Preparing for retirement requires a financial plan that considers a variety of factors. According to the Financial Planning Association of Minnesota, "financial planning is a process and not a product." Your financial plan is a long-term approach to managing finances to achieve a dream or goal for the future. At the same time, a financial plan must consider a variety of barriers that could challenge your ability to reach those goals. These barriers are variable and change in every stage of life.
There's no greater joy for a parent than being able to send a child to college. Helping your children earn a higher degree sets them up for a more positive future, with greater chances of landing jobs and advancing in career fields.
The 2017 calendar year provided one of the most beneficial runs the stock market has endured in decades. It seemed like each new day brought a new record-high close. However, that wild ride upward had to meet an end at some point. There are a lot of reasons that markets can cool off, ranging from jarring events such as a singular, massive selloff to the geopolitical strife that riles the nerves of investors. In early 2018, the markets experienced a severe correction.
As the month of March comes to an end, the first quarter of 2018 is about to close down. While Quarter One of 2018 will be remembered for the correction the markets sustained in February, bringing to a brief end the impressive growth the markets saw through 2017, it will also be remembered as a volatile period. As an investor, it is important to remain engaged in your investments and constantly track progress and success. A lot can change in just three months, whether you realize it or not.
With the ghosts of the 2008 financial crisis hidden away for the time being, markets around the globe are beginning to show some positive signs. In 2017, the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the United States set 70 record close marks, surpassing the previous record from 1995. A few weeks in to 2018, and the Dow has surpassed the 26,000 mark with an eye on continued growth beyond that mark. Around the globe, there are other good signs looming for investors who have been wary in previous years.
The 2008 financial crash in the United States wiped out trillions in wealth and value, both among homeowners and investors. The problem with market collapses and other issues, as The Balance notes, is that crises happen quickly, are unpredictable, and imminent signs of failure are usually difficult to see. It is less a question of will another crash happen, and more a situation of when the next crash will happen.