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need to know
Drug lord ‘El Chapo’ may be tried in New York
U.S., Russia agree to Syrian cease-fire
CEO Jamie Dimon's $26M bet on J.P. Morgan
Uber to pay riders millions to settle safety suits
Zillow reports wider loss, drop in unique visitors
Oregon standoff ends as last four surrender
Google expands EU right-to-be-forgotten rules
FireEye earnings beat expectations
U.S. stock-market plunge paced by financials

5 things to know about the Costco and AmEx breakup

Boeing has long history of accounting probes
Boeing's stock plunge of historic proportions

Have central banks lost market credibility?

Google plans standalone VR headset

10 stocks leading the market’s decline Thursday
The stocks you need to fight off bear-market flu
Think like Warren Buffett — buy what’s ugly

Most popular new iOS emoji? Eye roll, please ...

One big Twitter question: Is the worst really over?
Buy Twitter? Only if you believe in management
Twitter message: Its critics were right

U.S. cities with the most and least vacant housing
  4 hidden hazards that lurk in your home
Location Scouts: Insider intel from top markets

Valeant’s M&A accounting cushions its income

Tesla predicts rosy 2016 —can Musk deliver?
Tesla reports loss, but says profit in sight
Tesla’s Model 3: 5 things we now know

Yellen in Senate: Stock swoon not Fed fault

Jobless claims data show no sign of a layoff spike

The greatest bull market of all time probably isn’t what you think it is
Greatest bull market ever likely isn’t what you think

Chuck Jaffe: It’s time for these trendy mutual funds and ETFs to put up or shut up
Time for trendy ETFs, funds to put up or shut up

Rio Tinto swings to loss, drops dividend policy
Total narrows loss on fewer write-downs
Glencore copper, zinc output falls on cutbacks


Jeb Bush says Trump would be worse than Obama

North Korea reportedly has executed top general

India set to outpace China in demand for oil
If you’re bullish on oil, these stocks are buys

Which of Europe’s Piigs might fly?
Which of Europe’s PIIGs might be set to fly?

The 10 toughest investment decisions

Bass issues warning on China’s foreign cash reserves
What’s holding back the world economy?
China's FX reserves drop $99.47 bln


Will falling oil prices bankrupt Saudis, Russians?
Cheap oil may make OPEC dominant again
As oil revenue drops, Gulf states ponder taxes
Will oil get so cheap, it won’t pay to extract it?

Hearing loss now hits 1 in 3 Americans over 65
Hearing loss now hits 1 of every 3 Americans over 65

REIT bonus targets at heart of Brixmor scandal

Even private-equity firms are buying back shares

Has the idea of college financial aid totally backfired?
Michael Moore: Imagine life without student debt
6 ways Obama would make college affordable


/conga/frontpage.html 367776

Markets »

172.07MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 132.13M
Unchanged
147
Decliners
4753
Advancers
1612
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
  • 1 Day
  • 5 Days
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year
  • 2 Years
Dow
/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 15,660 -255 1.60%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,267 -17 0.39%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,829 -23 1.23%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,037 -11 0.53%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,237 -11 0.89%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 27.57 +1.36 5.19%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 5,537 -135 2.39%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 8,753 -264 2.93%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 3,897 -164 4.05%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 15,773 -941 5.63%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 7,746 -397 4.88%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 304 -12 3.68%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 2,405 -32 1.30%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 14,875 -839 5.34%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 18,380 -166 0.90%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 2,763 -18 0.63%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 22,952 -807 3.40%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 2,540 +1 0.05%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.13 0.00 0.15%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 112.53 +0.11 0.09%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/16008140/realtime/sampled 1.45 0.00 0.07%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.71 +0.00 0.08%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 95.66 +0.06 0.06%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 88.85 +0.08 0.09%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 1.68 +0.02 0.98%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.19 0.00 0.00%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 1.72 0.00 0.00%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 1.77 0.00 0.00%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 1.30 0.00 0.00%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.02 +0.01 78.42%
Crude Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 28 +1 5.19%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,237 -11 0.89%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/25518691/delayed 361 +1 0.14%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/48241424/delayed 15,633 +21 0.13%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/43106711/delayed 1,829 +4 0.23%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/32655632/delayed 16 0 0.53%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 101.91 0.91 0.90%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 93.70 -0.57 -0.60%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/59527964/composite 683.11 -1.01 -0.15%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 11.16 -0.82 -6.84%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 34.98 -2.43 -6.50%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 11.17 -0.17 -1.50%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 36.21 -0.22 -0.60%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 27.64 -0.40 -1.43%
GE /quotes/zigman/227468/composite 27.45 -0.85 -3.00%
Visit the quote page and your most recently viewed stocks will automatically be displayed here.
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World News from MarketWatch

Rates »

5 yr CD
1.3%
2 yr CD
0.7%
1 yr CD
0.6%
MMA $10K+
0.2%
MMA $50K+
0.4%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 11.96% 11.96% 11.62%
Business 13.12% 13.12% 12.85%
Student 13.42% 13.42% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.35% 14.35% 14.12%
Airline 15.17% 15.17% 15.10%
Cash Back 15.20% 15.26% 15.27%
Reward 15.25% 15.28% 15.14%
Instant Approval 18.02% 18.21% 18.00%
Bad Credit 22.56% 22.88% 22.73%
Source:CreditCards.com

SPONSORED SECTIONS

Trending Tickers
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  • /quotes/zigman/35596893/composite CYBR+2.14%
  • /quotes/zigman/413712/composite USO+0.41%
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SmartMoney Blogs

Encore
A blog about living in and planning for retirement

How to Write a Financial Plan

iStockphoto

Last week, I wrote about how most people don’t have written financial plans. This prompted one reader to comment, “what would a written plan look like?” Encore asked Eileen Freiburger, founder of ESF Financial Planning Group, to outline the main elements of a financial plan.

1. Create a financial snapshot Before writing a plan, you need to know where you stand. First, document your cash flow, making a list of all assets, income and expenses, including credit card and loan debt, in Excel or in a notebook, she says. To better understand your expenses, gather three months worth of bank statements and credit-card statements so you can see how much you’re spending each month, she says.  Once you’ve gone over those statements, you will then also need to write down larger, less-frequent expenses — like property taxes or that annual vacation — that you tend to make each year or every few years.

2. Make a list of priorities After taking stock in what you have, the next step is to figure out where you want to be. Is retiring at 65 the goal? Or is buying a second home a bigger priority? Until one establishes their priorities, it’s impossible to sort out how to reach them, Freiburger says. A discussion with a financial adviser may help bring one’s priorities into focus, she says.  Once you know them, write out a list of everything you want to do and then rank them by what’s most important to you. Note that you should put getting out of debt and saving for retirement at the top of your list, but it’s up to you as to where you rank that vacation in Aruba or that fur you want to buy.

3. Chart your savings Now comes the hard part — determining how much you need to save to reach your goals. It’s not as simple as saying “I’ll save 10% of my income,” Freiburger says.  First, look at the goals on your list, like getting out of debt and saving for retirement, and figure out how much each will cost.  If you want to get out of debt, check out this calculator, which will show you how much you need to put towards your debt each month to be debt free. If you want to figure out how much you’ll need for retirement, click on SmartMoney’s retirement planner here; once you know that, you can figure out how much you need to save each month to make it happen here.  For each of these goals, there’s likely an online savings calculator (here’s a simple one that works for anything from saving for a vacation to buying a car) that can help you calculate how much you’ll need to save to fund the goal.

Once you know what each goal will cost and how much you will need to save each month to achieve the goal (you should put all of this into written form, either using a spreadsheet or a notebook, Freiburger advises), you can start saving to make them happen. It’s easy to set up an automatic money transfer from your checking account to a savings account to help pay for things like vacations, she says; consider automating retirement savings as well.

Comments

We welcome thoughtful comments from readers. Please comply with our guidelines. Our blogs do not require the use of your real name.

Comments (5 of 5)

View all Comments »
    • I think the worst way to do retirement planning is to save. Don’t get me wrong but all the time I see financial planners trying to reach at that elusive amount which is good enough for a person to retire. Only if the world was so linear and simple like excel based financial models!!
      The best way to retire early, rather the only possible way is to create a parallel and sustainable income stream (apart from your regular job) better still try creating multiple, even though small, parallel income streams.

    • I can??t actually help but admire your weblog website, your site is adorable and nice

    • A financial plan is definitely something that every investor should develop and maintain. These plans are normally called Investment Policy Statements (IPP).

      I would suggest that the IPP be in writing. A formal document that will help maintain discipline and long-term focus.

      The IPP should incorporate one’s investment and personal objectives over the short, medium, and long-term, as these will likely be quite distinct and require different planning strategies. The plan should also include personal constraints that will impact wealth accumulation.

      As well, one needs to consider the time horizon, personal risk tolerance, phase of life cycle, etc.

      I have written a few articles on Investment Policy Statements that expand on these comments. They may be found at http://www.personalwm.com.

    • Thank you for the follow up, I’m hoping it will be helpful to many. I was that reader who asked the question: “what would a written plan look like?” on the last piece. For myself, it was basically a rhetorical question, as I’ve been planning for years, for the early retirement that I am now enjoying. I know though, that so many people are simply too scared to even start down the road to discovery, so they do nothing. The earlier you find out the real answers, the better chance you have of making changes where needed, and truly reaching those goals, whatever they may be. Keep it up!

About Encore

  • Encore examines the changing nature of retirement, from new rules and guidelines for financial security to the shifting identities and priorities of today’s retirees. The blog also explores news that affects retirement, from the Wall Street Journal Digital Network and around the web. Lead bloggers are reporter Catey Hill and senior editor Jeremy Olshan. Other contributors include The Wall Street Journal’s retirement columnists Glenn Ruffenach and Anne Tergesen; the Director for the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Alicia Munnell; and the Director of Research for Pinnacle Advisory Group, Michael Kitces, CFP.

MarketWatch - Stock Market Quotes, Business News, Financial News
Bulletin
Investor Alert

Tokyo Markets Close in:

need to know
Drug lord ‘El Chapo’ may be tried in New York
U.S., Russia agree to Syrian cease-fire
CEO Jamie Dimon's $26M bet on J.P. Morgan
Uber to pay riders millions to settle safety suits
Zillow reports wider loss, drop in unique visitors
Oregon standoff ends as last four surrender
Google expands EU right-to-be-forgotten rules
FireEye earnings beat expectations
U.S. stock-market plunge paced by financials

5 things to know about the Costco and AmEx breakup

Boeing has long history of accounting probes
Boeing's stock plunge of historic proportions

Have central banks lost market credibility?

Google plans standalone VR headset

10 stocks leading the market’s decline Thursday
The stocks you need to fight off bear-market flu
Think like Warren Buffett — buy what’s ugly

Most popular new iOS emoji? Eye roll, please ...

One big Twitter question: Is the worst really over?
Buy Twitter? Only if you believe in management
Twitter message: Its critics were right

U.S. cities with the most and least vacant housing
  4 hidden hazards that lurk in your home
Location Scouts: Insider intel from top markets

Valeant’s M&A accounting cushions its income

Tesla predicts rosy 2016 —can Musk deliver?
Tesla reports loss, but says profit in sight
Tesla’s Model 3: 5 things we now know

Yellen in Senate: Stock swoon not Fed fault

Jobless claims data show no sign of a layoff spike

The greatest bull market of all time probably isn’t what you think it is
Greatest bull market ever likely isn’t what you think

Chuck Jaffe: It’s time for these trendy mutual funds and ETFs to put up or shut up
Time for trendy ETFs, funds to put up or shut up

Rio Tinto swings to loss, drops dividend policy
Total narrows loss on fewer write-downs
Glencore copper, zinc output falls on cutbacks


Jeb Bush says Trump would be worse than Obama

North Korea reportedly has executed top general

India set to outpace China in demand for oil
If you’re bullish on oil, these stocks are buys

Which of Europe’s Piigs might fly?
Which of Europe’s PIIGs might be set to fly?

The 10 toughest investment decisions

Bass issues warning on China’s foreign cash reserves
What’s holding back the world economy?
China's FX reserves drop $99.47 bln


Will falling oil prices bankrupt Saudis, Russians?
Cheap oil may make OPEC dominant again
As oil revenue drops, Gulf states ponder taxes
Will oil get so cheap, it won’t pay to extract it?

Hearing loss now hits 1 in 3 Americans over 65
Hearing loss now hits 1 of every 3 Americans over 65

REIT bonus targets at heart of Brixmor scandal

Even private-equity firms are buying back shares

Has the idea of college financial aid totally backfired?
Michael Moore: Imagine life without student debt
6 ways Obama would make college affordable


/conga/frontpage.html 367776

Markets »

172.07MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 132.13M
Unchanged
147
Decliners
4753
Advancers
1612
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
  • 1 Day
  • 5 Days
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year
  • 2 Years
Dow
/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 15,660 -255 1.60%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,267 -17 0.39%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,829 -23 1.23%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,037 -11 0.53%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,237 -11 0.88%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 27.56 +1.35 5.15%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 5,537 -135 2.39%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 8,753 -264 2.93%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 3,897 -164 4.05%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 15,773 -941 5.63%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 7,746 -397 4.88%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 304 -12 3.68%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 2,405 -31 1.29%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 14,875 -839 5.34%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 18,376 -170 0.92%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 2,763 -18 0.63%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 22,952 -807 3.40%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 2,540 +1 0.05%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.13 0.00 0.15%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 112.54 +0.12 0.10%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/16008140/realtime/sampled 1.45 0.00 0.07%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.71 +0.00 0.08%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 95.67 +0.07 0.07%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 88.85 +0.08 0.09%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 1.68 +0.02 1.08%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.19 0.00 0.00%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 1.72 0.00 0.00%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 1.77 0.00 0.00%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 1.30 0.00 0.00%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.02 +0.01 78.42%
Crude Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 28 +1 5.15%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,237 -11 0.88%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/25518691/delayed 361 +1 0.14%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/48241424/delayed 15,633 +21 0.13%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/43106711/delayed 1,829 +4 0.23%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/32655632/delayed 16 0 0.53%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 101.91 0.91 0.90%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 93.70 -0.57 -0.60%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/59527964/composite 683.11 -1.01 -0.15%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 11.16 -0.82 -6.84%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 34.98 -2.43 -6.50%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 11.17 -0.17 -1.50%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 36.21 -0.22 -0.60%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 27.64 -0.40 -1.43%
GE /quotes/zigman/227468/composite 27.45 -0.85 -3.00%
Visit the quote page and your most recently viewed stocks will automatically be displayed here.
Please log in to view your watchlist
MarketWatch Portfolio

World News from MarketWatch

Rates »

5 yr CD
1.3%
2 yr CD
0.7%
1 yr CD
0.6%
MMA $10K+
0.2%
MMA $50K+
0.4%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 11.96% 11.96% 11.62%
Business 13.12% 13.12% 12.85%
Student 13.42% 13.42% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.35% 14.35% 14.12%
Airline 15.17% 15.17% 15.10%
Cash Back 15.20% 15.26% 15.27%
Reward 15.25% 15.28% 15.14%
Instant Approval 18.02% 18.21% 18.00%
Bad Credit 22.56% 22.88% 22.73%
Source:CreditCards.com

SPONSORED SECTIONS

Trending Tickers
  • /quotes/zigman/21587200/composite FEYE-0.48%
  • /quotes/zigman/17430636/composite SUNE-13.56%
  • /quotes/zigman/35596893/composite CYBR+2.14%
  • /quotes/zigman/413712/composite USO+0.41%
  • /quotes/zigman/714403/composite SPY-1.30%
X
Powered by StockTwits
Link to MarketWatch's Slice.

As of July 2, 2013, the SmartMoney content you loved now lives on MarketWatch.

MarketWatch will continue to provide the same important news and information you rely on every day. And, as a MarketWatch user, you will be able to enjoy:

  • Personalized news and quote email alerts
  • Editorial e-newsletters about personal finance, mutual funds and market-specific coverage
  • Premium newsletters by our market experts
  • Games, such as Virtual Stock Exchange and Beat the Darts
  • Free WSJ.com registration