Planning for Recent College Graduates Tip #3: Start Saving for Retirement Now

    It’s never too early to start saving for retirement – even if you’re in your early twenties. When you begin your first professional job, be sure to take advantage of your employer’s 401(k). If they don’t offer one or you dislike the plan details, you can also open your own individual retirement account (IRA). The earlier you start saving, the more time your money has to grow. Your future self will thank you!


    Related Article: How Inflation Impacts Wealth Management and Investment Strategies


    Financial Planning for Recent College Graduates Tip #4: Plan to Navigate Rainy Days

    Life is unpredictable, and you never know when you might face an unexpected expense or job loss. That’s why it’s important to build an emergency fund so you won’t be forced into debt on rainy days – or seasons of life. Aim to save three to six months’ worth of living expenses in a separate savings account. This will give you a financial cushion in case of an emergency, and it will give you peace of mind, too.

    Financial Planning for Recent College Graduates Tip #5: Understand and Protect Your Credit Score

    Your credit score is an important factor in many financial decisions, such as getting a loan or renting an apartment. Make sure you understand what affects your credit score, such as paying bills on time and keeping your credit card balances low. It’s important to protect your credit score, too, so check your report regularly to make sure there are no errors or fraudulent activity. Check out this resource from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to learn more.

    Financial Planning for Recent College Graduates Tip #6: Set Financial Goals

    Another important step in financial planning for anyone – recent college graduates included – is to set financial goals. These could be anything from saving for a down payment on a house to paying off your student loans by a certain date. Having clear goals will help you stay motivated and focused on your financial plan.

    Recent College Graduates Should Begin Financial Planning Now

    Graduating from college is a big win and something to be proud of. It’s also a time of significant transition for many people, and it’s important to start off on the right foot financially in order to protect your future. Use the six steps above to take control of your finances now and set yourself up for long-term financial success.

    If you’d like to discuss financial planning for recent college graduates, contact Lane Hipple Wealth Management Group at our Moorestown, NJ office by calling 856-452-8026, emailing info@lanehipple.com, or to schedule a complimentary discovery call, use this link to find a convenient time.

    Illuminated Advisors is the original creator of the content shared herein. I have been granted a license in perpetuity to publish this article on my website’s blog and share its contents on social media platforms. I have no right to distribute the articles, or any other content provided to me, or my Firm, by Illuminated Advisors in a printed or otherwise non-digital format. I am not permitted to use the content provided to me or my firm by Illuminated Advisors in videos, audio publications, or in books of any kind.