After you’ve built a solid foundation by following the five prioritized steps of the Foundation Phase, it’s time to start accumulating wealth.
Moving into Phase 2, your financial strategy is going to transform from following a step-by-step plan to implementing a customized set of tasks designed to build a prosperous retirement.
Why not a step-by-step plan? The truth is, everyone’s financial situation and goals are different. Everyone has a different idea of what they want their retirement to look like, and sitting down with a Certified Financial Planner™ who can help you navigate the complexities of your situation is one excellent idea.
The Accumulating Wealth Phase is very, very exciting. You’ll finally be able to get the traction you need to build your net worth for retirement. You’ve fashioned a good shield against life’s many emergencies, so now you can feel free to learn more about investing and building a bright future.
In the Foundation Phase, you had to put your investments on hold as you paid off your debt, built an emergency fund, got your estate plans in order, and put important insurance policies in place. Once you’ve accomplished these goals, it’s finally time to start investing.
If you’ve chosen to seek professional help, sit down with your Certified Financial Planner™ at least once a year to review your investment performance. Your Certified Financial Planner™ can help you build a customized portfolio of investments that are right for you. In addition, they should help you manage your investment portfolio with strategic and tactical rebalancing if required by the market.
Now that you’re starting to invest, you’ll learn from your Certified Financial Planner™ in this phase what types of investments you should have, as well as what your asset allocation should be for each of your accounts. You can also choose to look up proper asset allocations on Truth in Financial Planning if you’re investing alone.
The last thing you want to do is to get to retirement age and find out you’re going to need to keep working in a job that is draining your energy. Instead, start investing now so that you have more options in the future.
Make sure you also educate yourself about investments. While an Certified Financial Planner™ can help guide you in your decision-making process, don’t invest unless you clearly understand what you’re doing. An Certified Financial Planner™ should be able to clearly explain how investments work – it’s part of their job to educate you on your options.
Your Certified Financial Planner™ should do needs analysis, which is where they take inventory of where you are at in your finances and determine what you need to do to accomplish important financial goals. This includes retirement needs analysis, education needs analysis, and any other specific needs analysis based on your goals. If you’re going it alone, make sure you cover all of your bases when doing needs analysis and do your homework!
Needs analysis reveals important information such as your earliest possible retirement date, the maximum income possible at retirement, and the minimum monthly funding needs. This will give you a very clear understanding of how much you will need to fund your college savings accounts, 401(k)s, and taxable savings accounts. The knowledge of knowing how much you need to put in these accounts can be powerful. It can further clarify how much you are able to spend to enjoy your lifestyle today with the comfort of knowing that your future goals are being worked toward.
As you begin your journey to accumulate wealth, keep in mind that it is important to diversify not only your stock portfolio, but your income sources as well! For example, perhaps you’ll want to invest in a few rental properties for some extra monthly income. Or, maybe you can start a self-sustaining business from which you can benefit from the profits in retirement.
Remember: The more income sources you have in retirement, the more secure your financial future.
Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land. – Ecclesiastes 11:2 NIV
Lastly, it is important to continually monitor and stress test your plan. Not only do you have changes of plans in your own life, but the markets and economy are constantly changing as well. A top-notch Certified Financial Planner™ can help you stay on track with your investments and your financial plan.
Once it’s time for you to retire, you’re ready for the Strategic Income Phase.
For more information on how you should be giving during the Accumulating Wealth Phase, check out the Three Phases of Giving!
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