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Creating a Sustainable Financial Lifestyle

This is a piece I had in my newsletter back in 2011 which details how we help clients manage their cash flow.  Here is an updated version.  

Often the most neglected, yet most important aspects of our financial lives concerns managing cash flow.  We help our clients build a plan that enables then to discover what is a financially sustainable lifestyle for them.  Any business advisor will tell you understanding your current cash coming into and out of the business is crucial to success and it’s no different for one’s personal finances. As part of any financial plan we put together for our clients, analyzing cash flow enables us to produce many specific recommendations.  Here are some of the issues we help clients address.

  1. How much cash should you have in savings in case unexpected expenses or a drop in income occurs?  How much is adequate depends upon several factors including the sources and nature of your income and expenses, insurance coverage, assets and debt.
  2. Debt.  This is a big problem for some and an opportunity for others.  The first step is to make sure you have an adequate emergency fund so you never have to use credit card or other debt to fund living expenses.  We help our clients work out a plan to pay down and/or restructure their debt and use the tax laws to their advantage.  With home loan rates near record lows now is a great time to consider refinancing.  Rates are around 4.0% (now 3.4%) for 30 year loans and 3.25% (now 2.5%) for 15 year loans.
  3. Saving for short-term goals.  Identify, quantify and set up accounts to save for future cars, vacations, college for the kids or other goals you may have.
  4. Create a Budget.  For many this is an unwelcome chore but there are many ways to accomplish this.  The first step is to determine your current level of expenses.  You could use one of the budget tools available such as Mint or Quicken.     

Understanding and managing your cash flow is probably the most important aspects of your finances.  Higher or lower investment returns pale in comparison of importance. 


Don’t trust your search for information to a Google™ robot! The following references and informative links have been previewed and selected personally by Comprehensive Financial Planning, Inc.

Consumer/General Finance

NAPFA Personal Finance Blog Information from other fee-only advisors Great personal finance magazine Consumer Federation of America  Lots of info on ID theft, do not call registry, etc. Obtain your credit report Consumer Reports magazine

HSAColorado  Health Savings Account providers in Colorado Rates for CDs, loans, etc.  Lots of info for parents and children, credit repair

Education 529 college savings plans


EFC Plus Our partner for college planning services SAT sponsors information Financial aid for college with calculator to determine aid qualifications Free scholarship database  Apply here for federal aid (don't have to be poor)

Investing Info on funds and stocks Lots of data on historical prices National Association of Real Estate Trusts Buy U. S. savings bonds


Government & Regulatory Certified Financial Planner Board National Association of Personal Financial Planners Colorado State Division of Securities- Check my registration Securities and Exchange Commission Internal Revenue Service Social Security Administration Colorado tax authority

Seniors Best overall senior and caregiver information Best life expectancy calculator-try it out American Association of Retired Persons – Anyone over 50 can join Find out about benefits and your eligibility

Money Saving tips for Seniors All kids of information on saving money. Information on government programs to help seniors Colorado Bar Association: Info on estate planning, probate costs in Colorado Find a caregiver at the National Association of Geriatric Care Managers

Recommended Businesses Casey Lynch, CPA for individuals, business owners and non-profits John Ryan offers Life, disability and Long-term Care Insurance.

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