The Importance of Financial Planning and Goal Setting As A Young Professional

As individuals enter their golden years, it becomes crucial to have a financial plan already set in place and planned out. Prioritizing financial planning and goal setting from an early age will ensure a secure and fulfilling future. Older adults often face unique financial challenges, including rising costs, potential long-term care needs, and economic insecurity. This blog post emphasizes the significance of creating a solid financial plan while you’re building your family and career, setting clear goals, and highlights the role of financial planning in securing a stable financial future for aging Americans.

So, lets discuss the power of financial planning. Financial planning serves as a roadmap to navigate the complexities of life and provides a sense of control over one’s financial well-being. It involves evaluating current financial circumstances, creating a plan to achieve both your short-and long-term goals, estimating future expenses, and developing strategies to maximize savings and investments. By engaging in financial planning and creating a holistic plan as you kickstart your life path, older adults can proactively address their financial needs and aspirations, and ensure the ability to weather unexpected financial shocks.

According to the NCOA survey, a staggering “80% of households with adults over 60, equivalent to 47 million households, are at risk of falling into economic insecurity due to high inflation and rising costs”. This poses a significant challenge for older individuals, with 45% of them having household incomes below the threshold required to afford basic living needs. In fact, many of these individuals feel unprepared to whether a financial shock that may come their way. This shows the importance of having a plan in place and setting up a strategy to achieve both your short and long term goals.

Goal setting is an integral part of effective financial planning. It involves identifying specific objectives that align with your personal values and dreams. Whether it is retiring comfortably, purchasing a vacation home, covering long-term care healthcare expenses, or leaving a legacy for loved ones, goals are specific to you and your family. Setting achievable and measurable goals helps individuals stay motivated and track their progress towards financial security.

Financial planning and goal setting will play a vital role in preparing for your future and any unexpected financial shocks that come your way.  By creating a robust financial plan, individuals can navigate economic uncertainties, rising costs, and life goals effectively. If you have any questions about creating a financial plan and preparing for the future, email us at

Your Financial Checklist for September

September is here, which means it’s time to start thinking about your financial goals and ensuring your money matters are in order. As the summer months wind down, it’s the perfect opportunity to revisit your financial plan, set new goals, and make sure you’re on track to achieve them. Here’s a financial checklist to help you navigate the financial waters this September:

1. Check Your Student Loan Portal: If you have student loans, you may have enjoyed a few years of reprieve thanks to the pandemic-related pause. However, as of this month, interest has resumed on federal student loans. It’s crucial to check your student loan portal to confirm and understand your liability beginning next month. This change could impact your monthly payments and the overall cost of your loans.

2. Benchmark Your 2023 Goals: At the beginning of the year, you likely set financial goals for yourself. Now is the time to revisit those goals and assess your progress. Take a moment to reflect on what you wanted to achieve in 2023, whether it was saving for a major purchase, paying down debt, or investing for the future. Evaluate where you stand in relation to those objectives and make any necessary adjustments. If you’ve met some of your goals, celebrate your accomplishments, and if you’re falling short, identify the steps needed to get back on track.

3. Review Your Retirement Contributions: Your retirement savings are a critical part of your financial future. September is an excellent time to review your retirement accounts and contributions. Are you on track to max out your contributions for the year? If not, consider increasing your contributions to take full advantage of tax-advantaged retirement account. Did you increase your contribution from last year to account for the increase in contribution limit, which is $22,500 and $30,000 for those 50 and older. Ensure your investment allocations align with your long-term goals, and if necessary, consult with a financial advisor to fine-tune your retirement strategy.

4. Revisit Your Cash Flows and Budget: As we transition from summer to fall, your expenses and financial priorities may change. Take a closer look at your cash flows and budget to ensure they reflect your current situation. Are there any upcoming expenses you need to plan for, such as back-to-school costs, holiday expenses, or home maintenance? Adjust your budget accordingly to accommodate these changes. Reevaluating your budget can help you stay in control of your finances and avoid any unexpected financial stress.

Bonus Tip: Consider Tax Planning Though tax season is still a few months away, proactive tax planning can save you money in the long run. Review your tax situation and look for opportunities to optimize your tax strategy. This might include taking advantage of tax deductions, tax credits, or making smart investment decisions with tax implications in mind. Consult with a tax professional or financial advisor to explore potential tax-saving strategies.

In conclusion, September is a prime time to get your finances back on track after the summer months. By following this financial checklist, you’ll be better prepared to tackle the rest of the year with confidence and ensure that you’re making the most of your financial resources. Remember that financial planning is an ongoing process, and regular check-ins like this one can help you achieve your short-term and long-term financial goals. If you have any questions or are seeking financial advice in your fall financial check-up, email us at or schedule a complimentary intro call here.

The Importance of an Emergency Fund

How are you feeling now that summer is winding down, and fall is right around the corner? Are back to school activities starting back up for the kids? Has your spending picked up as well? There is certainly a lot to reflect on about the last year and a half. One thing that we are hearing a lot about from clients, families, and friends is that they wish they had a greater emergency fund. Do you wish you had a greater emergency fund? Does having an emergency fund make you feel more secure as you make your way thru life? 

If the uncertainty of the last few years showed us anything, it is the great impact that such an unprecedented event can have on our world, its economy, and health. As we head into the fall, think about your expenses, your cash flow, and your priorities moving forwards. For those whose spending has picked up since the pandemic, now is a great time to revisit your budget and set up an automated cadence to allocate additional savings each month to replenish your emergency fund. Given that back to school is approaching and your schedules might be picking up, now is a great time to not only revisit your cash flows and bank account balances, but your overall financial plan. With student loan payments resuming next month and inflation staying course, you may want to map out your spending for the rest of the year and implement a savings goal as well. Take the next few weeks to think about your wants versus your needs and how to allocate your budget across all your costs. 

If you dipped into your emergency fund since the pandemic, this is also a good time to start thinking about your strategy to replenish those accounts back to where they were prior to the pandemic. It is also important to think about how much money makes you and your family feel comfortable in case of emergencies that arise or come up. We’ve been getting lots of questions about how much one should have in their emergency fund. This answer is specific to every individual which is why we recommend re-visiting your financial situation with a financial professional.  On the contrary, it is important that your portfolio is diversified and you are not sitting on too much cash that is not earning any interest. With inflation constantly rising, it’s important that as you grow older, your money is growing with you.  The earlier you start, the better. 

As we have discussed on our podcast Launch Financial with David Pearl, communicating with your partner is extremely important when it comes to your finances. Take this opportunity to think about your financial priorities, what amount of emergency savings makes sense for you as a family, and make a proactive strategy that is best for you and your family.

At Sherman Wealth, we help individuals simplify their financial life and build comprehensive financial plans that are customized to each individual. If you have any questions about how to approach your financial priorities, set up an emergency fund, and how to set goals for you and your family, reach out to us at or schedule a 30-minute consultation here

How To Get Your Financial House In Order Before Buying a Home

Despite the current housing market and higher interest rates, many of you are still in the market to purchase a new home. Whether you’re a first time home buyer or you are upgrading from your “starter” home, there are many tips you can implement and mistakes to avoid to improve your financial situation and ensure the process is more seamless. So let’s dive in. 

As you know, buying a home is a major purchase, maybe even the largest purchase you will make in your lifetime. So, it’s key that your financial house is in order prior to applying for a mortgage and taking on a large loan. So, first and foremost, ensure that your credit score and report are in good shape. Why? Because your credit is the lifeline of your financial life, and when it comes to purchasing a home, lenders will check out your credit to determine what interest rates you will be able to capture. If your credit is not so great, it may be possible you have a higher and more costly interest rate, making your home purchase more expensive than it needs to be. So, make sure you are paying your bills on time, always pay at least the minimum, pay down existing debt, and open multiple lines of credit, taking on “good debt”, that you can pay back responsibility. Check out our other blogs for more information on your credit score

Another tip to keep in mind when preparing to purchase a home is to ensure your emergency fund is sufficient and you have saved enough for the downpayment and fees. So what does this mean? Well, buying a home comes with tons of unexpected expenses. Especially if it’s your first time, having only enough cash for the down payment and fees most likely won’t be enough to cover all the expenses coming your way. So, have an emergency fund, remember about items such as furniture, wifi, utilities, and more. You don’t want to tie up all your cash in non liquid investment vehicles when you might need it for something else in the near future. So, consider opening a high yield savings account that you can park your cash reserve in, while also earning additional interest. 

Along with saving enough cash for your big purchase, having a realistic and achievable budget is extremely important as well. We oftentimes see individuals stretch themselves too thin with their home purchase, making it more financially stressful to reach their other financial goals. Especially given where the economy is with inflation, we’ve been recommending individuals to re-visit and tweak their budgets. So, separating your wants versus your needs and really breaking down your financial goals is a great way to determine what your budget should be. We also recommend working with a financial advisor to dive deeper into this budget and build a strategy to hit all your goals in life. Purchasing a home is such an exciting and fulfilling achievement, so we want to make sure you go about it in the best way possible. We will continue to track the housing industry and mortgage rates as the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates and report back how this will impact you. If you have any questions, email

It’s Time For Your Mid-Year Financial Review

As we reach the midway point of the year, it’s an ideal time to pause, reflect, and conduct a comprehensive financial review. A mid-year financial review allows you to reassess your financial goals, evaluate your progress, and make necessary adjustments to ensure your financial well-being. If you have yet to schedule your mid-year or even annual review, now is the time, and here is why. Let’s delve into some key areas to focus on during your mid-year financial review, including cash management, insurance analysis, account consolidation, estate planning, and just overall financial organization.

Cash Management: Given the current high interest rate economic environment, there is tons of opportunity to make your cash work harder for you. Managing your cash effectively is crucial for maintaining financial stability and achieving your goals. Consider taking advantage of higher interest rates currently available in high-yield savings accounts and CDs. These options provide a safe and secure way to grow your money while keeping it easily accessible, with little illiquidity and risk. Review your current savings strategy, check in on your emergency fund balance, and determine if it aligns with your goals. Make small adjustments to your monthly savings strategy and budget  to optimize your cash flow and maximize your savings potential.

Insurance Analysis: This next topic is one we’ve been talking a lot about with clients now that we are officially through the first half of the year. Insurance is a vital component of financial security, providing protection for your health, property, and loved ones. Whether you have insurance or not, use this mid-year review as an opportunity to conduct a thorough analysis of your insurance coverage to ensure it meets your current needs. Review policies such as health, life, disability, umbrella, home, and auto insurance, comparing rates and coverage options. This analysis will help you identify any gaps in coverage and potentially reduce costs by consolidating policies or negotiating better rates.If you would like a referral to a life insurance professional, please let us know and we are happy to help.

Estate Planning Review: Next, while your analyzing your insurance coverage, make sure you don’t forget about your estate plan. Estate planning is often overlooked, but it’s a critical aspect of ensuring your assets are protected and eventually distributed according to your wishes. Reach out to your estate attorney and review your will, trusts, and power of attorney documents to ensure they accurately reflect your current circumstances and intentions, and are also updated to reflect for current tax code provisions. Life events, such as marriage, divorce, or the birth of a child, may require updates to your estate plan. If you haven’t established an estate plan, now is the time to consult with an attorney to create one that aligns with your goals.

Account Consolidation: Over time, it’s common to accumulate multiple bank accounts and retirement savings plans, such as 401(k)s. Consolidating these accounts can simplify your financial life, reduce headaches and the possibility of “losing” an old account, and potentially save you money on fees. Review your accounts and consider consolidating them where appropriate, while also maximizing the interest rates and return you are earning. Streamlining your financial accounts will not only make it easier to track your progress but also provide a clearer picture of your overall financial health.

Organization: Lastly, financial organization is key to maintaining control over your finances. Take the opportunity during your mid-year financial review to organize your financial documents, including bank statements, investment account statements, tax records, and insurance policies. Consider automating and aggregating your financial picture, especially for document management and budgeting, as aggregation can streamline the process and provide easy access to your financial information.

Take this opportunity to sit down and conduct your own mid year review, or schedule a meeting with your financial professional. Checking in not only with your family, but with your financial progress mid-year is a great way to benchmark your progress towards reaching your goals. If you are interested in setting up a mid-year review, email us at or schedule a 30-minute consultation meeting here.

Are You Setting Aside More Cash in This Environment?

If you’ve been following major headlines in the media recently, you sure have read about interest rates, inflation, the Federal Reserve, and a potential recession. As the Federal Reserve recently implemented its 10th interest rate hike in its effort to combat inflation, many individuals continue to discuss the possibility of a looming recession on the economy. So, in response to the state of the economy with rising interest rates and inflation data, many individuals are revisiting ideas on their budgets and cash, stashing away more cash and cutting out unnecessary items from their budgets.

Although this week we saw retail sales increase 0.4% in April, indicating shoppers are picking up spending, over the last few months many Americans have cut back on shopping. According to recent reports from Bank of America Institute and Deloitte, American consumers are cutting back on their spending and saving more. In fact, now “71% of Americans are likely to keep cash on hand,” and “to save more, about half of all adults are dining out less frequently and 42% have changed the way they shop for food”. Given higher prices to purchase goods yet also higher interest rates available on cash, many individuals are starting to take advantage of getting paid more to save. 

Taking advantage of higher interest rates in this environment with your cash is extremely important and a great way to earn some extra cash. We’ve been talking about the best vehicles to park your cash in, including high yield savings accounts and CDs that are as high as the 5% range, earning well over the traditional bank account that’s still yielding around 0%. So, if you have adjusted your budget due to inflation and are finding yourself saving more cash, make sure you are maximizing the interest rate you can earn, making the smartest decision with your finances. If you have any questions about ways to best maximize your cash and your financial plan, email us at or schedule a complimentary intro call here. In an ever changing economic world, we believe that periodically revisiting your financial plan and strategies to align with the opportunities available to you is so important.  


What To Know On The Secure Act 2.0 Provision

At the beginning of the year, we posted a blog discussing the ways that the Secure Act 2.0 promised to provide changes to help many Americans’ retirement plans, including over 90 updated retirement plan provisions. More recently, a provision was passed expanding fee-for service planning opportunities for small business clients and their employees. So, let’s take a look at what this means for you.

When Congress passed the Secure Act 2.0, they increased the incentives for small businesses to create new retirement plans, particularly for businesses with 50 or fewer employees. “Beginning in 2023, an eligible employer with 50 or fewer employees may claim up to 100% of its qualified startup costs for adopting and maintaining a new SEP, SIMPLE IRA, or qualified plan (like a 401(k) plan), and the credit may be claimed for three years. Employers with 51 to 100 employees are subject to the limits specified in the original Secure Act.”

Under the Secure Act, qualified startup costs for retirement plans are defined as the ordinary and necessary expenses paid or taken on by a small business to establish a qualifying retirement plan, and educate employees regarding the plan. How these retirement plan admin fees are paid is either by the participant or the sponsor, depending on the set-up and structure of the plan. Many retirement plan fees are paid by plan participants and are not eligible expenses that can be claimed under the qualified start-up cost tax credit, which is why you want to be careful when analyzing what method is best to pay for the plan admin and education expenses. One method that is very attractive is a fee-for-service engagement with a financial planner.

A fee-for-service engagement allows businesses to qualify for the qualified start up cost tax credit. “Under a fee-for-service engagement, costs paid by the employer to establish, administer, and provide employee education for a new retirement plan all qualify as eligible expenses that the business can claim on its tax return.” Companies with 50 or less employees are able to claim 100% of eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $5,000, for each of the first three years from the start of the new retirement plan, deeming as a very attractive incentive for not only the employer but also the plan participants.

If you own a small business and are thinking about implementing a new retirement plan for your company, let us know as we are here and happy to help establish the plan and educate your employees on the plan details and financial literacy. This tax credit is a great benefit for employers to take advantage of, and we are happy to help you understand it further. If you have any questions, email or schedule a complimentary 30-minute call here.

Spring Cleaning Your Finances

As we are officially in the spring season and approaching the end of the first financial quarter, we want to shed some light on some smart financial moves you can make as you start some “spring cleaning”. If you have yet to work on your financial checklist and goals for the year, this is your opportunity and reminder to get started now. So, let’s take a look at some financial tasks you can set for yourself this spring.

  1. As the bond and stock markets digest the banking crisis, the economic uncertainty calls on us to take a look at what we have and where it is. Do you know what banks your cash is sitting in? Is it FDIC insured? Given all the craziness going on in the banking system, it’s important to make sure your money is FDIC insured and you are being smart with your dollars. 
  2. Secondly, given where interest rates are and have been, park your cash in a high yield savings vehicle, earning up to 3.75%, and FDIC insured. If your money is still sitting in a large money center bank earning close to 0%, this is your opportunity to take advantage of higher interest rates. 
  3. While capitalizing on higher interest rates, you might also want to take a look at your debt. Do you know what interest rates you are paying on your debt? Are your interest rates fixed or variable? Check out our blog on how rising interest rates may impact your wallet and your debt. As we are seeing huge fluctuations and increases in interest rates and are unsure what the future looks like for rate hikes, make sure you are staying on top of your debt payments and not letting interest get the best of you. 
  4. Next, as we approach the beginning of April, we want to use this as an opportunity to discuss tax season. Are you prepared to file your taxes? Have you collected your tax documents and 1099s? Stay organized to avoid unnecessary late penalties or file for an extension if you know you will need one.
  5. Lastly, another smart financial task you should set for yourself is re-visiting your budget. Given recent CPI data, and with food prices still at all time highs, make sure your budget still works for you and your family. If it’s been a few months since you checked your cash inflows and outflows, now is a good time to make sure you know what you are spending on and if you have more room to save. 

While these are only just a few financial tasks of many you should set for yourself, given the uncertain economic environment, revisiting your whole financial picture is extremely important. We know that keeping yourself accountable can be difficult, which is why we are here to help you tackle your financial homework and stay on the right track. If you have any questions or would like us to help you revisit your financial situation, email us at or schedule a complimentary introductory call here


Mark Your Calendar With These Financial Deadlines

As we are in the depths of tax season and making our way through the beginning of the year, we want to discuss some important financial dates and deadlines to keep in mind over the next few months. Financial organization is a large component of financial success. Staying on top of deadlines, compiling forms, filing your tax return before April 15th, paying your bills on time, and funding your accounts are just a few ways you can remain organized financially. For example, your 1099 may be ready for download, meaning you can get ahead of your tax filing this year. 

So, let’s take a look at some important dates that may impact you and your financial situation. If any of these dates apply to you, jot them down in your calendar or notebook so you don’t forget! 

February 15: Individual Exemptions Due (2022)

March 15: Tax due date for certain types of businesses 

April 1-30: Financial Literacy Month 

April 1: If you turned 72 in 2022, you have until April 3, 2023 to take your 2022 required minimum distribution 

April 17: Last call to fund your IRAs and HSAs 

April 18: Tax Day

June 15: Second Quarter 2023 estimated tax payment due 

September 15: Tax Extension Deadline for S-Corps and Partnerships 

September 15: Third Quarter 2023 estimated tax payment due

October 1: FAFSA forms become available 

October 15: Medicare Open Enrollment

October 16: Tax Extension deadline for individual and C-Corp returns

November 28: Giving Tuesday

December 31: Last call to fund your 401(K), Donor Advised Funds, 529 Plans 

While these are just a few financial dates that stick out to us, this is a good starting point when getting financially organized. If you have any questions about these deadlines, let us know and we are here and happy to help. Of course, everyone has a different specific financial situation, so its important to fully understand yours and speak with a financial professional if you are unsure. Email if you have any questions or schedule a complimentary introductory call here

Do You Have A Financial Plan? Many Americans Do Not

As we reflect on 2022 and digest the economic volatility we saw last year, the need for having and financial plan seems more urgent. With high inflation levels, an increased cost of living, and rising interest rates, we’ve been hearing from many individuals that they do not feel financially confident or secure. Interestingly enough, it has been revealed that many Americans do not have a financial plan or are letting the current economic uncertainty derail their original plan. In fact, “nearly 70 percent of Americans at or near retirement age have less than $250,000 in savings, according to a recent survey by Schroders, the London-based asset manager.” We found this statistic quite startling, as we believe that financial planning for the long-game is extremely important in order to achieve financial success throughout your lifetime and in retirement. 

While some may not understand the underlying purpose of financial planning, a financial plan and working with a financial professional allows individuals to take both a macro and micro view of their whole financial picture, assess both their life and monetary goals as well as qualitative and quantitative risk tolerances, and set strategies to achieve long and short- term financial success. They are also able to uncover hidden investor and behavioral underlying biases that may be impacting their financial decision making process. Another benefit that comes from creating a financial plan is organization. When creating a financial plan, you are taking inventory of everything that you have, figuring out where it all is, and where it needs to go. Just being organized can immensely improve your feeling of financial confidence and ease. 

According to a survey of 1,000 investors across the U.S. between the ages of 45 and 75 by Schroders and 8 Acre Perspective, “76 percent of Americans say they feel overwhelmed by the thought of creating one and 56 percent say life is too uncertain for a plan to have any value”. At Sherman Wealth, we believe that life is complicated, but your finances don’t have to be. We are here to simplify the financial planning process and relieve our clients of some financial stressors they may feel on the day-to-day. Given the rollercoaster the markets took us on last year, many of the “do-it-yourselfers” might be realizing that their life is becoming too hectic to also be navigating their financial picture which is why we are here to help. We believe that it is never to early nor too late to create a financial roadmap for yourself and your family, and that you never need a certain amount of investable assets to get started. 

For those of you who do not have a financial plan in place or would like to revisit your old plan that may be outdated given the current market conditions, please reach out to us and we are happy to help. Email us with questions at or schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation here