How You Can Create A Life Plan

Monday, January 1, 2018

Modern life can be tough and confusing at times. Even if you knew what your life would be like since you were a child, a lot can happen between then and now. Job changes, children, and new homes can seemingly happen without warning. 

That’s why it’s such a good idea to have a life plan in place. While no plan can cover every eventuality, it’s still much better than going through life in a haphazard, chaotic way. But what exactly is a life plan, and how can it help your whole family? 

What Is A Life Plan? 

A life plan sounds simple. As the Life Planning Network explains, it’s a set of goals you want to reach in your life. Becoming financially secure can be one, but so can taking a European vacation or paying for your kids’ college. 

Before you start writing down some lofty goals, you need to assess where you are in life. That’s because it’s hard to move forward without knowing how close you are to your goals. For example, if one goal is to become financially secure, what is your current financial status? How much debt do you have compared to your income? 

Next, write down a vision of what you want to be. For many people, this can involve being rich — or at least being comfortable. That’s why you need to know more about successful financial strategies. 

Financial Strategies

It’s not that money is the most important thing in your life. But if you’re creating goals for a life plan, being at least financially secure will really help you achieve those goals. Because when you’re hurting for money, getting more can take over your life. 

US News & World Report has a great list of long-term investment strategies that work. Some of these include: 

  • Start investing money as soon as you can, as many investments need years before garnering the value you need. 
  • When picking investments, stick with what you understand. Instead of pouring money into products you don’t know, go with industries and opportunities that make sense to you. 
  • Go with a 401(k), especially if your employer offers matching funds. 

But one time-tested investment that you should consider for your life plan is real estate. Although the housing bubble in the 2000s showed there is some risk, Entrepreneur.com explains why real estate is a smart investment

Protecting Your Children

One of the reasons you need to focus your life plan on financial matters is your children. Sure, you expect they will get a good job and do their own investing. But what about college or unexpected costs? A good life plan will also help protect your children. 

USA Today lists several ways you can help your children’s financial future, such as: 

  • Set up a college savings account as soon as possible. 
  • Purchase a life insurance policy for you and your spouse. 
  • Involve them in financial decisions so they better understand how to do this on their own. 

If one of your children has special needs, you also have to consider long-term accommodations for them. As Redfin explains, there are three areas you need to consider: 

  • Are you fully aware of your child’s special needs and what care is required? 
  • Can you find a caregiver that matches with those special needs? 
  • Do you have a team of lawyers, financial planners, and medical professionals to advocate for your child? 

You Need A Life Plan

While it’s possible to meander through life without a plan, it’s hard to secure a good future that way. Instead, you should create a life plan focused on your goals. Because finances are so important, make sure your life plan includes some great investments, including some for protecting your children as you grow older. This can help your family weather any problems in the future and stay strong even if you’re not there to take care of them. 

Freelance Contributor: Daniel is a single dad raising two children. At DadSolo.com, he aims to provide other single dads with information and resources to help them better equip themselves on the journey that is parenthood. 

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