The Ballast Atheneum is a collection of our thoughts on the twelve most important topics in financial planning. Today, the focus is on Cash Flow.
Cash flow planning is perhaps the most fundamental building block of financial planning. You need to have the money in to cover required expenses, entertainment, and saving for future goals. It is often a question of which option is the best or most efficient now, or how to plan ahead for the future. It could be a matter of day-to-day or month-to-month financial management. However you define it, cash flow planning cannot be overlooked.
The following articles discuss the importance of cash flow planning.
What is the “B” word?
For many individuals, families, and even companies, the infamous “B” word causes undo stress, and anxiety, and at times, can even lead to arguments. As we look at our financial goals, many lists reference this “B” word as something they hope to achieve or implement. Today we will discuss the core of cash flow planning… BUDGETING!
Pay down debt or save for retirement?
“How can I save for retirement with all of these monthly debt payments?” The answer can be somewhat complicated for what is seemingly a simple question. Striking the right balance between debt payments and savings contributions will vary with each household and the solution is more than just a mathematical calculation. Ideally, we would like to pay down debt and save for retirement simultaneously, but for those struggling to make payments, we must first prioritize paying off the outstanding debts. Once you have built at least a small emergency fund that will help avoid any further debt, here are a couple scenarios where it may be more prudent to pay off debt before saving for retirement: Paying vs. Saving
What do you know about long term care?
One of the most challenging planning areas for us as practitioners is Long Term Care. In principle, it should be easy to universally recommend everyone go out and buy a Long Term Care policy that pays for skilled nursing needs at the end of their life. However, we have found planning in this area to be much more nuanced. While most people think about how much they have saved as way to cover future Long Term Care, we believe planning around future cash flow to be most effective. By understanding your future cash flow, we can steer a client towards the proper type of coverage, if any.
Could you benefit from Cash Flow Autopilot?
The Ballast Atheneum has focused on many aspects of cash flow planning, including: budgeting, retirement savings vs. paying down debt, costs of vehicle ownership, and cash flow planning vs. long-term care. This article shares a case study that we try to create for working clients. We have implemented this Retirement Autopilot for many people and have found it be both successful and realistic. The keys to a successful Retirement Autopilot are bulleted in this article: Cash Flow Autopilot
Where does the money go?
This is question we unfortunately hear all too often when discussing budgeting and cash flow. Often the only thing simple about a family’s cash flow is that it is simply confusing. Let’s look at how we can help simplify complicated family finances into one key number.
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