As you start running out of pages in your 2018 calendar, it’s a good time to think about getting smarter
about your finances in the coming year. It’s probably been on your list for a few years now, and with the
right steps it might be easier than you think.
First off, what is financial literacy?
We’ll use this definition for financial literacy that the White House developed in the wake of the 2008
‘The President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy defines personal financial literacy as “the ability to
use knowledge and skills to manage financial resources effectively for a lifetime of financial wellbeing.”
(2008 Annual Report to the President)
So, it’s more than simply knowing how to balance your checkbook. It’s about being able to have a better
understanding of your financial future. How do you do that? You can start by following these steps.
Know your current financial position
It’s pretty natural for you to have a fairly accurate picture of your checking account balance every day. But
how often do you look your savings account or retirement accounts? Do you know how much debt you
currently owe? Do you know how much your house is worth?
Knowing where you are today gives you a starting point to arrive at the future you want. One really helpful
way to do that is to look in to our Financial Health Checkup. It all starts with our experts reviewing your
finances and then providing you with a snapshot of your current financial picture — where your money
comes from and goes to. And you can get started right here.
Have a goal for long-term financial security.
Once you know where you are, decide where you want to go. This might not be as easy to do as you’d
think. And it may help to talk to an expert. We can help you have a better understanding of your financial
options. Whether it is mutual funds, insurance, annuities or IRAs, Clearview experts can assist you on the
most appropriate options available. And if you have questions about retirement planning, education
planning, wealth transfer strategies, or investment planning and analysis, we can help there too.
What does a goal look like? Is it smarter to create a big goal or a small one? How do you get started?
There are a lot of questions about making your long-term goal, and that’s why we’re here to help.
Build a plan to reach your financial goals.
So, you’ve got your goals, how do you get there? You’re going to need a plan. Your plan could involve
saving more, moving your savings into an investment account, consolidating your debt, or opening college
savings accounts. We can help with all of those things. We can also help you build the right plan for you.
We have calculators to help you map out each step of your plan.
Make sure you have the tools to stick to that plan every day.
The hardest part in all of these steps is this last one (and if you’ve made any life-changing plan in your life,
you already know what it is): sticking to your plan.
Sticking to a plan is incredibly difficult for many of us. But if you follow the first three steps, this one could
be a little easier. Because here’s the thing: sticking to a plan is much easier when you can clearly see the
end goal – and you’ve set an end goal.
And sticking to a plan is much easier if you understand the steps to get there. And if you did the first three
steps above, you’d have done that too.
One final thing, and it’s true as true in financial planning as it is in sticking to any other resolution: it’s much
easier if you’re not doing it alone. And as far as your financial future is concerned, you’re never alone.
As a Clearview member, we’re as invested in your success as you are. Because we win when you win.
We’ll make sure you have the tools you need to set your sights higher.