This post is sponsored by First Command Financial Services. Together with its subsidiaries, including First Command Financial Planning and First Command Bank, they coach our Nation’s military families in their pursuit of financial security. Since 1958, First Command’s reputation has been built on shaping positive financial behaviors through face-to-face coaching with hundreds of thousands of client families. Through time-tested financial principles and client-first philosophy, advocating consistent saving, disciplined investing, and a thoughtful insurance strategy to manage risks to financial well-being, First Command is there for you in all your financial needs.
2020 has been a tumultuous year, as the pandemic has impacted our lives dramatically.
Despite – or maybe because of – the widespread hardship, many families have reprioritized what is truly important. At First Command, we believe this is an excellent time to focus on getting your finances in order.
First Command is committed to coaching our Nation’s military families to become financially disciplined and confident. We pride ourselves on helping clients get financially squared away from the start of their military careers to retirement and beyond.
Sheltering at home has taught many of us that it’s possible to spend less and save more. If you’re spending less money on restaurants, entertainment, or gas for your car, consider allocating some of that newly discovered disposable income to your financial future.
Building a financial plan takes time and commitment, which is why many people never get around to doing it. But while the world has temporarily slowed down, you may have more time to do the things you couldn’t get around to before now.
Here are a few suggestions to get started:
- Update your budget. This could be as simple as sitting down with family members to evaluate household income and expenses. If you have been eating out less, for example, you may decide that luxury was a “nice to have” that you can do without in the long run. Maybe you have also saved significantly with a decrease in transportation, entertainment, and vacation expenses this year. Decide how much you can afford to allocate to short-term and long-term goals.
- Get financial documents organized. Make sure you and your spouse know where important documents are located, including your will, life insurance policies, and investment statements, along with passwords to these accounts. Make a book or create a digital folder in which to safely and securely store this information. In case of an emergency, you will want it to be readily accessible. Then, set an appointment on your calendar to update the information every six months.
- Teach your children about saving. Talk to them about setting aside a portion of the money they earn from jobs or even birthday gifts. Consider opening an individual saving account for them. Encourage them to set goals to cultivate good money habits.
We all need something to look forward to these days.
The last few months have been unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. One way to overcome the fear and anxiety we’ve all been dealing with is to begin focusing now on the better times we hope are ahead. And that’s what a financial plan is all about.
Ready to get your financial life squared away and begin planning for a brighter financial future? We’re ready to help. First Command waives all financial planning fees for active-duty military and their families, and there is no minimum net worth required to work with us.
I encourage you to visit our site here to learn more about our long history of helping military families pursue financial security. Schedule a complimentary consultation with your local First Command Financial Advisor, who is well-equipped to provide personal financial coaching through secure video conferencing, on the phone, or in person.
Mark Steffe is the President/CEO of First Command. Mark earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Illinois, graduating with high honors. He holds series 7, 8, 23, 63, and 65 securities registrations, plus life and health insurance licenses.
©2020 First Command Financial Services, Inc. is the parent company of First Command Brokerage Services, Inc. (Member SIPC, FINRA), First Command Advisory Services, Inc., First Command Insurance Services, Inc. and First Command Bank. Securities products and brokerage services are provided by First Command Brokerage Services, Inc., a broker-dealer. Financial planning and investment advisory services are provided by First Command Advisory Services, Inc., an investment adviser. Insurance products and services are provided by First Command Insurance Services, Inc. Banking products and services are provided by First Command Bank (Member FDIC). Securities are not FDIC insured, have no bank guarantee and may lose value. A financial plan, by itself, cannot assure that retirement or other financial goals will be met. First Command Financial Services, Inc. and its related entities are not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the U.S. Armed Forces.