Take the Stairs to Financial Health

Business man walking up the stairsI was with my doctor for an annual checkup a few weeks ago and he encouraged me to take advantage of more opportunities for exercise and activity.  He even pulled out the traditional example to “take the stairs” to be more active rather than just ride along in an elevator!

Just as we are encouraged to “take the stairs” to improve our physical health, we should strive to take the stairway to financial health as well.   We should be more active in managing our finances rather than just riding along – whether the elevator is going up or down.

It is always good to check in with our doctor before starting an exercise program.  Perhaps we should also check in to ensure we are ready to be financially active. 

·      Be sure you are in the right frame of mind – be positive!  You are in control

·      Get organized – know where you stand, what you owe and where everything is currently

·      Set financial goals – Short-term, mid-term and long-term goals are helpful

Now let’s head for the stairs!

  • Step 1:  Protection

o   Documents - you need a Living Will, Last Will & Testament and a Power of Attorney

o   Insurance – be sure you and loved-ones are protected

o   Emergency Fund – put a cushion in place for those unexpected circumstances that are sure to come

  •  Step 2: Dump Debt

o   Debt weighs you down and keeps you from making real progress

  •  Step 3: Savings & Growth

o   Create and grow your savings plan – be consistent

o   Put away resources for your, or your family’s education

o   Set up an IRA for retirement savings – make sure you are ready for the golden years

  •  Step 4:  Wealth & Philanthropy

At the top of the stairs is wealth and philanthropy.  Once you have done the work of climbing the stairs and have satisfied all the “what ifs” and ‘must dos” then celebrate life!  Do all those things that make you happy.  And experience the true joy of giving.  You are a difference-maker now!

Keep climbing the stairs to stay healthy – physically and financially.  The healthier you are, the more you will be able to reach your philanthropic goals.

Thank you for being a wonderful friend to our children!  Let us know how we can help!

Ray Cockrell is the Vice President for Development at Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina.

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