Thinking ahead about how investing can support financial goals is the purpose of planning. Naturally, there’s lots of talk about common planning targets: retirement and college. But there’s also consideration of how to achieve multiple goals at various stages of life — whether covering basic needs or leaving a legacy — and how taxes and tax planning could impact results. Articles in the planning category allow you to clarify how today’s decisions can impact efforts to grow, manage, and maintain wealth.
Earning a high income doesn’t automatically translate into high net worth. In some cases, high earners simply spend more and end up with fewer assets than more moderate earners. This problem can be especially true of physicians, which often targets of unsavory financial professionals. Are you a medical resident or physician? Then you could benefit from reading The White Coat Investor by James M. Dahle, MD. Check out my review here.
A mortgage amortization schedule can be useful for: comparing my loan-balance calculations to the mortgage company’s records; identifying when mortgage insurance should no longer be required; analyzing the impact of extra payments; and more. Here’s a downloadable spreadsheet that you can use for planning purposes.
When I decide to start receiving benefits affects my monthly Social Security check for the rest of my life. That is, if I choose to collect checks prior to normal retirement, then the monthly amount is reduced; likewise, if I wait until I’m past regular retirement age, I receive a bigger monthly check. So, among the retirement decisions that I need to make, this one seems fairly significant. Here’s a framework (and spreadsheet) for making this decision.