Wednesday, February 27, 2013 11:52 AM jstone

Beyond Loan Repayment- "Big Picture" Financial Planning

Any of you who have ever been in my office may have noticed that I have two watercolor prints on my walls both of which are beach scenes.  Why?  It keeps me focused everyday on "the" goal…the little beach house in South (or North) Carolina that someday in retirement will be mine.  It’s a tangible motivation and my continual reminder that I need to stick to a financial plan to get to that goal (because I won’t be transported down to Myrtle Beach by magic).

And to that point if you think post graduate money management involves only your loan repayment...it doesn't.  Certainly loan repayment is paramount to your immediate finances but it also needs to be coordinated and put in context with other more futuristic financial decisions.  Because as you enter the “working world” you are going to be bombarded with a gazillion (yes that many!)  financial choices particularly when you are faced with electing your employee benefits for health insurance, retirement, and life insurance, to name a few.  And most likely you will be under pressure to make those choices and complete new employee paperwork asap so that you can begin your actual job.  But the reality is that those short term decisions you are making now have significant long term consequences.  So while you might be saying “retirement…but I just started this job”…the fact is that financial planning for the future needs to be on your radar now. (Need proof? A simple test is to use any of the 401K and 403B retirement calculators on the American Institute of CPA’s 360% of Financial Literacy site to compare what happens if you begin saving at age 25 vs. 35 vs. 45 etc.). 

So it’s in your best interest to learn as much as you can about financial planning so that when you are faced with these choices, you can make the best ones.  Financial planner John Caserta is a longtime friend Yale Law School who has presented workshops and has offered one-on-one counseling to YLS students to help them get their financial house in order post graduation. Check out John's article on "Why some people may never find financial freedom" for some key do's and don'ts of beginning the financial planning process as a young professional.

As an extra bonus…John Caserta will be visiting YLS on April 11th and April 17th (12:00-5:00 p.m.) to offer complimentary individual counseling sessions to our students. These are meant as basic introductions to planning and students at all levels of “financial expertise” are encouraged to attend. You can sign up for your session with John by emailing financialaid.law@yale.edu – space is limited. Take advantage of this opportunity because when it comes to financial planning...the future really does start now.

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