People with comprehensive financial planning always consider contingencies. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, there have been 10 recessions in the past 6 decades.
So if you plan for contingencies like a financial crisis, you’re not cautious, you’re smart. Still, building a contingency plan can be hard, especially if you’re planning for retirement as well. Here’s what you can do to get comprehensive financial planning with no extra money.
If your salary or retirement income leave you no breathing room to save, then downsizing is your first step towards comprehensive financial planning. If you own your own home, expenses can add up: maintenance, utilities, property taxes, and insurance. Downsizing your home, even renting, can help you get more savings in the end.
The same goes for vehicles. Does your household really need two cars and a boat? Getting rid of one or more vehicles can save you a lot of money on insurance, gas, and maintenance.
If you want to get serious about building a contingency plan, have a serious conversation with your household about what you do and don’t need.
According to Senior LifeStyle, 60% of seniors say they have “more things than they need.” Downsize before you retire and start doing more for comprehensive financial planning.
Review Your Bills
Just about everyone has some unnecessary expenses in their recurring bills that they just don’t think about. The most common one is cable. Why pay $100/month when you can get by with Netflix for $8? There are lots of options to stream live sports as well.
Talk to your provider and see if you can land a cheaper cell phone plan, and review any memberships and subscriptions that you just don’t use.
The savings can add up to a lot. Say you manage $300/month in savings from reducing your bills. That’s $3600 a year you can invest to gain new streams of income.
Cultivate New Streams of Income
If you’re already retired or don’t have any extra income to spare, then finding a new stream of income is the best way to build your contingency plan. In fact, it’s a great idea for any comprehensive financial planning.
Once you’ve managed to downsize and build a little savings, talk to a financial advisor and start making some smart investments to generate new income.
Or better yet, become an entrepreneur and build an online business. 40% of global internet users (that’s more than a billion people) have bought goods online. And they will again.
Market your skills, prestige, idea, or even products online to make extra money while you sleep.
Setting up a website and starting a business is so easy, you could do it without quitting your day job.
A financial crisis can break apart even the most comprehensive financial planning, especially if there’s debt involved.
According to research by ValuePenguin, credit card debt is the highest for people 45 to 54 years old. If you’re planning for retirement, that’s the worst time to have a lot of debt.
If a financial crisis happens, you’ll need to adjust your living expenses and maybe find a new job. Imagine how much more difficult that would be if you had to rearrange your debt in the process.
When things get tough, the last thing you want is to be at the mercy of credit card companies and loan service providers. They could throw all your other plans out the window, and you don’t have years to start over.
Follow these steps to achieve comprehensive financial planning no matter what the future brings.
Ian Bond is a private banking senior executive with over three decades of experience in wealth and asset management with Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, and Citigroup. He has built major businesses on four continents.
Despite his professional responsibility for assets over $100B and revenues over $1B, after the 2008 crash Ian was personally going broke. Within five years he destroyed his debt, became an expat in 2014, and built multiple streams of income to fund his imminent retirement. Ian is also the founder of MyRetirementRehab.me created to help other executives and professionals rehabilitate their finances and make a prosperous, enduring retirement a reality.