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Celebrate Financial Literacy Month: Keys to Financial Well-being

At MSA, we celebrate Financial Literacy Month by highlighting five keys to achieving financial well-being.  As you ask yourself the following questions to assess your current financial habits...
By MSA Staff

At MSA, we celebrate Financial Literacy Month by highlighting five keys to achieving financial well-being.  As you ask yourself the following questions to assess your current financial habits, you may feel stronger in some areas and need more work in others.  That’s okay!  You can master these financial habits on your own or work with a Money Coach who can partner with you to create an action plan to improve your financial literacy and well-being.

1. Know Where Your Money Is Going

Creating a balanced budget with a positive cash flow can allow you to feel in control of your money.  As you consider whether you have mastered this financial habit, ask yourself the following questions.

  • Do you have a budget/plan?
  • Are you tracking your expenses?
  • Are you spending less than you earn?
  • Are you saving a portion of your income each month?

Remember that budgeting helps you create healthy financial habits that you can build on.

2. Leverage your credit and manage debt by having an excellent credit score and manageable debt levels. Paying off or paying down debt might be one of your goals for achieving this. As you assess your current situation, ask yourself the following questions.

  • What is your credit score?
  • What is your debt situation? What kind, and how much?
  • Are you able to make timely payments on your debt?
  • If you applied for a loan today, how confident are you that you’d obtain a good interest rate?

Even if you don’t need it right now, taking care of your credit can set you up for future opportunities; plus, keeping a close eye on your credit report can help you catch discrepancies. If you’re unsure where to start, create a plan by working with a Money Coach.

3. Reach Your Goals by Having a Well-Thought-Out Plan

Your chances of success greatly improve when you take the time to create well-defined goals and realistic plans to fund and achieve them. Use the following questions to get started:

  • Have you thought through your future financial needs (e.g. college, weddings, home-buying, life events, car, major purchases, paying off loans, end of life)?
  • What are your short (less than 3 years), mid (3-10 years), and long-term (10+ years) goals?
  • Do you have a plan to fund your goals?
  • Do you evaluate your goals and progress periodically?

Money Coaches are experts in planning and using SMART goals to achieve dreams, so they can help.

4. Build Your Retirement

Funding a strategic plan to achieve your retirement vision is key to retiring when you want to and how you want to.  To assess where you are, answer the following questions.

  • Do you know when you want to retire? What you want retirement to look like?
  • Do you have current retirement funds to which you are contributing? How much?
  • Do you know your retirement income needs? Will your income cover your expenses?
  • Do you understand the risks to retirement plans (e.g. longevity, market volatility, inflation, healthcare)?

Don’t just dream about retirement. Put your plan into action as soon as you can.

5. Protect Yourself & Those You Love

It is important to have basic levels of disability insurance to protect your income.  It is also prudent to have adequate coverage for your belongings, vehicle, and home. If anyone relies on you, also consider life insurance to provide financial help if you can no longer provide support for your loved ones. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have three months’ living expenses in a savings account?
  • Do you have sufficient insurance (e.g. life, disability, medical, property and casualty, and long-term care)?
  • Do you have a will and/or a trust in place?
  • Do you have ID theft and credit protection?

There are many options for insurance. A Money Coach can provide shopping tips and help you identify the types of coverage that make sense for your situation.

How MSA Can Help

MSA is committed to improving financial literacy and helping members achieve their dreams. Make an appointment with a Money Coach, and start your financial well-being journey wherever you are. Call 888-724-2326 today.

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