Organization & planning: Your keys to financial success – Part 2

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  1. Paperwork: Everyone has some primary financial documents – bank and brokerage statements, retirement plan statements, tax returns, insurance policies, passwords, digital paperwork, etc. Keep this information in a secured central location and tie it into your filing system.
  2. Net Worth: Know where you stand by inventorying what you own and what you owe. Do this at least annually so you can evaluate your progress. Now is a great time to do this and it is simple to do.
  3. Cash Flow: Gain control of your cash flow by spending according to your plan, not impulsively.
  4.  Employment Benefits: For those employed understand and utilize your employment benefits fully; they can improve your cash flow. Any amount your employer contributes toward your health insurance, life insurance, retirement, and other benefits is money you do not need to spend.


  1. Goal Setting: To begin your financial planning, ask yourself what is really important to you, financially and personally. Where do you want to be in 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years? These are key elements of planning your future; it affects your decisions and choices.
  2. Financial Independence and Retirement Planning: A comfortable retirement, perhaps at an early age, is one of the most common reasons people become interested in financial planning. Determine a reasonable “nest egg” to reach and maintain your level of financial independence, and how to make it a reality.
  3. Major Expenditures Planning: A home, a car, and your child’s college education – these are all “big ticket” items that are best planned for in advance. Develop financial strategies early on for effectively achieving the funding needed for those “big bills” down the road.
  4. Investments Planning: For most of us, wise investing is the key to achieving and maintaining our financial independence, as well as our other financial goals. Investment is expanding money, time, or assets with the expectation of achieving a return. As in life achieving a return from investing is never for sure. Establish your investment goals, assess your risk tolerance, and then select an asset allocation model that best fits you.
  5. Tax Planning: Your financial planning should include tax considerations, regardless of your level of wealth. Proactively take advantage of opportunities for minimizing your tax obligations.
  6. Insurance / Risk Management Planning: Decide what to self-insure and what risks to pass off to insurance companies and at what price.
  7.  Estate & Gift Planning: Develop or update your estate & gift plan. If you get sick or die without an up-to-date estate and gift plan, rich or poor, or somewhere in-between the management and distribution of your assets can become a time-consuming and costly financial challenge for you and your loved ones.

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To be continued…

This article is an excerpt from the Improving Financial Awareness & Financial Literacy Feature Column Series 001 Issue | Vol 1| 2021 and was edited by


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