I’m not talking about becoming a paranoid hoarder who survives on ramen noodles and water only to stash 90% of the earnings for the future. I’m talking about simple, doable ways to include long-term planning into our day-to-day financial lives, so let’s go after it:

  • Become mortgage free. This is a great way to reduce the amount of financial support you’ll need when retired. Calculate what it would take for you to start pre-paying your mortgage today in order to own your house out right by your retirement age. Make those extra principal payments with every regular mortgage payment. Even if you can pre-pay only a fraction of that amount, do it!
  • Create a plan to increase your savings year over year. You should get to the point where a minimum of 10% of your gross pay is set aside for long-term saving purposes.  Oh, and don’t forget to take advantage of your employers 401K match!
  • Look into long-term care insurance. You may not need it now, but one day you may need to purchase one in order to protect yourself against enormous long-term care costs. If you know what your premium would be, you could create room in your budget today to start setting funds aside for that monthly premium.

Life is unpredictable and we can’t prepare ourselves for every possible financial scenario. But what we can do is take control of our financial habits. After all, we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them…so let’s change the thinking!

Megan Pacheco is one of the new additions to the Finicity (provider of Mvelopes and Money4Life Coaching) team. She comes with over 13 years of experience in the Biblical Finances area. Her content has been published by Money Matters, Do Well and Lifeway's More than Living. She is a mom of two young boys, and lives with her husband David in the Atlanta area.

Publication date: October 23, 2013