5 Ways to Secure Your Financial Future

Secure Your Financial Future TodaySecure Your Financial Future TodayBy: Kate Parham

Remember the American dream? That good ole philosophy that we could have whatever we want. Well, apparently we took that notion a little too seriously and now, over half of people over age 65 receive income of less than $18,337 a year, according to Retirement USA. Whoops! Perhaps we should've spread out our wants a bit more. Immediate gratification can be great, but what happens when you're left with nothing in the end? Start by following these five simple steps and you'll be on your way to a much more secure financial future:

Get Organized.
The first, and most crucial, step in any financial plan is always to get organized. If you don't know where you stand and where you want to go, you'll have an awfully hard time getting anywhere. So, get your budget planner set up, your finances organized and write your goals down on paper. Check back in every few months to make sure your numbers are still accurate and that you're still on track to meet your goals. Suddenly, planning your future will seem a whole lot easier!

Start Saving Now. You've heard it from every financial planner out there: pay yourself first! If you don't, nobody else will. Make it easy on yourself by having a set amount deducted from your paycheck or automatically transferred to a savings account every month. There's no better time than the present to start saving! The sooner you start, the better off you'll be.

Stop Gambling. There's always going to be some hot, new stock that everyone is talking about, but if you don't do your research, things could get ugly. Very ugly. And fast! Don't just jump in and hope for the best; make sure the company you're investing in turns a profit consistently and has established themselves as a lucrative, yet safe investment. Do your homework and keep it simple. It's best to leave the "hot stocks" and start-ups to the professionals.

Diversify.
There's a reason you've heard this before. Get rich quick schemes never seem to make anyone rich. In fact, the only definite way to get rich is to do so slowly by building a well-diversified portfolio. That means including a variety of large-company stocks, small-company stocks, real estate stocks, foreign stocks and U.S. treasury bonds in your portfolio. Don't put all your eggs in one basket - or that basket may break!

Don't give up.
Sometimes you'll lose some of your money (sometimes, you may lose it all… remember 2008?), but don't give up. The longer you play the game, the better player you'll become. When in doubt, turn to education: books, magazines, newsletters and classes. Educate yourself and watch as bad financial decisions fade away and your nest egg takes their place.

For more tips and tools to help you make the most of your money, including a Debt Payoff Planner that shows you exactly what it takes to get out of debt faster so you can save bundles in interest, visit Quizzle.com.

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