Developing your financial goals

Many of us are motivated to save and invest toward short- and long-term goals.  Whether it’s to pay off a mortgage, provide for a college education or fund a retirement, we develop a personalized strategy—including  budgeting—to keep our objectives on track. But for those of us who find the task overwhelming or simply lack the interest or time to devise a plan, there are few steps you can take now to help reach your financial goals. 
Defining your goals
What are your financial goals and when do you want to achieve them?  How much will it cost? What impact will inflation have on your goals?
Considering your retirement savings
The younger you are, the more tempted you might be to postpone retirement savings for other immediate needs. Pensions, health insurance for life, and other benefits that your grandparents had are becoming relics of the past.  The sooner you can save for retirement, the better. Even if you can only manage to save a small amount from each paycheck, you can benefit from compounding over the long-term. Compounding is when earnings on your savings get reinvested and create their own earnings, which get reinvested to create more earnings, and so on.
Developing a household budget
Track your spending and income over a three-to-six-month period—to give you an idea of your current cash flow and how it compares to your income. Creating a practical budget can help you manage your cash flow while working toward other financial goals.
Protecting your loved ones—with an insurance policy
Life insurance can help make sure loved ones are financially secure if you’re not there to provide for them. Flexible solutions and affordable rates may be available to make life insurance a smart option for many families.
Saving for college—with a 529 college savings plan
Many families look to 529s—state-sponsored college savings plans—as a convenient and tax-advantaged way to save for college. Funds can be used at most accredited colleges and universities in the United States, as well as some colleges abroad for qualified higher education expenses. The maximum amount you can invest is determined by the specific state plan you select and varies from state to state. Qualified higher education expenses include tuition, fees, certain room and board expenses, books, supplies and equipment required for attendance at an eligible institution.
Working with a financial advisor
Juggling multiple financial goals and figuring out how to save and invest for each goal may be more than you can handle on your own. An experienced financial advisor can offer a helping hand and reassuring guidance. What’s more, an advisor can review the progress of your investment portfolio at your request, assist you as your life changes, and help you smoothly transition into your retirement years. 
For help creating your plan of action, you can contact one of our financial consultants at 800-842-2252 or set up an appointment at www.TIAA.org/local

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This material is for informational or educational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation or investment advice in connection with a distribution, transfer or rollover, a purchase or sale of securities or other investment property, or the management of securities or other investments, including the development of an investment strategy or retention of an investment manager or advisor. This material does not take into account any specific objectives or circumstances of any particular investor, or suggest any specific course of action. Investment decisions should be made in consultation with an investor’s personal advisor based on the investor’s own objectives and circumstances.
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