What comes to mind when you think about your finances? Rent, loans, food, savings, and entertainment are commonly associated with money. However, there is more to your finances than these things. Here are four aspects of your financial life that you may not be considering.

Retirement

Do you know where you want to live or what you want to do during retirement? Your answers to these questions and questions like these will determine how much money you’ll need during retirement. You might not have all the answers now: some might change over time and some questions won’t have answers until you’re closer to retirement. Still, make a plan now and start saving – you can make adjustments as your retirement draws nearer.

If your employer offers a 401(k) or 403(b), they may be the best place to start saving and investing for retirement – especially if your employer matches your contributions. If these are not an option, you can open an IRA instead.

Taxes

Taxes can be complicated, especially if you have various sources of income, hold a number of assets, own property, and give to charity. A tax strategy can help you organize your tax situation and reduce the taxes you owe, maximizing your net income so you can funnel more money into savings and other financial goals.

An Estate Plan

How your assets support family, friends, and charities during your lifetime is up to you; with an estate plan, the same will hold true even after you pass away. Everyone should have a will, and depending on your situation, a Revocable Living Trust might be appropriate, too.

Charitable Giving

Instead of making donations haphazardly, make a plan for charitable giving. Decide how much you would like to donate and budget for that amount. Also consider different charitable giving options. There’s nothing wrong with giving cash or writing checks, but there are many other ways to give that can be more beneficial for the charity and you. For example, donating stock can increase the power of your gift and reduce your taxes.

Do you have a financial plan?

With a financial plan, retirement, taxes, estate planning, and charitable giving aren’t simply more things to worry about: instead, they are part of an overall strategy designed to help you reach your financial goals.

If you don’t have a financial plan, we encourage you to develop one soon. If you aren’t sure about the topics above or financial planning in general, feel free to contact us with your questions.

Covenant Trust Company is a financial services company owned by the Evangelical Covenant Church and its affiliates. Our services are available to anyone in need of asset management, retirement planning, legacy planning, gift planning, or trust services. In addition, we seek opportunities to encourage and promote healthy financial habits, and keep a personal finance blog at www.covtrustblog.com.

Photo: Flickr

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