FINDING FINANCIAL FREEDOM promises to guide anyone…young and old…to a more secure, fulfilling financial future, regardless of financial status. Will you chart your own course and find your personal road to financial success or follow Yogi Berra’s path: ”When you come to a fork in the road, take it!”? The answer will likely forever determine whether you are able to achieve financial security, wealth, riches…or whatever words you would use to describe the comfort that comes from reaching your personal financial goals.
After the financial crisis, taking the right road seems to be more important, and more difficult, than ever. In the past, financial security at retirement was compared to a three-legged stool…the legs representing Social Security, a pension and personal investments. Is that stool still standing today? The insolvency of Social Security looms ahead of us. Corporations are converting pensions to less lucrative “cash balance” plans or are discontinuing such plans altogether. And a recent national survey indicated that 60% of Baby Boomers polled believe they will not have enough money to retire. When asked how much money Boomers thought they needed to retire, half claimed they did not know. And the young are woefully unprepared to face their financial future.
After our financial collapse, never before has the need for a carefully crafted lifetime financial plan been greater. Using Excel® or free OpenOffice software, this book and the software provided with it, such a plan is within your grasp. The tools are here to begin the journey of developing your path to finding lifetime financial freedom.
With this book and the accompanying software, you will enter data about your current financial situation (income and expenses as well as what you own and what you owe), make assumptions about investment returns and inflation, and then automatically project your financial future. You will be able to see in front of your eyes whether your "cash flow" (sources of income less uses of income) is positive or negative and your "net worth" (assets less liabilities) is strengthening or weakening...both now and for as many years into the future as you wish to project. Having such information at your fingertips is the only to means of truly understanding your financial situation so you can make adjustments to achieve your financial goals. The plan you create for yourself will be extremely flexible and can be changed at any time changes in your financial situation occur or when you wish to make different "what if" assumptions.
In addition to the personal financial planning software, the book includes the following:
A complete glossary.
Personal financial planning tips.
Detailed line-by-line descriptions of how to use the Excel®
templates to complete your plan.
How to set financial and other goals.
How to interpret the plan output.
Tips for successful financial planning.
How to use key Excel® functions.
Suggested reading, for those who need it, to improve your
knowledge about Excel®, personal financial planning, IRA
accounts, stocks, saving for education, income taxes and estate
Templates using Microsoft Excel® for are included with the book. These templates are the nerve behind establishing your lifetime personal financial plan and to track your actual financial results.