Do you have a portfolio under $100,000 and wish to plan accordingly for your future? You may find difficulty in financial planning. Are you one of them who is lacking advice for financial planning and its objective? New resources on the Internet and personal finance software will help you out. They make it easier to map your financial plan at a reasonable cost.
Here is a source to make your financial plan easy on your own without taking anyone’s advice.
There are a few general personal finance books. They include Eric Tyson’s “Personal Finance for Dummies” and Jane Quinn’s “Making the Most of Your Money.” Some special websites like http://www.latimes.com/finplan.
Personal finance software is also a must. The latest versions of Intuit’s Quicken and Microsoft Money will help you organize and analyze your finances. They even include many tutorials.
Budgeting and Credit:
- Bankrate.com‘s site at http://www.bankrate.com is the premier Web resource. It provides information about debt, credit management, banking and savings.
- Quicken and Microsoft Money software offer budget help and debt-reduction planners. There are some Web sites http://www.quicken.com and http://www.moneycentral.com that too offers the same.
- Non-profit Consumer Credit Counseling Services provide free budget and credit workshops. For information, visit http://www.nfcc.org.
There are a huge number of Web sites that provide simple retirement planning calculators. Check your mutual fund and 401(k) Web sites. More sophisticated options include:
- Financial Engines at http://www.financialengines.com features a planning and asset allocation service. They use cutting-edge Monte Carlo simulations. Part of the site is free; the price of asset-allocation portion starts at $14.95 a quarter.
- Mutual fund giant, Vanguard offers a $500 retirement planning service. It includes telephone consultation with a financial advisor. To know more, visit http://www.vanguard.com.
- Before tapping your retirement funds, read a guidebook such as “Taking Your Money Out: IRAs, 401(k)s & Other Retirement Plans” by Twila Slesnick and John C. Suttle (Nolo.com, $21.95).
- Mutual fund company T. Rowe Price recently unveiled a $500 interactive service called Retirement Income Manager. This recommends withdrawal rates and asset allocations, using sophisticated probability analyses. To know more, visit http://www.troweprice.com.
Some areas of insurance such as auto, homeowners, renters are relatively straightforward. Others, such as life insurance, can be especially complicated. One of the better Web sites for insurance tutorials is http://www.insure.com. The Silver Lake publisher’s “How to Insure” series (“How to Insure Your Car,” “How to Insure Your Income”) can provide guidance. Also, visit the life insurance tutorial at http://www.latimes.com/insure101.
Intuit’s TurboTax remains the leader in the tax-preparation software field. The product is available in stores, and its Web site, at http://www.turbotax.com. It includes helpful calculators and articles. People with complicated taxes, large incomes or small businesses should generally seek professional tax help.
- A consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney is a good idea for all. But the smallest and least complicated estates aren’t. Even if the lawyer simply looks over documents you’ve created using software or kits. This is a difficult and constantly changing area of law in which experience and skill matter.
- Even if you hire an attorney, “Plan Your Estate” by attorneys Denis Clifford and Cora Jordan (Nolo.com, $24.95) is the do-it-yourself classic in the field. Nolo.com also offers software for writing wills. Vanguard has a $500 estate planning package.
Hope the above information for your own financial planning will help you to plan for the wellness of your future.