You don’t have to achieve financial peace of mind all at once, but budgeting, setting goals, protecting against risk and saving for retirement can get you there.
Eating better. Exercising more. So many of our plans at the beginning of a new year tie into our physical health, and for good reason. But let’s not overlook our financial wellness. With nearly a full year ahead of us, now is a great time to make a commitment to money matters — things like better budgeting, saving for retirement and planning for the future.
According to a recent FINRA Investor Education Foundation study, 60% of Americans feel anxious about their finances. I wanted to get a sense of this closer to home, so we conducted an informal survey of employees in Prudential’s Individual Life Insurance business. The survey results were not surprising: Just 25% said they were feeling confident about their finances heading into the new year, with 34% saying budgeting was the top thing to focus on to improve their finances in 2024.
I often hear the question, “What does it mean to be financially well?” To me, it means you can comfortably pay bills, manage monthly expenses without worrying about where that money is coming from and have money set aside for emergencies. It can also mean you’re saving for retirement, you’re protecting your loved ones through life insurance and estate planning, and you regularly engage with a financial professional to ensure you have the right plans in place.
No matter where you are in your financial wellness journey, the start of a new year is the time to make sure you have a financial plan that inspires confidence and provides peace of mind. Here are four tips to consider:
1. Take it one day at a time.
A key to achieving financial wellness is organizing and understanding your day-to-day finances, then creating a budget you’ll be able to follow. By tracking your spending, you can see where your money is coming from and going to, and it will be easier to take bigger steps, such as paying down debt or building an emergency fund.
2. Set financial goals.
Do you know how much you have saved for retirement and how long it will last? If not, have you thought about what your plan is and how you’ll get there? While retirement is just one example, other financial goals can include buying a house or saving for your child’s college tuition. Setting short- and long-term financial goals, and making progress toward them, can play a big role in achieving overall financial wellness.
3. Protect against risk.
Protecting yourself — and your loved ones — against serious financial disruptions and setbacks can help alleviate stress as you look to the future. From life insurance to health insurance to retirement savings, having the resources to navigate and manage financial challenges such as unforeseen illness or injury, or the premature death of a spouse, can be key to a financially secure life.
4. Connect with a financial professional.
You’ve got help at your fingertips. A financial professional can help support you with advice and strategies you may have not considered. They will help you map out a realistic financial plan that can be part of your blueprint for a happy and healthy future.