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The Most Important Things to Do for Your Finances Now

By J. Andre Weisbrod

Control Spending - Know the difference between a need and a want.  Take care of needs first.  Spend less than you make.

Eliminate all Consumer Debt - Consumer debt is a negative investment that compounds in reverse at higher rates.

 

Minimize Mortgages and Home Equity Debt - Finance or refinance now at historically low rates, but don't take on more than you can manage if you lose a job or get disabled. Have a strategy to pay it down and be debt free.

Save and Invest - It should be a monthly discipline. (Even if you are retired and not "making" an income, control spending so that your investments can grow at least with the rate of inflation.

Put Giving into Your Budget -  If you do not give, you are likely to become selfishly focused and less of a good influence on others.  Giving not only helps others; it helps us be better.

Review Risk Management and Insurance - know your risks and have a plan in place to take care of stuff when stuff happens, and we all know stuff happens.  Health, life, disability, property and casualty, business, travel.

Consult Your Advisors and Make Sure You Have Done and/or Updated the Following:

·         Financial & Estate Plan

·         Wills and Living Trusts (and other trusts if appropriate)

·         Health care Directive (Living Will)

·         Health Care Powers of Attorney

·         Financial Powers of Attorney

·         Beneficiaries - make sure they are named properly and reflect your desires accurately.

·         Investment Management Strategy

·         A Plan for Long Term Care (necessary for those age 60 and over)

·         Business Plan (for business owners)

J. André Weisbrod is founder of STAAR Financial Advisors Inc. and the STAAR Investment Trust headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. He has been named a 5-star Wealth Manager in Pittsburgh Magazine and is among the longest tenured fund managers with over 20 years managing the same funds. He is also co-founder of the Strategic Assets Fund 1, LP, a private equity fund for accredited investors. He is an author and speaker and has been interviewed, quoted or had articles published in a variety of media including Investors Business Daily, TheStreet.com, The Wall Street Journal, Business News Network, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, USA Today, KDKA TV and Reuters TV.

Actively involved in church and community affairs, Mr. Weisbrod is committed to the well being of individuals, families and businesses. Avocations include competitive masters swimming, scuba diving, painting and photography, acting and music.

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