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Financial Development:

Guided Planning Strategies (GPS)

Unlock financial success with Menninger & Associates! From student loans to career planning, debt management, emergency funds, and relocation, tailor your financial journey with Menninger & Associates' Guided Planning Strategies (GPS).


Financial Planning Student Loans

College can be incredibly expensive, and many families take out student loans to help cover the costs. But there are several types of student loans with different terms for paying back the borrowed funds, as well as various strategies for juggling paying off student loans while covering other expenses.

In addition to student loans, it is crucial to consider personal and family resources when planning for college expenses. This includes savings and investments, contributions from family members, and other sources of funding.

Working with a financial professional can be a powerful tool for minimizing student loan debt. Financial advisors can provide the expertise and guidance needed to get an accurate estimate of your monthly payments, helping you identify how much of your financial resources can be put towards paying off student loans.


Personal Finance 101

Personal finance is a term that covers managing your money as well as saving and investing. It encompasses budgeting, banking, insurance, mortgages, investments, and retirement, tax, and estate planning. The term often refers to the entire industry that provides financial services to individuals and households and advises them about financial and investment opportunities.

Individual goals and desires—and a plan to fulfill those needs within your financial constraints—also impact how you approach the above items. To make the most of your income and savings, it’s essential to become financially savvy—it will help you distinguish between good and bad advice and make intelligent financial decisions. At Menninger & Associates, we pride ourselves on educating clients so they know WHY we make the financial decisions that we do.

Not understanding how to manage finances or be financially disciplined has led Americans to accumulate enormous debt. In August 2022, household debt had increased by $2 trillion since December 2019. In addition, the following balances increased from the first quarter of 2022 to the second:

Americans are taking on an ever-increasing amount of debt to finance purchases, making managing personal finances more critical than ever, especially when inflation is eating away at purchasing power and prices are rising.


Thinking Beyond Paychecks: Strategic Career Planning

In today's rapidly changing professional landscape, the connection between financial planning and career development is more vital than ever. As we navigate a world marked by uncertainty and opportunity in equal measure, taking a holistic approach to both aspects can pave the way for a more secure and fulfilling future.

It's not uncommon to compartmentalize financial planning and career development, seeing them as separate spheres of life. However, in reality, these two aspects are deeply interconnected. Your career choices and progress directly impact your income, savings, and financial goals, while your financial situation can influence your career decisions.

A robust financial plan includes provisions for unforeseen circumstances. An emergency fund can provide a safety net in case of unexpected job loss or career setbacks. Knowing you have a financial cushion can alleviate stress and allow you to focus on finding the right career path. Both financial planning and career development should account for retirement. Saving and investing wisely ensures a comfortable retirement, while effective career planning can help you transition into fulfilling roles even after retirement age.

Just as you might consult a financial advisor for investment strategies, consider seeking career guidance from mentors, career coaches, or industry experts. Their insights can help you make informed decisions and navigate career transitions effectively.


Create a Debt Management Plan

Making a plan for paying off debt starts by organizing your debt based on interest rate, terms, any tax benefits and other criteria. Debt management can help you figure out which debt to focus on first and how to lower what you pay in interest.

Fears of a recession have loomed large over the past few years. During a recession, consumers often feel the squeeze in terms of their real income. It’s common for companies to pare back their hiring activities, moderate employees’ salary adjustments or even lay off employees. Consumers might respond to a souring economy by piling on more personal debt to support their ongoing cash-flow needs. That could be problematic for Americans who already have household debts that collectively exceed $17 trillion.


Importance of Creating an Emergency Fund

An emergency fund is a cash reserve that’s specifically set aside for unplanned expenses or financial emergencies. Some common examples include car repairs, home repairs, medical bills, or a loss of income. In general, emergency savings can be used for large or small unplanned bills or payments that are not part of your routine monthly expenses and spending.

Set some guidelines for yourself on what constitutes an emergency or unplanned expense. Not every unexpected expense is a dire emergency but try to stay consistent. Even if it’s not a trip to the emergency room, you may need it to pay for a medical bill that wasn’t covered by insurance.

Having a reserve fund for financial shocks can help you avoid relying on other forms of credit or loans that can turn into debt. If you use a credit card or take out a loan to pay for these expenses, your one-time emergency expense may grow significantly larger than your original bill because of interest and fees.

However, don’t be afraid to use it if you need it. If you spend down what’s in your emergency savings, just work to build it up again. Practicing your savings skills over time will make this easier.


Planning Moving And Relocation Expenses

Americans relocate for many reasons, such as work or family obligations. Even moving to a house a few blocks over can be demanding, but with a major relocation, it may be expensive as well.

A good relocation plan starts by looking at how much you have to spend, the costs of the move, and any financial help you’ll receive. If you’re relocating for your job, factor in how they are supporting your relocation whether through a lump sum, relocation bonus or relocation service provider. You should ask whether the money counts as taxable income. If it’s tax-free, you have a bigger budget to work with.

If you’re moving for work, or for your spouse’s work, you may be able to write off the expenses of traveling to your new home and shipping your possessions. You deduct the expenses on your Form 1040, so you don’t have to itemize. To qualify, the new workplace has to be at least 50 miles further from your former home than your or your spouse’s former job was. Usually the move has to be within a year of starting work at the new location, though there are exceptions. If you meet the qualifications, you can factor the tax savings into your financial plan.

Improve your Financial Development with Menninger & Associates

(610) 422-3773