my husband makes 175,000 annually. the only debt we still have is his student loans that are 250 dollars a month. we own our house and cars. the only money we are putting back as of now is for life insurance for him and life insurance for the kids that they can cash out when they are 21. we put back 1000 a month into savings and that’s pretty much it. what else should we be doing? where should our money be going? we are meeting with a financial advisor next month but any FREE advise would be nice!
I agree with the comment about not needing insurance to cash in for the kids.
Some things to consider
1. Emergency fund of 3 – 6 months in case of job loss, unexpected expenses
2. Retirement savings – should be saving about 10 + % of the income for that.
3. If the interest on the student loan is high you may wish to pay that off.
4. Kids college education
A financial advisor – is that really a stock broker? or an insurance agent? If it is you may wish to also see a fee only financial planner. Stock brokers and insurance agents have a built in conflict of interest – they make money by selling you their company’s products or other products that are high cost (to cover their commission).
A fee only financial planner only collects a fee that you know of up front. It isn’t cheap but you get someone who can give you advice without that conflict. They will usually recommend lost cost index mutual funds (e.g. From Vanguard) with annual expenses of 1/4 of one percent vs most brokers or insurance agents that will sell you a fund with a some front on back end fees and an annual expense ratio of 1% or more.
Beware of advice to buy annuities, variable, universal or whole life insurance, mutual funds with front or back end loads (Class A or Class B shares) or with expense ratios of more than 1/2 of 1%.
For Insurance – you should look at guaranteed renewable term insurance – it is really cheap until you get older and then you really don’t need it. For investments – a well diversified portfolio of index mutual funds e.g. Vanguard: Total Stock Market, Total International Stock Market, Total Bond Market,
or one of their Life Strategy or Target Retirement Funds. After meeting with the financial advisor I would suggest looking at the diehard.org site below. Lots of good advice and if you ask them a question or for a asset allocation they will do it. It is a group of mostly very wise and friendly investors that have a general investment philosophy. They also have a good reading list that you should consider.