How to create a financial plan If you have financial goals, you need a financial plan. Here's how to make one. August 16, 2023 Having a financial plan could play a key role in achieving major life goals. Why wait any longer? Start assessing your current situation, setting financial planning goals, and thinking about how the right Discover® savings account could help you focus more closely on your financial future today. The Best Laid Plans Before you make a financial, you need a clear picture of where you stand today. Tracking your income and expenses on a regular basis and assessing your net worth — total assets minus total debts — helps you see how much money you can commit to individual financial goals. Your First Home Home ownership is at the heart of the American dream. The biggest obstacle facing homebuyers is funding a down payment – now often at least 20% of a home’s purchase price. The good news is there are many down-payment options for first-time buyers. Check with banks in your area to see what special programs may be available to you. If you intend to buy a house within five years, it might be a good idea to include saving for a down payment when creating your financial plan. A good way to save for a down payment may be through short-term saving vehicles, such as those available through a Discover Money Market Account or Certificate of Deposit (CD) to help pay for your first home. Your Child’s Education Ideally you should start saving for your child’s education as soon as — or even before — he or she is born. According to Bankrate, tuition and fees at four-year public colleges have increased by 179% over the last 20 years. Depending on your child’s age, you may want to consider investing your education dollars in stocks or stock mutual funds. While stocks can be riskier than other investments over short time periods, over the long-term they have historically produced the highest returns. There are many other education savings options, and some, such as state-sponsored 529 college savings plans and the Coverdell Education Savings Account, offer tax advantages as well. Your Retirement When making a financial plan, a secure retirement is probably your most important long-term financial goal. According to Bankrate, the common guideline is to replace 80% of your final working year’s salary for each year you spend in retirement. That’s why it’s important to start saving for retirement early in life and keep saving as much as you can throughout your working years. Opening a Discover IRA CD is one of the easiest — and most effective — ways to save for this important goal. Get the Help You Need Knowing the right financial moves to make and when to make them is a complicated job that most of us don’t have the resources to handle alone. Consider consulting a qualified financial professional who can help you keep your financial plan on track with your ever-changing needs. And be sure to familiarize yourself with all the different ways that Discover’s savings accounts can be at the center of your strategy. Their great rates and convenient account management options may be just what you’re looking for. Discover® Regardless of your time horizon, risk tolerance, or savings goal, you can always find the right savings vehicle for your needs at Discover®. Discover® offers an Online Savings Account to help you with your short-term savings goals, a full range of CDs and IRA CDs with terms from 3 months to 10 years as well Money Market Accounts that may be ideal for rounding out your overall savings strategy. Open a Discover® account online or call our 24-hour U.S-based Customer Service at 1-800-347-7000. The article and information provided herein are for informational purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Articles may contain information from third-parties. The inclusion of such information does not imply an affiliation with the bank or bank sponsorship, endorsement, or verification regarding the third-party or information. * The article and information provided herein are for informational purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Please consult your tax advisor with respect to information contained in this article and how it relates to you.