Meet your goals with a financial plan

  • A financial roadmap helps you stay on track.

Planning for retirement? Saving for your child’s college education? Dreaming of starting your own business? Then creating a financial plan is one of the most important steps you can take toward achieving your goals.

A financial plan is a roadmap to help guide you toward achieving your financial goals. Whether you’re just getting started or reviewing your current plan, here are some key things to include:

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An emergency fund: An emergency fund is money that you set aside as protection for when the unexpected occurs, whether it’s a pricey car repair or losing your job. We recommend saving the equivalent of three to six months of your basic living expenses. But even saving a month’s worth of expenses means you’ll have extra money when you need it.

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A budget: A budget helps you prioritize your spending starting with your monthly expenses, like your mortgage or rent, utilities, groceries, and other necessities such as auto or medical insurance payments. It also includes your savings goals so you can put money toward your emergency fund and retirement every month. You can use any additional money for discretionary spending.

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Retirement savings: It’s never too early to save for retirement. If your employer offers matching funds as part of its retirement plan, try to contribute at least enough to earn the full match. If your workplace doesn’t offer a retirement savings plan, consider opening a tax-advantaged IRA. Set a target goal to save 10 percent of your income. And if you can’t afford that much today, you can work up to it as your career progresses.

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Estate strategies: Your financial plan also should include a living will, which provides directions for your medical care should you become incapacitated, and a will, which spells out how you want your assets distributed after you die. You may not think of these things often, but being prepared today will make sure your loved ones are taken care of tomorrow.

Developing a financial plan can make you feel more at ease with your financial situation and put you on the road toward achieving your goals. Need help getting started? Talk to a SunTrust financial advisor about creating a financial plan that’s right for you. Then, you can revise your plan as your life circumstances or your financial goals evolve.

This content does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial, or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial, or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.