Financial literacy tips for every stage of life

Did you know that April is Financial Literacy month? It's a great time to revisit financial and lifestyle goals, plus think about what kind of habits we're passing on to future generations.
Financial Literacy Pig

At Comprehensive Wealth Management, building smart financial habits is a family affair. From our Starting Strong clients – commonly the children of existing retirement planning clients and successful professionals – to our more established investors, we’re honored that so many families trust us with the privilege of helping them build the financial foundation to pursue their ideal of living richly – at every life stage.

We’re also committed to sharing our financial knowledge with our clients through our Thirdly event series, engaging with aspiring young professionals by speaking to finance students at Washington State University, and previously hosting financial literacy kids' camps at our local Boys and Girls Club.

In the spirit of Financial Literacy month and continuing to share insights, here’s a roundup of resources that can help you build your own financial literacy. These are well worth sharing with the young people in your life, those who want to feel more confident and empowered in understanding financial concepts, or those who may need a strategic reset, regardless of age.

Laying a strong foundation

  • Parents: Here’s how to help your kids plan for financial success. As we say in this Puget Sound Business Journal article, many parents may feel like just yesterday you welcomed your children into the world. In the blink of an eye, you’re preparing to send them off to college, the first of many exciting new chapters in their lives and a steppingstone toward adulthood. But how can you help them get off on the right foot? Check out the article to learn more.
  • What type of investor are you? Knowing yourself and your own style is the first step in building toward financial freedom. No two investors are alike, but investors do tend to fit into three general archetypes. Learn more about your style with one of our recent videos.
  • Arguably the first step on the road to financial literacy is a good old-fashioned budget. At CWM, we happily share our budgeting tool with anyone and everyone who might need it. If you know someone who would benefit from a simple yet in-depth budgeting spreadsheet, give us a call at 800.268.2440 or fill out our contact form.
  • Parents of school-age children and teenagers, look into Greenlight. It functions as a parent-supervised debit card that helps you coach your young ones to learn to be responsible with their money – everything from managing chores and allowance, to saving and charitable giving, to dabbling in investments I use this app with my own kids. They love the feeling of independence, and I love that they’re learning healthy money habits early.

Building a sustainable process

  • The wisdom behind a blended investment strategy. At CWM, we believe in managing risk mindfully based on clients’ specific needs. That’s why we employ a host of investment strategies, aligning progress with desired outcomes to help clients achieve their idea of living richly, recognizing no singular strategy is best at all times, for all goals, or in all market conditions.
  • Building your financial journey one step at a time. How do you intentionally start on the path toward big goals like saving for your future? One small step at a time. In this video, financial advisor Marc Knauss outlines a few small changes that could yield big rewards in the future.
  • 9 science-backed benefits of gratitude. Many of our most grounded and successful clients have not only aspirations for tomorrow, but also tremendous gratitude for today. There’s been a lot of buzz around terms like happiness, fulfillment, etc., and we – like many of our readers – have often reflected upon how we can strike a better balance between work, family, community and other sometimes conflicting priorities.

Making smart career choices

  • Understanding the ROI of Career Pathways. We've all heard jokes about dubious college majors, and whether they really create pathways to career opportunity. While everyone has doubts about underwater basket weaving, other educational options - and the investments they require—are not so cut-and-dried. Liberal arts or STEM? Four-year institution or trade school? Community, state, private, or Ivy league? Share this with the high-schoolers, or parents of teens, in your life.
  • Evaluating compensation offers to align with your goals. This is an essential video for anyone in the job market right now. There are many layers to understanding whether a new job offer or compensation package will be right for your financial and lifestyle goals. Learn more about key strategies for evaluating a job offer from CWM Certified Financial Planner™ professional Brian Lockett.
  • Making Cents of Compensation. Not all job offers are created equal—and evaluating compensation packages can be like comparing apples to oranges. Despite complex layers of base salary, stock options, bonuses, and benefits, it is indeed possible to approach (and conquer!) this feat strategically. The CWM team is here to demystify the common threads you should look for when evaluating an employer's compensation package.

Growing your family

  • Our ultimate tips for millennial homebuyers. Are you a millennial thinking about settling down and buying your first home? Saving for the 20% down payment can be overwhelming – for many it can be tough to know where to begin! To help ease the burden, Redfin rounded up the financial experts to weigh in with their best tips for millennial homebuyers – including our own Brian Lockett, CFP®.
  • Ask the experts: How to stay crazy in love but sane in the same account. When the day is done at CWM, and all client portfolios have been checked on and tucked into bed, we return to our respective homes to spend time with our loved ones and work on personal passion projects. Although we are financial advisors by trade, we also must navigate money management on a personal level with our romantic partners. It’s a learning process that, like most things in a relationship, requires open communication and compromise.
  • The wealth of a legacy. We all want to see our loved ones safe and supported, but leaving a legacy for the next generation is much easier said than done. Check out these insights from Financial Advisor Marc Knauss, and make sure you have the essential documents in place to take care of your family for the long term.

Supporting underserved populations

  • Financial literacy is imperative for women as we continue working to break down historic barriers that have traditionally excluded women from the conversation. This video offers a handful of actionable tips to take control of your finances.
  • Taking a seat at the table. For this piece, I spoke with 425 Business about the historic and systemic reasons women have been left out of conversations around finances, and how we as a society can break this cycle.

Savings and retirement preparation

  • The hidden gem within your 401k. This article provides an overview of retirement saving strategies, particularly when utilizing 401(k) plans—including a hidden gem that can enable you to save thousands more toward your retirement.
  • Understanding Compound Interest: Part 1 and Part 2. Marc Knauss is an experienced financial advisor, but wishes he’d known more about the benefits of compound interest earlier in life before entering the profession. Listen as Marc shares the ins and outs of compound interest and its silent superpower: Time.
  • The hidden 401(k) benefit you may have missed. The common assumption has been that if you want to roll over your 401(k) to an IRA, you are required to wait until after you leave a company and are no longer a participant of the employer-sponsored plan. Employees over the age of 59 ½, however, may have the option to transfer funds from their 401(k) into an IRA while still employed and contributing to the plan, through what’s known as an In-Service Rollover.

Have you set up the next generation for financial success? If you’d like to explore how you could do more, give us a call at (425) 778-6160 or fill out our contact form. We’re always happy to help at Comprehensive Wealth Management.

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