To address the personal finance needs of consumers in 2011, Heritage Financial Planning has created a comprehensive list covering practices it hopes will prove valuable to those making long-term financial plans. Paul R. Streiber, a Heritage certified financial planner (CFP), authored the list.
Streiber covers several topics, including budget creation, investment portfolios, insurance, estate tax planning and more.
The CFP encourages two particular investment practices: careful examination of investment portfolios and diversification of stock holdings. For portfolios, Streiber recommends finding an optimum balance between equity and fixed-income securities, based on their stock market performance. He cites diversification as a method of sidestepping the potential pitfall of having significant stock in a company that fails, referencing the 2008 collapse of major financial lenders.
As methods of long-term planning, Streiber devotes attention to reviewing property and casualty insurance to assess what may require coverage, as well as getting estate documents in order for those with incomes affected by state and federal estate or inheritance taxes.
Streiber suggests contributing to one's 401(k) plan up to the federal annual limit to help ensure a comfortable retirement. For 2011, the Internal Revenue Service holds a $16,500 cap for those 50 or younger. Those over 50 may contribute up to $5,500 more.