Diversity Woman Magazine

SPR 2018

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

Issue link: https://diversitywoman.epubxp.com/i/955125

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Page 41 of 51

He. 40 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N S p r i n g 2 0 1 8 d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m Being as detailed as possible is impor- tant so you can understand the resources you'll need to reach your goal, Coutu says. Take retirement: it's not enough to say you want to save for it; you need to nar- row down what that retirement looks like. Coutu has clients who wish to maintain their same lifestyle after they stop work- ing and others who want to change things up. Some may seek to move to a different part of the country and live in a smaller home, for instance. Some may plan to travel more. ese desires have financial ramifications that need to be considered in addition to inflation. Online calculators can help you get an idea of what you'll need to save for specific goals. A number of tools are available on Bankrate.com, for instance, including cal- culators for retirement, college savings, and auto loans. Create a budget It's important to have a good understand- ing of your current financial situation. In addition to considering your savings, you need to evaluate your current budget, which is a snapshot of all your income and where you're allocating your money. "[Clients] need to know based on what they're doing today if they're actually go- ing to make [their goal] or not," Coutu says. "If they're not going to make it, what types of things are they willing to change to make this goal a reality?" at could mean diverting more money to savings, for instance, or cutting back on expenditures. Coutu likes the idea of keeping a jour- nal for three to six months of everything you buy. Carefully tracking spending can help you find trouble spots. "When peo- ple see what they're spending and wast- ing, that is motivation to change their ways," she says. Personal finance apps such as Mint and EveryDollar can help you identify where your money is going. Find the right investment vehicles You may be saving a significant amount but not putting the funds to work as well as you should. ough your money will earn interest in savings accounts, for ex- ample, you'll likely need to find a more growth-oriented approach to earn enough to pay for college, Coutu says. "You have to take on more risk and put funds in an investment that has the po- tential to grow, which usually means the stock market," she says. "Over an 18-year period, if you put funds in a moderate growth mutual fund that's fluctuating and you're systematically adding, you have a DW Life > It's not enough to say you want to save for [retirement]; you need to narrow down what that retirement looks like. ISTOCKPHOTO

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