Questions to Ask on Your Financial Journey

Whether you’re 30 and just starting to invest, or 55 and beginning to think about retirement, it can be all too easy to slip into passive money habits. With the rise of apps and “virtual assistants” that can help you save and invest, many believe that once they put their money into a savings account, their work is done. But our lives change over time, and so should our investments.


Wherever you are in your investing journey – whether year 2 or year 22 – use the questions below to help you actively think about how your money is working for you.


Year 0 – getting started: Where and how do I find good financial advice?

With so many blogs offering financial tips online, it can be hard to sort through what’s useful and what’s not. But one thing is for sure: Everyone’s goals are different, so financial advice personalized to your unique needs will always be the most helpful. The best way to get started in your investing journey is to find a trusted Financial Advisor – someone who asks good questions, listens to your personal plans and goals, and helps you invest with those goals in mind. Read more about finding a great Financial Advisor here.


Years 1-5: How do I establish healthy, sustainable financial habits?

The first few years of investing – just like the first few years of learning any new skill – are all about forming good habits. Many Americans don’t save money, and those who do, often don’t save enough to cover emergency expenses. This early stage is the time to think deeply about your goals – are you saving for a house? A car? – and adjust your spending habits to meet them, like automatically saving a percentage of each paycheck before it hits your account.


Years 5-15: Is my money growing in the way I want? Am I maximizing my assets?

After creating sustainable financial habits, it can be easy to ignore the state of your investments and continue living like normal. But a savvy investor will always keep tabs on their money. During this time period, many will want to focus on maximizing their assets for big future goals, like sending a child to college. Your Financial Advisor can help you make sure that your investment strategies match your goals – for example, if you have many years left of saving before retirement, it’s smart to take on more risk so your nest egg grows even more.


Years 15-30: Am I actively or passively managing my money?

As you become more comfortable with your investment strategy, it’s important to remain updated on how and what your money is doing. This is the time to begin having serious conversations with your Financial Advisor about your needs during retirement, and start adjusting your strategy to meet those needs.


Years 30-Retirement: Do I have my money in the safest possible environment?

In the years before you retire, it’s important to focus on shifting your savings into less risky environments. A good Financial Advisor should always be listening to you and tailoring your investment strategy to meet your comfort level – and at this point, they should be helping you prepare for a fruitful, comfortable, and long retirement.


No matter where you are in your investment journey, it can be difficult to keep up with these questions all on your own. That’s why it’s smart to work with a trusted Financial Advisor who can help you maximize your assets, stay up to date with your investments, and tailor your savings strategies to meet your current life goals. Reach out for an initial consultation with an experienced Arbor Financial Advisor here.

Written by