(PART III OF A THREE PART SERIES)

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What does a month-long celebration on financial literacy look like?  For many, that is hard to imagine.  However, for those following PFP | The Family Security Plan® Community, the picture is becoming clear.  We have already reviewed the concepts of earning, borrowing, saving and spending in prior posts.  All of our topics are important in getting us closer towards achieving financial freedom, which simply means having financial CHOICES every day of your life.

Learn more about financial literacy at www.mymoney.gov and continue to follow this blog as we bring our community profound and uplifting stories that will inspire you and your family.   In the mean time, the final four of our twelve steps to follow:

To revisit Part 1 of this 3 part series, please click here or visit Part 2 by clicking here.

STEPS 9 – 10: Protect

It is way too difficult to formulate and execute this plan.  Therefore, it is critical to “cover” your assets.  The world is a scary place so an essential aspect of financial freedom is to work with the right organization and to be aware of the tricks, scams and other pitfalls hidden along the way.

9. Work with a financial institution you know, like and trust.

It makes no sense to put your money in your mattress or under your bed.  That is known to result in a poor night sleep.  So you have to decide who will become your greatest financial ally.  Take a look around and see which institutions are working in your community and have a focus on people just like you.  Most likely, that local institution will allow you to get to know them personally, deliver better, more personal service and will maintain an understanding of your particular situation.  That is the makeup of an invaluable relationship.

10. Maintain privacy and vigilance towards identity theft.

The “bad guys” are lurking in the shadows of all financial transactions.  So you need to be aware of the times when you are most vulnerable.  It could be the gas station, that online purchase or in a restaurant.  It may be completely out of your control like that incident with Target over the holiday season when their database was hacked and millions of people’s credit card information was compromised.  It is of tremendous importance to watch your balances and remain aware of the vendors on your bill.

STEPS 11 – 12:  Plan

Financial freedom is not a final destination but rather an unending journey.  Each one of us has an opportunity to periodically evaluate where we are and what we can do to build upon our foundation.  Let us take advantage of our opportunities.  What should teenagers know?  How should folks in their 20’s handle their financial responsibilities?  What focus and plans change when we have children? Will I ever be able to retire?  The answer to these and other questions come throughout our lives as we build the background to meet our financial goals at every stage.

11. Reevaluate and analyze the present often.

The responsibility to gain financial freedom is ever-present in our minds. The thoughts relating to the past, present and future can become all-consuming.  Therefore, it is important to focus your mental energy on productive thoughts.  Specifically, once you have learned the lessons from the past, tuck them away and focus on the necessary steps you need to take to improve your present financial situation.  The plan you make and execute will not be completed in a day.  By making a plan today and sticking to it, your purpose and decision-making will be clear.  However, it is always a good idea to think about your plan, reevaluate it and make sure it makes the most sense to move you forward with the greatest opportunity to reach your financial goals.

12. Anticipate and prepare in advance for the future.

Many of our lives biggest expenses can be anticipated.  Car, Rent, Mortgage, Education, Retirement and other expensive lifetime necessities can be seen approaching a long time in advance.  We are each faced with a choice.  We can prepare for the financial impact or we can ignore it and hope there is another way to pay for it.  The obvious answer is to plan and prepare.  By working with professionals who help you fully understand your needs, you can take all of the necessary steps today to be ready for your obligations in the future.  There are financial products designed to work for you, protect you and help you prepare for the responsibilities of lifetime events. By working with people, companies and organizations you know, like and trust, you can enjoy the journey towards financial literacy and freedom.

We at PFP | The Family Security Plan® would love to be considered among your closest advisers for your financial and insurance needs.  We recommend working with us in conjunction with the services provided by your local credit union. So if you are not currently a member, email us at theuplift@familysecurityplan.com.  We can suggest a local credit union with which you can connect!

Written By: David J. Sussman Esq. CLU