The economic instability of these last couple years has made it clear that it’s never too early to plan for a secure financial future—even when you can’t predict the variables that might influence or affect it. While the global economy is projected to recover by 4.9 percent in 2022, according to the recent World Economy Outlook, this doesn’t mean it will be a guaranteed smooth return to normal.
Unforeseen impacts and changes can still occur at any time, so it’s crucial to protect your assets, safeguard your future, and make sure your loved ones are cared for. Life is full of events outside your control, but planning ahead makes it easier to navigate. So on that note, here are four legal and financial protections to consider as you start thinking about what this new year might hold.
If you’re the caregiver of or an older parent or loved one, there will come a point when you need to start having those important end-of-life conversations with them. This process can be uncomfortable and overwhelming for both of you, but a living trust can help make it easier.
Unlike a will, a living trust is a document that goes into effect while your loved one is still alive. It allows them to name a beneficiary who will manage their assets and ensure their wishes are carried out at the eventual time of death. This legally protects both your loved one and their inheritors.
With a living trust, you can also avoid the expense and complications of estate settlements in court (also known as probate), which can take years to finalize. While it is technically possible to draft a living trust yourself, to ensure the document is top-quality, seek out the assistance and expertise of a living trust lawyer. This is not something you want to cut corners with, after all.
Regardless of your current income level or amount of money in the bank, you can benefit from meeting with a financial advisor. Not only will this professional offer guidance on how to manage your personal cashflow, but you’ll also learn how to plan long-term for major financial goals.
Financial advisory services can help you save for large purchases (like a dream vacation or house down payment), plan ahead for taxes, create a strong investment portfolio, start a retirement fund, and make informed, strategic decisions about where to allocate your finances.
With the assistance of a financial advisor, you’ll be more shrewd with money, rather than just spending it without much calculated planning. However, before you choose a financial advisor, make sure this professional is certified as a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). That means they must follow a legal fiduciary standard, which requires them to prioritize a client’s interest above their own.
In many regions and locations, the housing market is on fire those who want to sell, with home prices forecasted to increase by 16 percent in 2022, reports a team of Goldman Sachs economists. So if you’re considering the possibility of selling your own house, now is the time to act.
With the current buyer demands so high, it likely won’t be much of a challenge to find someone who wants to make an offer, but that’s only the first step. Next, you’ll need to seamlessly transfer the legal title of real estate from your name to the new owner.
And that’s where a conveyancer comes in. The conveyancing process handles all logistical aspects of the transaction—from closing on the home to transferring the title to finalizing the insurance, mortgage, certificate of liens, property taxes, and more. Hiring a qualified, reputable conveyancer to oversee this transfer is mutually beneficial for you as the seller and for the new owner too.
No matter the stage of life you’re in, keep in mind that you are never too young to open a retirement account and contribute to it on a regular basis. Even just $50–$100 per month (or whatever amount you can afford) will lay the groundwork for financial security over time.
In some cases, the organization you work for will create a retirement account for you as part of the employee benefits package, as well as help contribute to it. However, if you don’t work for a company that offers this perk, individual retirement accounts (IRA) are also available.
Be sure to research the various retirement plans out there to determine which option is the most viable to fit your needs or goals. You can also meet with a financial advisor (as referenced earlier) for expert assistance on how to navigate this process. Whatever route you choose, start saving for retirement as soon as possible. The future is uncertain, so planning makes all the difference.