Investing can help you and your family to bring your finances to a healthier place, especially if you are struggling and have a lot of debt. You want to set up your children and even your spouse for financial success. Financial success may feel far away, but it can come when you make smart choices regarding investment decisions. It can be difficult to get started if you have no idea where to start though and no idea of the types of investments to make. Follow the tips below to learn how to make smart investment decisions for you and your family though, especially so you do not lose more money in the end.
1. Pay off Debt
The first step to save money might seem simple, but it’s to pay off any existing debt. To help you to make smart investment decisions is to follow a path that will lead you to the ability to pay off debt. Use any extra money that you already have to put towards any credit cards or any medical debt that you already have. Put down small risks in stock markets or in shares so that you can earn more profit that can go directly towards these debt accounts as well. Make sure that you do not use a credit card to make these investments in these shares, however, and do not make large investments that will put you in further debt.
2. Go after a 401K
The next investment opportunity that you can make that will be a smart choice for you and your family is to invest in a 401K. Do not do this until your debt has been settled a bit though. This is a great investment choice as you will earn interest on your account, and your company may even have a matched contribution plan. Only put down the risk that you want to take that will not lead to a level of discomfort that you do not need for you and your family though.
3. Start an IRA
Some companies do not match retirement contributions, which is where an IRA may come in handy for a smart investment decision. Any money that you put into a Roth IRA, for instance, comes without penalty if you need to withdraw early. You will need to pay taxes on this investment right away, as soon as you contribute the money, however. For a traditional IRA, you will pay taxes when you withdraw and will face a small penalty if you decide to withdraw early for any financial need.
4. Open a 529 Plan
Another smart choice to invest your money into a 529 plan, which will directly benefit your children. The cost of college is always on the rise, and a 529 plan can help you save for your children’s education so you do not have a large expense in the future. You can set aside money to pay for any college expense that you can think of, including the room and board and textbooks. Another type of 529 plan, however, directly credits the college when it is time for your children to enroll in school.
5. Mutual Fund
If you want to get involved in the traditional type of investing, which involves trading funds on the stock market, for instance, consider a mutual fund. You can even set up this fund with a fund administration that can help you to monitor your revenue and deposits so that you do not make too many risky decisions. Your money is diversified in this fund across a variety of investment opportunities so that you do not put too much into one source. This will lower the risk that comes so that you earn more of a profit for yourself and your family.
6. College Savings
The average cost of tuition, fees, and room and board at a public, four-year university in the year 2018 ended up totaling about $37,500 for out-of-state students and $21,000 for in-state students. The cost at private universities was even more, totaling $48,500.
It’s smart to think ahead. Crafting a plan for your child, or children, college savings as early as possible can help you as parents prepare. You can save without derailing from the larger family wealth management plan you may already have in place. Consider opening a 529 college savings account could be a good first step. This type of savings account lets parents invest their savings, which are usually in mutual funds. These savings are invested with tax-free distributions and tax-free growth when the money is to be used for higher education purposes. A Coverdell Education Savings Account works the same mostly, but the difference is this account allows for a maximum contribution of $2,000 per year.
Another way to save up for your kiddos college includes opening a high-yield savings account. You could also create a CD ladder. When you are weighing out the options, it is important to remember that savings accounts and CDs are most often the safest in terms of risk. A 529 account or Coverdell ESA has your money invested in the market, which can be rocky. Closely assess your mutual fund options carefully to decide whether they fit into your investment needs and be sure to pay close attention to any and all of the fees. Do this so you know exactly what you’re paying and won’t have any unpleasant surprises.
Making smart investment decision is a great way to set you and your family up for financial freedom and up for a successful financial future. Start by paying off your debt, and move on to thinking about the future. You can invest money into retirement accounts and into education funding sources so that your children and even your spouse can expect to have a successful future. After you have set up these funds, you can even consider going to the stock market where you can join a mutual fund that has a lower risk than traditional trading.