Five Steps to a More Fulfilling and Secure Financial Future

James Bayard |

The financial professionals at Capital South Wealth Management LLC believe financial planning is more than just dollars and cents and should incorporate your values. Here are some items to address while getting your financial household in order in 2023.

Step 1: Know your goals

We find the best way to start getting your house in order is by determining what is important to you. Think not just about what you want to do but why you want to accomplish a specific goal. Attaching reasons for your goals can put them in perspective and fuel motivation. It would help if you listed your short-term goals, think one year out, your mid-term goals, typically three to five years out, and your long-term goals, ten or more years out.

A short-term example may be saving for a vacation. Lay out the details before you move forward, including destination and timeline, and estimate the cost of travel, lodging, and excursions. Determine whether this goal is practical given your other financial priorities.

You may find that your goals may change as you progress through the year, but that is OK. Financial planning should be “living” and not a one-time engagement.

Step 2: Know your cash flow

Once you have determined what matters most, we recommend you complete a deep dive into your household cash flow. It would be best if you had a good idea of how much money comes into your household and from where. Additionally, you should review your obligations, including credit card bills, mortgage, tuition, etc. The beginning of the year is a great time to review your subscription services and see if there are any that you could cancel. In most cases simplifying will serve your goals. When you put your financial goals first, it becomes easier to stay on track, saving for things that matter most.

Step 3: Know your assets

Become familiar with your household assets, including retirement accounts, investments, insurance policies, your home’s equity and value, and any other significant property or collectibles you may own. Having a grasp on your complete financial picture can help you compare the progress toward your goals regularly. Additionally, having an account of your possessions allows you to determine if you have adequate insurance coverage.

Step 4: Know your estate

A will is a great starting point in an estate plan, but it is not an estate plan alone. To adequately protect your family and your assets, you should review the beneficiaries on your life insurance policies annually and determine if you have adequate coverage. Another recommendation is to track down old retirement plans and pensions that you may be entitled to from a previous career. Having an account of your whole estate and documenting your wishes in the event of death can reduce the burden on your loved ones during emotional distress.

Step 5: Know your advisor

Do you have a financial advisor? If so, you should reach out and schedule a check-in. Your advisor should be able to provide an organizer to store your documents and provide guidance in working through this list. If you do not have an advisor, meet with us and see where you stand!

Getting your financial house in order reduces uncertainty when life gets stressful. Thinking about things like job loss, illness, or death is something we want to avoid dwelling on; however, having your financial house in order can reduce the burden during tough times. Contact us for your free consultation.


This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. Individuals involved in the estate planning process should work with an estate planning team, including their own personal legal or tax counsel. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a representation by us of a specific investment or the purchase or sale of any securities. Asset allocation and diversification do not ensure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets. This material was developed and produced by James Bayard to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. Copyright 2023.